Green-cheeked conures are some of the smallest conures, and they are relatively affordable. They are easy to breed, with a sizable population even in captivity. These parrots share a strong resemblance with the maroon-bellied conure. Green conures are naturally concentrated in the forests of South America. Their green plumage is also helpful in camouflaging these parrots from predators (given that green conures naturally live at treetops), especially birds of prey.
If you fancy a bird that is fantastically social and smart, you should be eyeing the Green-cheeked conure. Its high intelligence levels ensure it is quick to pick up tricks. Another admirable fact about the green-cheeked conure is that it is not as noisy as other notoriously loud parrots. This is however an energetic bird with high needs for mental and physical stimulation. Therefore, you should be ready to budget a minimum of 4 hours daily for this parrot to be sufficiently exercised and socialized.
The green conure is a lovely bird hence it is greatly sought after. Wouldn’t you like to learn some cool facts about the green conure? How about we learn about the history of this bird, its temperament, and exercise needs? Also, what food will you feed the green conure to keep it healthy and hearty? Yes, and follow us through this revealing guide.
What Should You Know About the History of the Green Conure?
The Green-cheeked conure is native to southern and west-central Mato Grosso, Brazil, and western Paraguay. Large populations also naturally occur in northwestern Argentina and eastern Bolivia.
There is a high population of green conures in aviculture. Nonetheless, not much is known of the lifestyles of green conures in their natural habitat in the wild. An insightful study conducted in 2007 showed that green conures have a relatively higher capacity to survive in diverse (and less conducive) habits because of the flexible feeding strategy observed by these birds.
In some habitats, trees didn’t lose their leaves, as is conventional in the dry season. This allows the green-cheeked conures living in these environments to feed on the arils, seeds, and flowers. Most of the green conures in wild regions with insufficient quantities of dry-season foods have figs making over 65% of their diet.
Size of the Green Conure
Compared to other parrots, the green conure is relatively small. It is approximately 10 inches long, measuring from the tip of the green conure’s tail feathers tip to its beak. The length of its wingspan is around 5.3 inches. As said, the Green conure is portable, with a weight range of 60-90 grams.
How Does the Green Conure Behave?
It is customary to see your green conure chewing its food before it swallows. These parrots are given to play and will strive to draw your attention. Your parrot could try to bring you closer by dancing around its perch, hang upside down, or hide under papers.
You will also notice this parrot is incredibly cuddly. They are affectionate and very welcoming of body contact with its owner. Indeed, your green conure would constantly snuggle against your cheek or neck. This is not one of those birds that is quickly exerted from extreme handling.
How Well Can the Green Conure Speak?
Agreed, this bird’s vocabulary is not as expansive as that of other parrots. It will learn a few words if you consistently train it, but it is generally more reserved compared to other very noisy parrots. Being relatively quiet, it is a better pet.
While the green conure may not excel at learning words, it is incredible at picking up new tricks. It is highly acrobatic, quickly learning routines like ringing bells, climbing ropes, or flying on your orders to pick up items.
The green conure makes some distinct sounds, most prevalent among them are the duck sound and the fear noise. The duck sound is a quiet quack sound. Your green-cheeked conure would make this duck sound if it is experiencing mild distress or just wants to register its displeasure.
Fear noises are screams from your green conure. These sounds are usually high-pitched, made with the intent of calling for the help of its caretaker. Green conures commonly make this fear noise when experiencing acute pain, distress, or it avidly sees a direct threat to its life. These sounds are usually accompanied by energetic flapping.
Your green conure can also combine 2-4 whistles closely together. This is rather affectionate, showing it has bonded with you. It would make these whistle combinations typically when you want to leave the room, and it wants you to stay with it more. You could simply whistle back at it when it does this.
Nesting and Breeding
If the green conure isn’t in captivity, it will build its nests in the wild in tree trunks. When in captivity, you could make a cage for them, or go for something much readier as a cardboard construction.
This should be around 15×15 inches dimensions with you taping the opening flaps shut. Next, you would bore a hole through the box’s opposite end. A radius anywhere around 2.5 inches will do.
You can fix this box securely in the Green conure’s cage to increase its firmness. Given the Green conure’s reduced size, it doesn’t necessarily require a big cage. On the other hand, considering the high activity level of the green conure, it needs a spacious cage. This could be sizable cockatiel cages with minimum dimensions around 16″ x 16″ x 18″.
The primary determining factor of your green conure’s cage size is the amount of time it would spend in its cage. If you can dedicate ample time to your green conure (outside its cage), it may not need that big cage. Female green conures lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs. It would incubate these eggs for around 22-25 days.
Color and Appearance of the Green Conure
The green conure is richly adorned with charming color combinations, making it a captivating parrot to behold. Green is its dominant base color. This base color is further decked with scattered glistening hues. The top half of this parrot’s head is bluish-black. Its neck is dressed with a whitish collar ring.
