Pieter Boddaert, a Dutch naturalist gave Quaker parrot his binomial name ’Psittacus monachus’ in 1783. This binomial name was coined through his catalog called ‘Planches Enluminées’. Quaker parrot found his place in genus ‘Myiopsitta’ which came into existence after Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a French naturalist, introduced the genus in 1854. The name of this genus is formed by joining two words – muos, translating to ‘mouse’ in Ancient Greek and psitta, translating to ‘parrot’ in New Latin. Combining the meaning of these sub-parts, we get a mouse gray-faced parrot.
Combining the names given by these two naturalists, Quaker parrot got its scientific name as ‘Myiopsitta monachus’
Parrots Name Their Children
In a study performed by Dr. Karl S. Berg, an ornithologist at the University of Texas, it is found that parrot species call each other by their names, just like we humans do (2). He performed various researches on the species and observed their behaviors closely. By using a web camera in an artificial nest created for parrots in Venezuela, he was able to record their voices.
Not focusing on the noise they create with their peeps, he was able to find a pattern in the peeps from the conversation he recorded. As per Berg, it takes a few weeks for a parrot, from his birth, to identify himself as a specific peep. Others start calling him with a similar patterned peep thereafter. It is still unknown as to who sets up a specific peep pattern for a parrot as his name. As far as the guessing goes, it is believed that these names are given to the parrots by their parents.
The Name Quaker
There are different beliefs on the coining of the term ‘Quaker’. Some people believe that these birds ate a whole lot of oatmeal and got their name from oats – Quaker. Just kidding! One belief is that this name came from their bossy moves which they make when irritated. These motions are known as Quaker and, hence, they came to be known as Quakers.
The other belief is that their name has an origin in their vocal habits. The quaking sound they produce is responsible for the name they are popular for today.
There is yet another belief which relates to Quaker clothing that existed centuries ago in the US. The presence of gray feathered pattern on the cheeks, throat, and breast in Quakers suggested similarities between them and Quaker clothing of the colonial era. That is how people started calling them Quakers.
The Name Monk Parakeet
Quaker parrot is known as ‘Monk Parakeet’ in the United States. It is believed that the word ‘monk’ is inspired by the monk’s hood. Quaker’s green feathers on the head part strikes a similarity with the monk’s hood. ‘Parakeet’, on the other hand, relates to length of the tail feathers technically. It was called just ‘Parakeet’ in the US due to the length of its feathers but later the word ‘Monk’ was added by the people to distinguish it from other parakeets.
These little creatures also have some other aliases including Montevideo Parakeet, Blue Monk Parakeet, Blue Monk Parrot, and Blue Quaker Parakeet.
Our names represent our unique personalities. Your Quaker parrot’s name will help people know a bit about you and your pet. Consider choosing a name that speaks about your pet’s personality or his habits in the initial days like if your Quaker behaved bad and was naughty in his habits, you can name him ‘Monster’. This way other people will also get to know about his personality and will handle him accordingly.
Many Quaker parrot owners are superbly creative while naming their pets. Since these parrots have a funny side to them, some love to call them ‘clown’. Others give them cute names like ‘Kiwi’, ‘Sugar’, ‘Snickers’, ‘Blueberry’, ‘Sunshine’ and the like. Some like to give them funky names like ‘Quakerella’, ‘Dragon’, ‘Big Bird’ and the most interesting one I’ve ever heard is ‘Bradley Pooper’.
Whatever name you decide to address your Quaker with, remember that you cannot change it later. Once your Quaker gets used to a particular name, he will relate to it for years to come. Also, it is a word you are going to repeat a thousand times in your lifetime, so be wise in choosing the most appropriate one.