If you are a bird lover, you’ve probably owned several types of parakeets over the years, like cockatiels and budgies. However, you may be surprised to learn that one parrot species is now illegal in many places in the United States. Since 2013, you can no longer own the Quaker parrot in several areas. The short answer is that they reproduce quickly and can destroy crops, which can create a big danger to farmers. If you are interested in owning one of these birds and would like to know about them and why they’ve become illegal, keep reading. We’ll discuss everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
What Is the Quaker Parrot?
The Quaker parrot is also called the Monk parrot. It’s a small, bright green bird with a grey breast and a yellow belly. It’s a highly intelligent and social bird with a long lifespan, so it was a popular pet, especially from the 1960s to the 1980s. It’s a woodland bird that enjoys the company of other birds, and many owners describe its personality as comical.
You can find this bird in its natural habitat if you travel to Bolivia and Southern Brazil. It’s the only parrot that builds a nest, and it prefers large community nests with multiple rooms. It’s also a hardy bird that adapts well to captivity.
Why Is the Quaker Parrot Illegal?
Part of the reason that the Quaker parrot makes such a great pet is that it easily adapts to captivity and living in your home. However, these birds also adapt to the outside environment if people let them free, which has happened many times, allowing some small flocks to form, especially in the southern United States. These feral birds can destroy crops and they reproduce quickly, so it only takes a few loose birds to create a real danger to farmers. Once their numbers grow, they can be quite noisy, and some people suggest that they can be aggressive towards other birds and prevent them from gathering food.
Quaker birds also build large nests with multiple rooms for many birds to take up residence. These nests can get quite heavy and can often topple the structure below. They often like to build their nest on top of telephone poles where the transformers can help keep them warm, putting city workers in danger if they need to work on them.
Are There Feral Quaker Parrot Colonies in the US?
Quaker parrots are native to a small area in South America, but since they adapt so well, you can also find them in Brazil, Mexico, Europe, and Spain. Some places, like Spain, have made it illegal to own them, so it only makes sense that there are laws in place in the United States as well. Though you don’t usually find wild parrots in America, the Quaker parrot is one of few that can survive in colder zones. You can find small colonies in many areas across the United States, including New York City, Chicago, Kentucky, Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, and New Jersey.
Where Is the Quaker Parrot Illegal to Own in the US?
States Where the Quaker Parrot Is Illegal
It is currently illegal to own a Quaker Parrot in California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wyoming. It’s also illegal in Colorado, but you can keep one you already own if you purchased it before 1990. Maine has also recently made them illegal, and they have rehoming assistance programs in place to help get the remaining birds out.
States Where the Quaker Parrot Is Legal
If your state is not listed above, then it is legal to own. However, there are a few exceptions.
1. New Jersey
You can own a Quaker parrot in New Jersey, but you need a permit to do so. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will issue permits at its discretion after looking for evidence that the owner knows the danger presented by these birds.
2. New York
You can own the Quaker parrot in New York, but all companion birds need to have an ID band.
You can own a Quaker parrot in Ohio, but you must get the wings clipped so it can’t fly away and create a colony.
Quaker parrots are illegal in many places in the United States as well as the world, primarily because they are highly adaptable and able to live in colder temperatures, so they can easily become an invasive species. Their rapidly growing population steals food from native birds and destroys farmers’ crops. Their large nests can also create a danger to structures, especially in the city, and they can get quite noisy when their numbers are in the hundreds or even thousands.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and have learned something new about these interesting birds. If we have helped you understand the problems created by these birds, please share this guide to why the Quaker parrot is illegal in some states on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Jean van der Meulen, Pixabay