We have had a Quaker for a year and a half now ... a lovely blue male called Jack. When we got Jack, he was about 1 1/2 years old, and had been used to a family home with a small child and several other birds, including a larger parrot, some conures and a parrotlet who was his special buddy. The parrotlet was devoted to him and groomed him all the time. When he moved in with us, Jack was funny and sociable, had a few words and was easy to handle. We left his cage open during the day and closed and covered it at night. We spend as much time with him as we can, and talk to him, but inevitably he does have to be on his own quite a bit. Over the last few months, Jack has become increasingly difficult to handle, will only let one person touch him, is aggressive towards all visitors, lunging and biting, and just seems cranky and unhappy. He is also very cage dominant. Then we left him for a week with a friend who has three other birds including a conure and a parrotlet. Jack apparently was biting at first, but once his cage was taken away during the day he quickly bonded with the parrotlet, who groomed him and followed him around. He was very firmly put in his place by the female conure, and was very submissive towards her. When he came home after a week, he was our lovely Jack again ... will readily step up onto a finger (which he hasn't done for ages), is much more peaceful and content.
Now comes the advice bit ... it seems clear that he would be happier with at least one other bird for company, since he does have to spend quite a bit of the day on his own. My gut feeling was to get him a parrotlet, maybe a female, as that was what he had as a buddy before. The trouble is, I keep getting warned off parrotlets by people who know more about birds than I do. They have a reputation of being very aggressive despite their small size. Some have suggested a conure ... I'm a little reluctant to get another noisy bird, but I'm open to suggestions. Any ideas? I would be very grateful! I really don't want to see Jack slip back into his angry, frustrated behaviour.
Thanks for all suggestions!