Your prospective pet should not only be healthy physically, but emotionally and mentally, too. A mentally sound Quaker will be interested in its surroundings–and in you. It will interact with other birds and will play with the toys in its cage. It should be perky and curious. Birds that constantly avoid you or are frightened of any or all human contact naturally wouldn’t be a good choice for first time Quaker owners.
I have personally observed one Quaker, left to amuse himself and shown no love or attention from the time he was weaned, who would throw himself on the floor of his cage anytime a human approached–and if you didn’t immediately move away from the cage, the behavior only worsened. Denied the love, attention and human interaction they need as babies to thrive and grow into loving pets, these birds will often cling to the sides of their cages or run around frantically attempting to stay as far away from you as possible.
They obviously have not been handled much as babies, and they may never feel comfortable enough around people to be handled frequently and treated as an adored pet and member of the family. On the other hand, this does not mean that a Quaker who does not perch on your hand or shoulder immediately would be a bad choice—you can expect any bird to want to get to know you better before he/she feels comfortable enough to permit you access to his/her personal space and allow physical contact. And although you may be nervous about making a wrong choice, you will be able to tell the difference between a bird who is simply being cautious and one who is truly frightened of human contact.
IMPORTANT: Terms of Sale
Another important issue to be agreed upon between the buyer and seller is a health guarantee for the bird. Has the bird been checked by an avian vet for possible diseases or sickness? Will he provide you with written documentation concerning the health of the bird? Will you be entitled to a refund if you take the bird to a vet and find something wrong with it? Is the seller willing to foot the bill for an avian check-up before you purchase the bird?