Myiopsitta monachus

Description

A Quaker Parrot is a medium-sized bird. The basic colours of this bird are green and grey. The lores (area between the base of the bill to the front of the eyes), cheeks, and throat are pale grey. Feathers on the throat and abdomen are edged in a lighter grey, giving them a scalloped, barred look. Feathers below the abdomen are olive green, becoming yellowish green on the lower abdomen, legs and under the tail. The beak is a light pinkish-brown colour, and the legs are grey. The eyes are brown. Males and females are not sexually dimorphic.

Distribution

Quaker Parrots can be found near large water sources, and in the lowland areas of Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil. They inhabit open savannas, scrub forests, and palm groves, especially where rainfall is low. They are also distributed in South American city parks, on farms, and in yards.

Lifespan

The Quaker Parrot's life expectancy is between 15 - 20 years of age. In captivity Quaker Parrots will live to about 22 years of age.

Size

The Quaker Parrot is on average, 29 centimetres long with a 48 centimetre wingspan and weighs 100 grams.

Diet

Quaker Parrots eat a variety of seeds, fruits, blossoms, insects, leaf buds, thistles and grasses. They consume an assortment of pumpkin seeds and other smaller seeds.

Habitat

Quaker Parrots prefer open savannas, scrub forests, and palm groves. But because it is a highly adaptable species, the parrots often take residence in eucalyptus trees.

Breeding

Quaker Parrots breed from approximately August to November. Although they live in flocks, their nesting habits are unique among parrots; they build their own nests, while other parrots use existing sites as the basis for their nests. Groups of wild Quakers live together, each pair with its own residence comprising of at least two chambers. As the flock grows, each pair builds its apartment onto the main nest. Each apartment serves a different purpose, including one for egg incubation or a place to feed young chicks, another in which to feed older chicks, and a third from which parents can keep a watch for danger. Each clutch ranges from 4 to 7 eggs and incubation lasts approximately 20 days.