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Home > Birds > Quaker Parrot vs Conure: Main Differences (With Pictures)

Quaker Parrot vs Conure: Main Differences (With Pictures)

Quaker Parrot vs Conure

Quaker parrots and Conures are similar in many respects. They are both considered good companion birds as well as being found in nature. They both originate from South America, are roughly the same size, and have similar habitat, food, and toy requirements.

Birds of both species may talk, although it isn’t guaranteed. With good socialization, they can both get along with family members and potentially even visitors.

However, the Quaker parrot is easier to obtain and the more likely of these species to talk. Conures, which are considered endangered in the wild, are more difficult to find and they can be very loud, especially when kept in pairs or groups.

Read on to learn more about these two popular companion bird species and to determine which is right for you and your home.


Visual Differences

Quaker Parrot vs Conure side by side
Image Credit: (L) pabloavanzini, Shutterstock | (R) Christine Snyder, Shutterstock

At a Glance

Quaker Parrot
  • Average height (adult): 9–12 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 5–4 ounces
  • Lifespan: 20–30 years
  • Exercise: 3–4 hours a day
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: With early introductions
  • Trainability: Clever, keen to please, can be mischievous
  • Average height (adult): 8–10 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 5–7 ounces
  • Lifespan: 25–30 years
  • Exercise: 2+ hours a day
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: With gradual introductions
  • Trainability: Trainable, but time and patience required


Quaker Parrot Overview

Quaker Parrot
Image Credit: V.S.Anandhakrishna, Shutterstock

The Quaker parrot originates from several countries in South America, although a handful of feral colonies have sprung in nearly half the states of the U.S. They even survive in colder climates, taking food from bird feeders in winter and surviving by sleeping in their nests every night.

Also known as the Monk parakeet or Quaker parakeet, they are sociable birds that typically live in woodlands and heavily wooded areas, although they have proven surprisingly adaptable as they have spread into new territories.

The name Quaker parrot, or Quaker parakeet, comes from the natural bobbing and quaking motion of the birds. The alternative name, Monk parakeet, is derived from the fact that their head coloring looks like a monk’s hood.


Often described as little clowns, Quaker parrots are confident birds. As such, they will integrate well into families, getting along well with all family members, although they may form a stronger bond with a single human family member. It is down to the owner to ensure that the bird is well-socialized and gets along with other humans.

They need as much attention as larger parrot species, so potential owners should be prepared to spend time with their birds and allow them plenty of time out of the cage.


Capable of developing a very good vocabulary of words, Quaker parrots are known for being likely to mimic human speech. They will also mimic other sounds, including bird song, and they are prone to being quite vocal if you keep multiple Quakers in the same room. For this reason, and because Quakers can get the company they need from humans, some owners choose to keep them as solitary birds.


Developing a strong bond with your Quaker is the first step to effective training. It’s usually also easier to train a single Quaker, rather than a bird that is kept as one of a pair or group. With patience and persistence, it is possible to train a Quaker. Primarily, training means encouraging positive behavior and discouraging negative traits.

The first thing owners usually teach a bird is not to bite. Don’t react to the biting and, instead, divert your bird’s beak to a toy or something they are allowed to chew on. Alternatively, ignore the bite and leave the bird for a few minutes before coming back and giving it more attention.

Quakers can be territorial over their nests, so as well as training your bird not to bite, you will need to get them accustomed to letting you in their area.

Green Quaker parrot is sitting on woman shoulder
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock


Quakers need plenty of space to fly in their cage, with a minimum size being 2 square feet. But a bigger cage will prove even more ideal for this little bird. Quakers are skilled escapologists and strong chewers, so the cage needs to be sturdily built and have a secure door and opening. Provide a birdbath and offer toys as well as a good diet.

Your Quaker needs to be out of the cage for as long as possible each day and 2 hours daily, at the very least. Ensure the room is secure and bear in mind that the brave little Quaker will attempt to take on cats and even dogs in some cases, so you may need to remove other pets from the room.

Suitable For:

Quakers need socialization, regular time out of their cage, and interaction with their owners or other Quakers so they are best suited to owners with plenty of time to dedicate to their new feathered friend.

  • Relatively easy to train
  • Fun and amusing companion birds
  • Easy to find at pet stores and from breeders

  • Can be very noisy
  • Can be territorial


Conure Overview

Image Credit: Rutpratheep Nilpechr, Pixabay

Like the Quaker, the conure is native to South America and also prefers woodlands and forests. It is a sociable bird that lives in flocks of up to 20 birds and can be found in larger groups if food is abundant in a particular area. They can also be found in some urban areas, having had to adapt to survive as their natural habitats have become increasingly threatened.

Some species, including the Sun conure, are considered endangered species. Conures are relatively easy to find as pets, although not as commonly found as Quakers.


