by Heike Ewing Ott
Is it possible to make generalizations about the personality of different parrot species? Or is each bird a unique individual. Or maybe a little bit of both is true. The following article contains some thoughts on this subject.
No, Quakers are NOT conures, they’re in a class by themselves! They are the only member of their “family,” but are -probably- most closely related to conures.
Conures vary widely in noise factor, temperament, and talking ability. The smaller Pyrhurra conures (green-cheek, maroon-belly, etc.) are much quieter but generally not good talkers. Most of the Aratinga conures ( Sun, Gold-Capped, Jenday, Nanday, Blue- Crown, etc.) are much noisier but more prone to talk fairly well. Even within the Aratinga group, though, ability varies – BC’s are one of the better talkers in the group and generally have good personalities.
Patagonians, however, are a whole different ball game – they are more similar to a cockatoo or small macaw in personality and talk much more clearly than other conures. In my experience, the red-headed or red-marked conures and the Suns/Jendays/etc. tend to be the noisiest, most nippy, and most hyper. This may just be because their pretty colors have led to popularity and overbreeding, though, and I’ve raised one Sun that was a very nice bird, so it just depends.
We can make generalizations about bird species just as we do about dog breeds (Labs are good with kids, Schnauzers are hyper, etc.) but there is always variation in the individual. My schnauzer, for example, is one of the calmer dogs I’ve known and continually amazes people who know Min Schnauzers, and I’m sure there’s a nippy Lab that doesn’t like kids out there somewhere.
I think the best method is to observe and interact with a bird that you’re thinking about buying, and try to get to know that particular bird and its personality without regard to its species if it meets the general parameters you’re looking for. My exp. has been that I *know* when it “clicks” for me and any particular bird. Good Luck, and I hope you find and get the one that “clicks” for you and your family.