Conures - General

By Rick Axelson, DVM

Care & Wellness

December 11, 2008

General Information

conures-1There are numerous species of conures (Aratinga and Pyrrhura sp. and others) but only a few are commonly kept as pets. They are native throughout Mexico, Central and South America. Members of this group of birds are considered small to medium sized birds and are characterized by their long slender bodies, long tapered tail and large beak. They are a gregarious, mischievous bird known for their sassiness and may bite if they do not get what they want. Tame conures can be very affectionate, social birds that demand a reasonable amount of attention. Conures are not well known for their capacity to speak but can often be irritatingly vocal. This bold, inquisitive bird loves to play and chew. Providing non-toxic, washed, fresh branches and pet-safe toys will afford many hours of entertainment for this curious little pet.

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

Some commonly kept conures include the Jenday conure, Blue-crowned conure, Nanday conure, Mitred conure, Sun conure, Green-cheeked conure, and Maroon-bellied conure.

Purchasing a conure

Conures may be purchased from a pet store or a reputable breeder. When selecting a conure, try to choose a young bird, as it may be easier to tame and train. Older, wild, colony or parent raised birds may prove challenging to tame. Hand raised babies often make better pets since they have been completely socialized with humans. Young birds are easier to tame and adapt readily to new environments and situations. Your new bird should be exposed early to different events (young and old people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help promote a calm, well-adjusted pet. The lively, alert bird that is not easily frightened is more likely a healthy bird. After purchasing your new bird, have it examined by a veterinarian familiar with birds.

Veterinary Care

Conures require regular, routine veterinary health check-ups. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (beak, nail or feather trim as necessary) and laboratory tests as needed. During these semi-annual check-ups, health, nutritional and maintenance issues can be identified and addressed. Veterinary check-ups help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.

Color

Mature

Green is the predominant body color with a broad mixture of colors including red, orange, blue, yellow, brown, black and white.

Immature

Similar to the adult

Sexing

Mature

No external sex differences between most of the species.

Weight Average 2.5 - 7.0 ounces (70 - 200 grams)

Size   Average 9 - 20 inches (23 - 51 cm) in length

Life span 8 - 15 years (maximum 30 years)

Diet  Consult your veterinarian.

Breeding Sexual maturity 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 Minimum 2 ft x 2 ft x 3 ft long (60 cm x 60 cm x 90 cm) depending on species

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