The blue is more conspicuous on the tips of the parrot’s wings. Its belly is covered with red patches, with light blue thighs. Remarkably, the feathers of the tails are colored in deep red. Bringing all these colorful designs together, you get a highly attractive parrot.
While this is the natural coloring of the green conure, some exciting color mutations were achieved from captive green colors that have been selectively bred.
Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
The turquoise mutation of the green conure has a body predominantly covered in green. However, the feathers on their breast are gray. Their tails are gray as well, while their feathers are mostly turquoise.
Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure
You can distinguish the Cinnamon from its lime green dominant coloring. Their plumage is a bit paler. In contrast to what you see from conures generally, the Cinnamon has a tan head. Its feathers come in a brighter tone of maroon.
Yellow-sided Green Cheek Conure
As you can infer from the name, this conure breast is covered in sharp yellow. The breast is adorned with freckles of reddish-orange. The sharp yellow cover both sides of this conure.
Pineapple Green Cheek Conure
When you combine the yellow-sided conure with the cinnamon conure, what you get is the pineapple green-cheeked conure. They retain the tail feather coloring of the yellow-sided green conure, albeit with a halo effect. The Pineapple’s breast also takes after the coloring of the Cinnamon, retaining the Cinnamon’s signature tan head.
Lifespan of the Green Conure
If you sufficiently care for your green conure, it has a life expectancy somewhere around 27-30 years. However, if you don’t adequately care for it, it may not live more than 20 years.
Caring for the Green Conure
The good news is that you don’t need substantial bird rearing experience to care for the green conure, given its easygoing nature. These birds are highly affectionate and not the regular nippy parrot.
They are loyal and quick to emotionally bond with their owners. However, you must be ready to give this parrot sufficient attention. It will not do to lock it away sustainably in its cage if you want your green conure healthy. You have to let them spend ample time outside of their cage sufficiently.
It is not a bad idea to raise other birds with it to assuage its socializing appetite. Its preferred companion would be another green conure. But if you don’t, you can raise your green conure with a maroon-bellied conure. Nonetheless, if you take this approach, keep a keen eye out to avoid them mating.
Ideally, you should keep birds of the same size in the green conure’s cage. Bigger birds may attack it while the green conure could molest smaller birds.
Diet and Nutrition of the Green Conure
It is highly recommended to vary the diet of your green conure to keep it fit, happy, and healthy. You could readily swap between healthy pellets, fruits, legumes, and veggies. Green conures have a special love for fruits like raisins, apples (preferably diced or cubed), and bananas.
If you want to feed your green conure veggies, go for potatoes and carrots. It is not advised feeding your green conure exorbitant quantities of high-fat foods. This is due to the green conure’s propensity to get overweight.
If you want to introduce healthy proteins to their diet, go for scrambled eggs, chicken, pork, or turkey. Indeed, these protein foods are more perishable and should be promptly disposed of from your green conure’s cage to save them from taking ill at the repulsion of these spoiled foods. You could feed your green conure freshly cut slices of kale, dandelion, or spinach.
The green conure relishes seeds like hemp seeds, safflower, and sunflower. You can also nourish this parrot with figs and tropical fruits like mangos and papaya. Green conures are flock feeders and would tolerate eating with their family or their caretaker.
Which Animals Prey on the Green Conure?
Not many animals prey on the green conure given the very reduced success rate of such aggression during the day. Green conures are more exposed to predators’ risks during the night, especially to mammals like the false vampire bat.
Nonetheless, these bats would struggle to find green conures at night as this parrot is majorly active during the day. The most capable predator (of the green conure) is the famed ornate hawk-eagle.
Exercise Needs of the Green Conure
No doubt, this parrot is playful with acute exercise needs. If not in captivity, the green conure would fly several miles a day.
Of course, we know you would struggle to find an exercise regimen for a green conure in captivity that could mirror those miles flown out in the wild. However, you should be ready to dedicate about 2-4 hours to playtime for your green conure.
Furnishing your green conure’s cage with several levels of perches is excellent for exercising it. To be specific, we recommend getting a minimum of three distinct perch types. This should include a cement perch, natural branch type, and a wood dowel.
This variety of perches by sufficiently exercising your conure’s feet reduces the risks of your green conure suffering from foot sores and other myriads of related conditions troubling its foot. It will also help if you have a sizable collection of different toys to keep your green conure physically and mentally stimulated adequately. Yes, you can also get a handful of chewing toys.
Common Health Problems
The green conure is generally healthy but prone to some health conditions. Some of these conditions include psittacine beak and other infectious ailments like chlamydiosis and feather disease.
In some cases, your green conure can be a carrier of the Pacheco’s virus and yet show no signs of the disease at all. Furthermore, your green conure can also suffer non-communicable diseases like the infamous internal papillomatosis.
If you give your green conure premium care (cutting through proper hygiene, sufficient attention, freedom to fly, sunlight, and good diet), it is rare for it to fall sick. Keep your green conure reasonably warm and give it a befitting bath weekly.
Having an avian veterinarian frequently checking your green conure can be vital in detecting these diseases early so they can be quickly treated.