Thursday, 15 September 2011

Conures: Small Parakeets with Big Personalities

Conures come in a variety of species, sizes and colours. They are all full of character and make excellent companion birds and are thus popular as pets.

Lets take a look at some of the more popular types of conure that are kept as pets.

Sun Conure (Photo: Sarah G)
Sun Conure
The sun conure must be one of the most beautiful birds on the planet. With its bold predominantly yellow body, accentuated with bright orange highlights on the head and underbelly, green splashes of colour over the back and wings, and deep blue highlights on the tips of the wings and tail, this a truly stunning bird to behold. It is one of the medium sized conures, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in personality and voice. Although they tend to be rather screechy, sun conures are very alert birds, and this characteristic makes them very good “watch dogs” as they will alert you to anyone approaching your property. They are very loving and playful, and love to snuggle into their owners neck. They can also be quite demanding as they crave constant attention. The sun conure requires lots of love and companionship, and as it is quite a noisy bird, it is not recommended for those that have neighbours living in close proximity.

Jenday Conure
The Jenday Conure is often confused with Sun Conure as they are very similar in both size, colour, and character. However, the colouration of the Jenday Conure, is set out in distinct patches of colour as apposed to splashes of colour coving the entire body. It has a bright yellow head, with bright green on top of the body and wings, while the underside is a deep orange to red, with green and blue tail feathers.

Maroon Bellied Conure (photo: Dario Sanches)
Maroon Bellied Conure
The Maroon Bellied Conure is a small conure, with a dark green body, and a yellow-green striped chest. Not surprisingly, its belly is maroon, while the wing feathers are blue-green in colour, and the tail is green on the upper side and maroon on the underside. It has a patch of light brown on both the sides of the head. These little conures are very sociable, and like most conures they are extremely intelligent, affectionate, love to play, and will constantly seek attention and interaction with other birds and/or their owners. Their social nature makes them suitable for communal aviaries. The maroon bellied conure is one of the quieter conures, which generally are notoriously noisy birds. Their less vocal nature makes them the perfect companion for apartment dwellers as they tend to natter and chatter away rather than screech for attention.

Green Cheeked Conure
The Green Cheeked conure is often confused with the Maroon Bellied Conure as they are very similar in colour and nature. However, while the Green Cheeks also have a predominantly green body, they have grey breasts, maroon tails and blue primary flight feathers. The top of the head is a dark grey colour, and as their name suggests, they have green cheeks.

Peach Fronted Conure (Photo: Otavio Nogueira)
Peach Fronted Conure
The Peach Fronted Conure has a predominantly bright green body, with a grey-green chest, with the underside being a light shade of green. The top of the head is bright orange, with blue extending down the sides of the crown around the eyes. The rest of the head, body and tail is green, with blue tips on the tail and black tips on the wings, and a black beak that distinguishes it from the Orange Fronted and Half Moon conures. The Peach Fronted Conure is a very sweet natured parrot. Like all conures, it loves to cuddle and play. They also tend to be fairly quiet as conures go, so will make an ideal companion for apartment dwellers or those not partial to the demanding nature of some of the other conure species.

Patagonian Conure (photo: whiskymac)
Patagonian Conure
The Patagonian Conure is the largest of the conures species, and can reach up to 20 inches in size. The body colouration is mostly olive green-brown, with a grey chest, a patch of bright orange-red on the belly, and red “socks” on the legs. It has a ring of white around the neck, and blue edged wing feathers. Patagonian conures tend to be extremely vocal, and while their noise may not be welcomed by everyone, the upside is that they make good talkers. They have the playful, affectionate nature of the smaller conures, combined with the large size and ability to mimic and talk, which makes them popular pets.

If you are looking for a wonderful affectionate companion bird, the conures come highly recommended. Their smaller size make them easy to keep, and while some species tend to be rather noisy, they have great personalities that tend to overshadow this minor irritation. As they are highly intelligent and playful by nature, they need to be provided with plenty of toys for stimulation, and a cage large enough to accommodate them and all their "parrotphernalia".

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