Many in the avian community were surprised to learn that quaker parrots (Myiopsitta monachus) are illegal in the state of New Hampshire. In February 2011, the state’s Fish & Game informed quaker parrot breeder Suzanne Burke that she could no longer keep her quaker parrots or she would face fines, as well as the removal of her birds.
“According to the Fish & Game, the rule was created in 1998, but it appears to be it wasn’t legislated into place,” said Allen Fox, owner of the New Hampshire Bird Supply in Nashua, NH. Fox commented that he has sold quaker parrots in his store and has never been flagged by the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Industry for keeping illegal parrots.
Quaker parrots are outlawed in several states. They are considered a crop pest, though a 2006 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center determined that there has been minimal crop damage from naturalized quakers. In other states, quaker parrots pose challenges for utility companies, because the parrots like to nest on transformers, which is a possible fire threat.
Unlike states where flocks of naturalized quaker parrots have taken residence, it appears the same hasn’t happened in New Hampshire. American Federation of Aviculture Legislative Committee Chair and Southern California Regional Director Genny Wall checked with the Audobon society records if there were naturalized quakers ever sighted in the state. The answer was no. “Audubon has never seen a quaker in 110 years in New Hampshire,” said Fox on Wall’s findings.
New Hampshire Birds of a Feather Avicultural Society is having a meeting to discuss options for quaker parrot owners in the state and is planning to put together information on their website that owners can reference. Suzanne Burke contacted the state Rep. Jeanine Notter, of Merrimack, who has vowed to bring legislation into place for the benefit of quaker parrots.
The Quaker Parakeet Society offers assistance for bird owners in need of finding homes for quaker parrots. For more information, contact the Quaker Parakeet Society at their website. Stay tuned for further updates at BirdChannel.com.