Patagonian Conure

Patagonian Conure

This wonderful parrot comes in three convenient sizes. While the Greater Patagonian measures 18 inches in length the next most commonly found, Lesser Patagonian is the most popular, only growing to about 12-14 inches.

Their average lifespan is 12 – 25 years. The 3rd subspecies is not commonly raised in captivity. These playful, talking, interactive and intelligent birds, bond tightly to their human slaves.

They love toys, toys, toys (especially wood chew toys) and a nice roomy cage. A 24″ by 24″ by 36″ cage will do, but bigger works well, too. A variety of perches are good exercise for the Lesser Patagonian’s feet, and make sure the food dishes are not directly below a perch, so the food and water is not soiled. Why do you need to make special accommodations for their feet, you ask.

THEY ARE THE BIG FOOT OF THE PARROT WORLD. The Patagonian Conure has the largest feet in proportion to their body size of any other parrot.

Why? – Because they burrow in cliffs and dirt for their nests, in the wild. They are far from drab and their colors considered quite striking because their colors are in “splashes” rather than in a rigid pattern. They do not get their adult plumage until they are about a year old. Their diet should consist of pellets (a few fortified seeds may be offered) and fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs. Regular bathing and or misting is a must for these birds, because they love to bath and play in a shallow dish or water.

Like most Conures, they often suffer from Vitamin K deficiency so vitamin supplements with Vitamin K or a Vitamin K fortified pellet is recommended. The one drawback of owning one of these loving birds, that they are conures and can be Very Loud. Anybody who has ever owned a Conure will tell you that the Greater Patagonian is NOT a good apartment bird, because, when excited, conures let out what is fondly referred to as the Conure Nuclear Alert (CNA). The larger the bird, the louder the squawk. Patagonians are not prone to diseases except for Pacheco’s virus and should be vaccinated against it.

The Golden Conure

The Golden Conure

This extremely rare bird (in the wild and captivity) was once considered to be of the Macaw Family, because of it’s head size (large) and tail size and shape, but; was recently reclassified to the Conure family after further comparisons were made.

In the wild, its habitat is restricted to northeastern Brazil, south of the Amazon River, from the west bank of the Rio Tapajos, Para and east to northwestern Maranhaao. They prefer hilly upland areas of terra firma rather than verzea, or flooded forest.

There is no proven life span record, established yet (that this writer can locate), but; estimates are 20-35 years, if living in an ideal domestic situation. Like the Hyacinth Macaw, (these birds are so near extinction in the wild, due to loss of habitat, hunting for their feathers for adornment and of course the pet trade in South America and other countries who still allow importation that the World Parrot Trust is striving to re-establish their numbers and save the species.

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They are covered all over with bright yellow feathers, which are in striking contrast to the dark green primary flights. They average 14 inches in length and weigh 8.8 ozs (249 g). Because of their massive head and beak, many people feel the Golden’s more closely resemble macaws than conures. Immature birds have scattered green feathers on the upper wing-coverts and cheeks and are rather slimmer in build. They are among the most expensive conures both to purchase and to care for, although many owners feel that the benefits outweigh the cost.

DO THEY MAKE GOOD COMPANIONS? Yes of course they do (with the exception of their very loud Screech, referred to by Conure lovers as the Conure Nuclear Alert (CNA). All Conures need to be well socialized in order to make good companions. The Golden is no exception. The more family commotion and activity to participate in, the better they like it. They love to be petted and touched and do very well with children who are taught to be gentle with them.

TOYS: These birds are wood chewers extraordinaire. Make sure that they have plenty of wooden toys to chew and a very large cage. These birds need room to climb, play and explore; they enjoy foraging and putting treats or food in a crumpled piece of plain paper is a wonderful game for them.

HIDING PLACES: Golden Conures enjoy paper bags big enough to crawl into and boxes that are clean and free of excessive ink. If you are the fortunate companion of a Golden Conure, please take stock of their cage size, bar spacing and interior roominess. If you need help in selecting the perfect house for your precious Golden, give Korey at Bird Cages Galore at call or post to him on our Bird Cages Galore Facebook Page. He will show you a great selection of cages at super prices.

Sun Conure

Parrot

General Info:

If you like wonderfully bright colors, the Sun Conure will leave you in awe. The stupendous mixture of fiery yellow and orange are accented perfectly by splashes of blue and green on this gorgeous bird. This bird is, without a doubt, one of the most eye catching birds in captivity. The male and female have no outer physical differences except that there is a bit more green plumage on the female than on the male. Both have color template involving green, blue, yellow, and red. The green and blue coloring is mostly on the tail and wing area. Most of the body and head is covered in a brilliant orange and yellow. The beak is a nicely contrasting black.

A good way to know if the bird is less then a year old is to take a look at the amount of green feathering. Juveniles have almost no yellow and orange as a defense mechanism in the wild. Less bright color means the young birds will not attract attention. Attracting attention is bad when one is young and clumsy in a world full of predators. The mature feathers slowly appear after about 6 months of age and continue to come in until the bird is about one year old. At full length, both males and females reach about 12 inches from head to tip of the tial.

The Sun Conure is native to Northeastern South America. The live in flocks of around 30 birds. That being said, no wonder they are so loud! They have to have shrill voices to be heard in their big “families”. All jokes aside, this bird really is a loud one. They have high pitched “birdy” voices and, though they can talk, won’t have the distinct human-like sounds as some of the talking champs, such as the African Grey. They love to use their voices, as most birds do, in the early morning when they wake up and late evening when they are ready for bed. These are normal times for “I’m happy to be alive” type bird sounds. When a bird starts incessantly screaming all day is when you know there is a big problem that needs addressing. These type of birds are good for people that don’t feel that a bit of noise is a big deal

Lifespan:

The average lifespan is anywhere from 20 to 30 years. Some can live into their 40’s. As always, proper care and nutrition result in the longest life expectancy.

Dietary Needs:

Like most birds, a good pellet is the best way to go. Treats, of course, are very much appreciated. They are a great way to include variety in your bird’s diet and a superb way to add some fun. A mixture of fruits, veggies, and nuts can be given. Sprouts are an excellent way to add loads of nutrients. Find out what your particular bird loves. Every bird (and every person!) has their favorite foods.

Common Conure Diseases:

  • Psittacosis
  • Aspergillosis (caused by a fungus)
  • Malnutrition (often caused by seed-only diets)
  • Feather picking
  • Conure Bleeding syndrome (cause is unknown)

Cage Size:

Conures need lots of climbing room.
Cage should be at least 24 x 22.
5/8 inch bar spacing is recommended.
Lots of toys are very recommended.

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