Some states forbid either the sale or possession of Quaker parakeets. California, Wyoming, Hawaii, Connecticut, Kansas, and Pennsylvania forbid the possession of Quakers. In Georgia, ownership is discouraged but not legally prohibited, and transporting across state lines is illegal.
Virginia allows Quaker ownership and breeding only if the birds are close-banded and have a breeder or seller registration. Ohio now has a law stating Quaker ownership will be allowed only if the bird’s wings are clipped. New Jersey issues permits for Quaker ownership only after strict criteria are met, and with great reluctance; they also prohibit selling or breeding.
There are now established breeding colonies consisting of escaped pets in several states, including New York (where ownership is legal with registration and banding), New Jersey, Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois. You can see if they are illegal in your state with an updated list which is available by clicking here!
The reason for these ever-changing and confusing regulations is that in the past, free-flying groups of Quakers have rapidly reproduced and formed large flocks or colonies that have descended on orchards and farmlands, destroying crops. Some wildlife authorities also believe that if enough of them escape from captivity and reproduce in large numbers, they might harm the native birds by out-competing them for available food.
Fortunately, research has proven this reasoning to be faulty. Studies of naturally wild Quakers have shown that fledgling babies rarely distance themselves more than 500 yards from their parents nest site when they venture out to build their own nests. They also seek sites which will provide year-round food sources, an abundance of large trees in which to build their nests, and proximity to a large body of water.