Conures - General Information

By Laurie Hess, DVM; Rick Axelson, DVM

There are numerous species of conures (Aratinga and Pyrrhura species and others), but only a few are commonly kept as pets. They are native throughout Mexico and Central and South America. Members of this group of birds are considered small- to medium-sized birds and are characterized by long slender bodies, long tapered tails, and large beaks. They are gregarious, mischievous birds known for their sassiness and may nip or screech if they do not get what they want. Tame conures can be very affectionate, social birds that demand a moderate amount of daily attention. Conures are not well known for their capacity to speak but often scream loudly. This bold, inquisitive bird loves to play and chew. Providing non-toxic, bird-safe wood and paper-based toys will afford many hours of entertainment for this curious little pet.

"They are a gregarious, mischievous bird known for their sassiness
and may nip or screech if they do not get what they want."

Some conures commonly kept as pets include the jenday conure, blue-crowned conure, nanday conure, mitred conure, sun conure, green-cheeked conure, and maroon-bellied conure.

Obtaining a Conure

Conures may be purchased from pet stores or reputable breeders or adopted from rescue organizations. Young birds may be easier to tame and train than older, wild-caught, or colony- or parent-raised birds. Hand-raised babies are often more affectionate pets, since they have been socialized with humans. Young birds typically adapt more readily to new environments and situations. New birds should be exposed early to different events (different people, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help them become calmer, more well-adjusted pets. Healthy birds are more likely to be lively, alert, and not easily stressed. After bringing your new bird home, you should have it examined by a veterinarian familiar with birds to help ensure that it is healthy.

Veterinary Care

Like all other pet birds, conures require annual, routine veterinary health check-ups. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (including nail or wing trims, as necessary), and laboratory tests, as needed. During these annual health check-ups, your veterinarian can address nutritional and care issues. Veterinary check-ups help prevent disease and aid in the maintenance of a long-lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.

Characteristics and Housing

While different species of conures have different feather coloring, including red, orange, blue, yellow, brown, black and white, the predominant body color of most conure species is green.

Juvenile conures’ coloring is similar to that of the adults.

Sexing: No obvious external sex differences between males and females of most of species.

Weight: Average (depending on species) 2.5-7.0 ounces (70-200 grams).

Size: Average (depending on species) 9-20 inches (23-51 cm) in length.

Lifespan: Average is 8-15 years (maximum 30 years).

Breeding: Sexual maturity occurs at 1-3 years (depending on species). Prolific breeders in captivity.

Brood size: 2-5 eggs hatch in 23-35 days; young leave the nest in 6-8 weeks.

Cage size: Minimum 2 ft wide x 2 ft tall x 3 ft long (60 cm x 60 cm x 90 cm).

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