In order for the bird and the bird owner’s relationship to be mutually rewarding, almost all Quakers have decided that one of the partners must exhibit certain qualities or characteristics. And almost all Quakers have decided that it is the human partner who should be the one to display them! To give you some examples, some of these traits include, (not surprisingly):
1. The ability to turn a deaf ear. Why is that everybody knows that Quakers can be noisy, except for the Quakers themselves? Personality as well as inbred characteristics play a large part in exactly how noisy these little guys will be, but the owner’s response to their chatter will most certainly have an effect on whether or not it will continue, and to what decibel. Unfortunately, these guys have been given a much-undeserved reputation for being “the nosiest birds with the most raucous voices” ever heard.
2. Knowing that vacuuming is a hobby. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to actually enjoy vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and birdcage cleaning? Does such a person really exist? Your feathered friend might decide that you fit that description, and will be more than happy to accommodate your needs, just to ensure that you know you are appreciated!
Patience—lots of it. Yours will be sorely tested when you try to get your bird back in its cage after a few hours of sun, fun, TV, and popcorn. (And just like children, they may have to be coerced or bribed.)
4. Handyman/woman capabilities. Have you ever had a bird that assisted you in changing the look of your home? Unsupervised, these interior decorators can change the look of your home without looking at a single “how-to” book! Diverting their attention with toys usually works well, especially if they are taught from the beginning exactly what they are and are not allowed to chew on. Quakers are natural born chewers, so it would be practical to keep on hand several items that they are allowed to destroy. Attempting to teach your bird not to chew on anything, or punishing it when it chews on something will only result in frustration for both of you.
5. The ability to rise and shine. To some Quakers, there must be something magical about the rise of a new day. This in turn requires them to notify the entire neighborhood of the blessed event. If they do happen to remain silent, we wonder what sort of mischief they are up to, and it doesn’t take long for our curiosity to get the best of us!
6. Doesn’t mind a little mess sometimes. Did I say a little? Sometimes? If you can show me someone’s always-clean bird room, I’ll show you a full time job. Where is it written that a bird has to dunk in water everything it gets? And who told them that the best part of the food is always in the bottom of the food dish? (This rule, by bird law, requires them to scoop all the freshly poured food off the top and drop it on the floor, giving them access to the “best” of the goodies at the bottom.)
7. Approves of sharing your dinner plate. This, of course, is mandatory for any sociable bird owner. Any objections on your part will grant you a look of utter disbelief. It is Quaker law that anything you are eating is better than anything your Quaker is eating.
8. Time to kill. Quakers don’t just seek attention–they demand it. And if you don’t give it to them—-well, you will!
9. Lots of extra income. Don’t forget to budget in all those little extras that you didn’t have before you acquired a Quaker. When the bill for bird food surpasses your bill for people food, you know you’re in deep trouble! And don’t forget the toys! Toys are mandatory for Quakers, whether home-made or store bought—-these little guys will play with anything, but beware—they do become bored easily. Toys must be rotated frequently.
10. Lots of love. Like any other pet, Quakers require a lot of love and attention. They literally thrive on it. And you will thrive on the love and attention you receive in return!