Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Catch a Wild Quaker Parrot

Quaker Parrots, also known as monk parrots, and often mistaken for parakeets have very little in common with the typical parrot. They don't nest or live in trees, preferring the cliff and canyon walls of their native South America. They are not territorial, happily sharing their living spaces and even their nests with other species of bird. They are prolific breeders that can live between twenty and thirty years, for this reason pet Quaker parrots that have gotten loose from their owners have become a problem in major cities. Specifically New York has even had a special TV segment showing these birds populating the roofs and ledges of large buildings throughout the city. While it is illegal to trap parrots living in the wild and take them across international borders, it is perfectly legal to catch and keep one of these parrots that has gotten loose and gone feral. Because typical methods to trap parrots don't work on this species here is a guide on how to effectively catch a Wild Quaker Parrot.

Things You’ll Need:
Branch or Tree Limb Roughly 6 Feet Long

Bird Seed and Berries

Peanut Butter

Pillow Case or Blanket

Carrying Cage

Catching A Wild Quaker Parrot
Step 1:
Look for the large communal nests that the Quaker parrot builds. These nests are often over two hundred pounds and can comfortably hold up to fifty birds. This species of parrot is incredibly social so it’s unlikely you'll be able to get one by itself. As already stated these birds prefer high roofs and ledges, so that is where you should begin your search, though it’s probably best to have some idea of where they're nesting in the first place.

Step 2:
Smear peanut butter across about a foot of one end of your stick.

Step 3:
Sprinkle bird seed and berries on the peanut butter. Try to get as many to stick as possible.

Step 4:
Once you've found a nest, begin you attempt to trap a parrot at dawn or dusk. These are the times of day that parrots are most likely to meet up back at the nests.

Step 5:
Don't directly approach the nest. Hold the stick a few inches off the ground, berries pointing toward the nest. Keep the pillow case or blanket ready in your other hand. Your carry cage should be set down nearby

Step 6:
Once the parrots have assessed you're not a direct threat, slowly approach the nest. Pause for about thirty seconds between steps. Keep the stick out in front of you.

Step 7:
When you're close enough, place the end of the stick in front of one of the parrots. They are very inquisitive creatures and the bird will hop on and begin to eat. Make sure the parrot is on the highest point of the stick. These birds have a tendency to travel upward to the highest point of a perch, if that leads to your hand then you're likely to get bitten.

Step 8:
As the bird feeds retract the stick closer to your body and slowly drape the pillowcase over the bird. Sharp or fast movements will panic them, but slow movements won't bother them.

Step 9:
Set the stick down and grip the bird's body through the pillowcase, try to wrap it up as well as possible.

Step 10:
Quickly get the bird into the carrying cage, pillowcase and all. Close the cage and get away. The bird will likely have been making distress calls when you started to wrap it. If the other parrots nearby figure out what’s happening you might get mobbed. It's not particularly dangerous to you but you don't want to accidentally hurt any birds that might smack into you.

Step 11:
Take your bird home and wait for it to calm down. Make an appointment with your vet for a checkup to ensure the bird is in good health. With this done you are free to see the bird's care and training.

Tips & Warnings
Wearing thick gloves when luring out the birds might be a good idea. You might wish to consider catching more than just one parrot; it’s more kind to the animal because they are so social. A single Quaker Parrot is likely to become lonely and depressed.
Despite the Quaker Parrot's small size, their beaks are capable of exerting more pressure than most any other parrot species. Watch your fingers. These parrots are very energetic and start out very aggressive. Do not place them in the same cages as other animals until they have acclimatized to their new homes.

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