Animals

Male vs. Female Quaker Parrots: How Different Are They?

If you were to purchase a new pet bird, you would like to know if it is a male or female. Known by their common name, monk parakeets, Quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) are frequently kept as entertaining pets in captivity. Their ability to mimic human speech can make them extremely entertaining to be around. It seems that a parrot has even delivered a TED lecture! At least 14 states forbid the ownership of Quaker parrots as pets, so before bringing one home, find out the regulations in your area. You might need to apply for a permit or trim your bird’s wings in order to possess one in a few other states.

Quaker Parrots in the Wild and in Cities

Quaker parrots construct intricate “apartment-house nests” in the wild that have several rooms and can accommodate 20–200 families. The only parakeets that live in groups are these ones. They might utilize distinct nest chambers for distinct activities (breeding vs. roosting, for example). An abandoned parrot nest will sometimes be used by other birds.

Quaker parrots live in wild colonies in certain cities, where they construct their enormous twig nests on telephone poles and other elevated surfaces. For this reason, utility providers view them as a nuisance. Outside of cities, the Quaker parrot is regarded as an invasive species as well. In addition to endangering or uprooting certain native birds, it damages crops.

Male and Female: Is It Possible to Tell Them Apart?

Are you curious as to whether you own a male, female, or matched pair of Quaker parrots? You will pay for it. Using a blood sample from the parrot’s leg to examine its DNA is one of the most dependable techniques. Some people also attempt to analyze DNA from a bird’s feather. Which irritates the bird more, plucking its feathers or drawing blood, is yet to be determined.

Some people choose to use surgery. However, in order to examine the reproductive organs with an endoscope, the bird must be cut open. Although this is a good method for sex determination in parrots, any cut can become infected (and sedation is required).

Does Size Really Matter?

Although they frequently appear to be the same size, female monk parakeets can be up to 20% smaller than males. A monomorphic creature also shares the same visual characteristics as humans in all other respects. Only other birds can see the minute variations in plumage between men and females that scientists have discovered.

Some who would rather forego a DNA test or exploratory surgery may also strongly assert that a female Quaker parrot may be distinguished from a male by measuring the width of her hips. Some argue that this isn’t a trustworthy sign because male parrots grow to have bigger hips.

Parrots Behaving Badly

Quaker parrots can occasionally be loud or violent. There have been attempts to make the case that male and female parrots differ in terms of violence, loudness, conversation volume, etc. Myth-busters refute the idea that a parrot’s loudness or hostility indicate loneliness or a need for further attention. Whether the bird is male or female makes no difference.

Quaker parrots flourish in communities; as we’ve already demonstrated, they enjoy company. It would form a close bond with you if you kept one as a pet. Alternatively, if you had two, they might get along nicely. However, a bird’s friendliness or cuddliness is not determined by its sex.

Lipid Disorders in Quaker Parrots

It is not uncommon for lipid (fat) metabolic abnormalities to arise in parrots kept in captivity. It turns out that fatty liver syndrome strikes male Quaker parrots three times more frequently than it does females. In 2020, researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada discovered that the kind of lipids that are primarily found in plasma vary between genders, which could account for this discrepancy.

The researchers state that “these differences are likely explained by the specific female lipid metabolism associated with egg laying (vitellogenesis)” when discussing why males and females do not store the same types of lipids. To investigate the impact of nutrition on plasma metabolites and cholesterol levels in Quaker parrots, members of the same research team have been experimenting with dietary modifications. In one study, the usage of atorvastatin, a drug used to decrease cholesterol in people, in birds was also examined. Eventually, researchers intend to offer suggestions for enhancing parrot health.

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