Quaker Biting Very Hard, Taking Chunks Out Of My Skin – Ouch!

quaker parrot on back in man's hand
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From Ria 

Subject: Quaker parrot advice 

Message: Hello

I’m probably going to type a lot, but I figure the more details the better when asking for advice.

I hope you don’t mind! 

I have a Quaker parrot. 

He is 13 years old and DNA proven male.

I got him when he was a baby, and I was a teenager.

I didn’t do any research first.

All I did was clean my room to convince my parents to let me get a pet, then I went to the pet store and picked out the cute little ball of feathers that tried to chew the zipper off my jacket.

For the first two years, he and I were amazing friends.

He had a play gym near everywhere that I went (one in the computer room, one in the living room, one in my bedroom) and would fly over my shoulder when I switched rooms.



He’d play on his play gym chewing rope, destroying toys, tearing apart q-tips, preening, taking baths, etc.

While I did my own thing. 

Sometimes he’d fly over to me for head rubs, then he’d fly back to the closest play gym when he’d had enough.

Sometimes he’d bite me – and sometimes very hard, taking chunks out of my skin – but I always understood the reason why. 

I hit a sensitive pin feather, someone came in the room and startled him, his eyes pinned and he got over-stimulated, I gave him too much attention, I didn’t give him enough attention, etc.

I knew the warning signs before a bite or, if there were none, I understood the reasons after the bite.

Bites weren’t frequent, either. 

I was in for quite a surprise when he reached around the 2 years old point.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how much trouble Quakers get to be around that age… but being I’d done no research, I had no clue. 

That time coincided with my parents not allowing him out in the lower floor of the house anymore.

He was banished to my upstairs bedroom, where I didn’t spend much time.

I let him out of the cage when I was up there but, that play area was comparable smaller than what he’d had downstairs.

He’d end up biting me from what seemed like him being bored. 

He’d had so much to do when he had free roam downstairs, my bedroom really limited him.

And he seemed mad that he went from seeing me every spare second, to only an hour or two each day.

When I let him out it was like he’d charge right at me with a bite. 

I don’t know how much of it was the change in schedule/scenery/interaction with me, and how much of it was him reaching puberty.

I guess it was a combination of both.

But I found that I no longer understood most of his bites.

Also published on Medium.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.