Conures are fun birds. They are social and very inquisitive little animals and some of them enjoy cuddling with their owners, although some are too busy to settle down long enough for this level of personal interaction.

The small conure is considered patient with children, which makes the species a good choice for families. They even enjoy being petted on the chest and other areas of the body that large parrot species tend to dislike. They do need socialization and will need training to prevent biting, but they can make very good family pets.


It is possible to teach some conures to speak a few words, but their vocabulary tends to be limited compared to other species, and some will never mimic human words. The species does have a high-pitched screech that is its natural voice, and most are not afraid to use it, which means you should be prepared for a loud bird if you intend to get a conure.

It may be possible to reduce noise levels by providing plenty of toys and other sources of enrichment, but screeching comes naturally, so, likely, you will never eliminate this noise completely.


It is possible to train a conure, although it will take more patience than with a Quaker. With time, patience, and repetition, you can train a conure to perform basic tricks like stepping onto your hand, waving, or high-fiving.

Use your bird’s favorite treats, encourage the motion, use the same word every time, and praise and reward your bird every time it completes the action. Be consistent and persistent, and it will happen.

Conure Bird with Toy
Image Credit: Linda Bestwick, Shutterstock


A conure needs a similar-sized cage to a Quaker parrot, so around 2-foot squared. It also needs toys and other forms of enrichment, such as ladders and mirrors, as well as a bird bath.

Feed commercial pellets designed specifically for the breed, and add some leafy greens, berries, and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables to give variety and ensure you’re meeting all of your conure’s daily nutritional requirements.

You can also provide a cuttlebone to help maintain good beak health.

Suitable For:

Like the Quaker parrot, the conure needs plenty of socialization with its humans, so may not be the best choice for families that work all day. They also like routine, so if your working patterns change, you might want to consider a different species. The conure is great with children, however, so is a good choice for families that do have the time.

  • Good with children and other family members
  • Fun and funny little species
  • Can be trained to perform a few basic tricks

  • Can be noisy
  • Less likely to talk than other species


How to Get Your Bird to Talk

Like a lot of birds, parrot species replicate or mimic the sounds they hear around them. Where parrot species differ is that they can mimic human words. However, no matter what species of bird, there is no guarantee that any individual bird will learn to mimic human words. Even some African Gray parrots may never repeat human words.

But there are some steps you can take to help improve the likelihood of your conure or Quaker talking.

  • Repetition – Repetition is key, especially if you repeat the same words at the same time or when you perform the same action. This is why parrots learn words like hello more than other words. You repeat the same word every time you see your parrot and it learns through this constant repetition. It is also the reason that some species pick up on the theme tunes to certain programs that you watch every night or regularly.
  • Consistency – If you want your bird to learn a certain word, be consistent in its use. Use the word hello whenever you greet your bird, rather than using hi and other greetings.
  • Reward – When your bird speaks or speaks a word you want it to repeat, offer praise and reward. This can be a favorite treat, or it can be time out of the cage or with you. Be persistent with the rewards and mimicry will become second nature to your conure or Quaker parrot.

Time Out of the Cage

Birds like conures and Quaker parrots are social birds. They are used to living on flocks of dozens or even hundreds of birds and they are used to having the freedom to fly around and socialize with the rest of the flock.

When kept as pets, they are kept in cages with much less room than they enjoy in the wild, and even if you keep a pair of birds, they are naturally used to having more opportunities for socialization and investigation. As such, letting your bird have time out of its cage is vital to its mental and physical health, especially if this time includes time spent with you and the rest of its family.

Ensure the room is secure, which may include removing other pets from the room and definitely means checking doors and windows. Open the door and let your bird investigate. If you struggle to get the bird back in its cage, don’t feed it while out of the cage and put food in its bowl. But most birds will get back in the cage willingly in time.

Both the conure and the Quaker parrot need regular time out of the cage, and both require at least two hours a day out of their confines.


Which Breed Is Right for You?

Conure and Quaker parrots both make great companion birds. They’re smaller than the large parrot species and they both enjoy time with their humans, although this does depend on socialization and other factors. Both need time with their humans and time out of their cage, and they both benefit from having some sort of schedule, so neither is a good choice if you have irregular work patterns or can’t commit to letting them have time out of their cage.

Both the conure and the Quaker parrot can mimic human speech, although the Quaker is the more likely of the two species to talk. If you want a talker, the Quaker may be your best option.

They’re both considered friendly birds that get along with humans, too, but the conure is more likely to form bonds with multiple family members and is generally considered more understanding of children, so the conure makes the better pet for large families.

Although the Quaker parrot is generally easier to find in stores and from breeders, both are common enough that they shouldn’t prove too difficult to find. Because of this, and because they are smaller than the likes of African Grays and other large species, they tend to be reasonably priced.

Featured Image Credit: Jida Xu, Shutterstock

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