Patagonian Conure 101: Everything You Need to Know
Also Known As: Burrowing Parrot, Burrowing Parakeet
Scientific Name: Cyanoliseus Patagonus
Adult Size: 12-18 inches
Life Expectancy: 12-25 years
Is The Patagonian Conure a good pet?
- Social and affectionate
- Very Intelligent
- Beautiful colored plumage
- Less nippy than other species
- They can be very loud
- Demand a lot of attention
- Larger than other conures
- Not a good apartment parrot
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 third subspecies is not commonly raised in captivity.
These playful, talking, interactive and intelligent birds, bond tightly to their human slaves. They love toys, especially wood chew toys and a nice roomy cage. 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.
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.
What food do they eat?
The Patagonian Conure’s 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.
They can be rescued, adopted, or purchased at verified organizations or adoption websites like Petfinder. Pricing ranges from $500 to $1000 from reputable breeders.
If you want to choose a breeder, make sure that the breeder is reputable by asking them how long they’ve been breeding and working with Conures. Ask for a tour, but don’t be alarmed if you are unable to tour the facilities in which they keep the birds. Many reputable breeders opt to work under closed aviaries, which prevents diseases from infecting the flock.
Being playful and energetic, the Patagonian conure loves to learn tricks and play with new toys so you will need to find plenty of things to keep them entertained. As intelligent parrots, they will particularly enjoy puzzle games. They aren’t known to be nippy; making them a great choice for families with children.
Patagonians are not prone to diseases except for Pacheco’s virus and should be vaccinated against it.