Are you considering getting a bird? If so, you may want to consider the Green-Cheeked Conure. These small parrots are becoming increasingly popular as family pets due to their playful personalities and vibrant colors.
Green-Cheeked Conures are native to South America and can be found in tropical forests from Venezuela to Bolivia. They have bright green feathers on their heads and backs, and yellow feathers on their bellies. They also have a bright red patch of feathers on their cheeks, which is where they get their name.
They’re a fairly large bird, growing between 7 and 10 inches tall, and weighing between 5 and 8 pounds.
Green-cheeked Conures are highly social birds, and they enjoy interacting with people. They are extremely vocal, and they often mimic human speech. They are very curious, and they will approach anyone who comes to their cage.
The green cheeked Conure is an excellent companion animal. It is playful and loves to interact with people. It is also very smart and learns quickly. They’re a social bird and enjoy interacting with other birds. They’re best kept in pairs or groups of three. If kept alone, they can become depressed and can develop behavior problems.
Green-cheeked Conurs are very loyal and loving companions. They are very playful, and they enjoy playing games with their owners. They are very smart, and they can learn to use toys and objects quickly. They are also very adaptable, and they can live happily in an apartment or house.
These birds need a lot of room to move around, and they should never be kept alone. If you choose to add a green-cheeked conure to your household, you will need to give them plenty of space to run around and explore.
Green-Cheeked Conures are known for being very social and playful birds. They love to interact with people and can be quite vocal when they want attention. They are also very intelligent and can learn tricks quickly. This makes them great pets for people who want an interactive bird.
Green-Cheeked Conures are also relatively low maintenance when it comes to diet. They can eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and seeds. It’s important to provide them with a balanced diet that includes all the essential vitamins and minerals they need for good health.
Overall, Green-Cheeked Conures make great family pets. They’re intelligent, social, and playful birds that can provide hours of entertainment for their owners. If you’re looking for a bird that is easy to care for, then the Green-Cheeked Conure may be the perfect choice for you.
Information about Green Cheeked Conures
- Average Length: Up to 10 inches
- Colors: Bright Green, Cinnamon, Pineapple, Yellow-sided and Turquoise.
- Grooming Needs: Moderate
- Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
- Good Pet: Yes
- Safe with Children: Yes but not with children under 5.
- Good with Other Green Cheeked Conures: Yes
- Good with Other Pets: With training they may get along with dogs but not with smaller mammals.
- Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
- Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
- Training: Easy
- Exercise Needs: High
- Weight Gain: Normal
- Health Concerns: Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD), Beak malocclusions, Psittacosis, Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD) and Feather Picking.
- Allergies: None
- Average Life Span: 15 to 30 years in captivity
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Physical Appearance of Green Cheeked Conures
Green Cheeked Conure, also called a Green Cheeked Parakeet can have a variety of different colored feathers. For the most part they will have bright green feathers on their back and wings. Most will have black feathers on their heads, and the rest will be gray or a dirty white. All have a white ring around their neck, but the front feather colors differ a bit. Many will have yellow and red, but others will be white, or white and green on their front side.
Their long tails can have blue or maroon feathers. Green Cheeked Conures have black or gray feet and beaks. Both the males and females look similar which makes it difficult to determine their sex.
The thing all Green Cheeked Conures have in common is green patches on the cheeks that they get their name from.
Green Cheeked Conures have been bred in captivity for years and this has led to several color variations like cinnamon, pineapple, yellow-sided and turquoise conures.
Temperament of Green Cheeked Conures
Green Cheeked Conures are affectionate and playful. They are social and love to interact with their family. Just like Macaws and Cockatoos, these parrots like being cuddled.
These birds are intelligent and curious and do not mind interacting with strangers as long as they’re treated well. They can also be comical and you may see them hanging upside down from perches or steel bars.
Like most Parrots they can sometimes become nippy and bite, especially when they are young. Training can help reduce this unwanted behavior. Green Cheeked Conures are not very loud like other parrots can be, so they are great for apartments. They tend to keep quiet and will not talk a lot.
Training Green Cheeked Conures
These birds are easy to train and can be quick learners. Like all birds, the first step to training Green Cheeked Conures is to develop a close bond with them.
They respond well to positive reinforcement methods. An important part of training any bird is to reward them with treats when they perform a behavior that you want. Giving them rewards will motivate them to repeat the behavior again. Avoid punishing them if they do something that you don’t like. They may not respond well to being punished.
These birds are not really talkative but some can be trained to speak. To encourage them to speak, repeat the same words again and again. Clicker training and target training can also be used to train your birds to do or not to do a behavior. In target training an object like a stick is used to train the birds to follow your cue.
Most Parrots have a short attention span and it’s best to keep their training sessions short, just 10 to 15 minutes.
Their Compatibility with Children
The playful nature of Green Cheeked Conures make them a great pet for families with children. Their small size means that children shouldn’t have any problems handling them. The different things that these birds do like hanging upside down, pecking on the cage and chewing toys will entertain children.
Like most birds, Green Cheeked Conures can sometimes bite. There should always be an adult to supervise the interaction between children and these birds until you know how they will interact. Children younger than 5 should not handle your Conures. They are at an increased risk of contracting diseases like Psittacosis from birds because young children have weaker immune systems.
Best Habitat for Green Cheeked Conures
Green Cheeked Conures need a cage at least 24” L 24” W x 30” T. If you can get a bigger cage then that will be better because it will give your birds more room to move around. The bars on the cage should be between ½” to ¾” to keep your birds from getting out.
In the wild, Green Cheeked Conures stay in a flock. If you can, it’s best to keep them in pairs or a small flock. If you decide to keep two or more Green Cheeked Conures together then they will need a larger cage or an aviary. They should not be housed with different species of birds because there can sometimes be compatibility issues between them.
The cage should also have several perches of different shapes and sizes. Perches of different shapes will allow the birds to exercise their feet. The perches should be several inches long and have a diameter of around ½ inch. It’s also a good idea to get wood perches so that your birds can chew them and wear their beaks down naturally.
For substrate you can use any kind of paper like newspaper or paper bags. Some bird owners prefer to line the substrate with several layers of newspaper. It helps keep the substrate clean by removing just the top layer or two. Some people will keep a metal grate above the substrate. The metal creates a small barrier between your birds and their droppings.
Keep a few chew toys inside the cage because the toys will give your birds something to play with and chew on. You can also give them foraging toys. These are toys that have food inside or hanging from them. They encourage the birds to exercise to get the food which gives them physical and mental stimulation.
Keep the cage in a place where there is a lot of light. Avoid keeping the cage close to an air conditioner or drafts or your birds can get cold, especially when they bathe.
The substrate should be spot cleaned every day, in most cases this will be removing the top layer or two of the newspapers. The food and water bowls also need to be cleaned and replaced with fresh water daily.
Clean the toys and perches once a week. Replace damaged or broken perches, toys and other cage parts so that it can’t hurt your birds. Rotate the toys each week to keep your birds from getting bored with the same toys.
Every other week a deep clean will need to be done to the cage. Remove the birds and cage parts and clean the cage using a 3% bleach solution and cotton cloth. Wipe the cage floor, walls and bars with the solution thoroughly. Make sure the cage is completely dry before placing your birds back inside.
The Attention a Green Cheeked Conure Needs
Green Cheeked Conures need a lot of attention from their family. We recommend spending at least 2 hours playing with them every day. To ensure they get time to exercise, give them 2 to 3 hours of playtime outside the cage. Most Green Cheeked Conures are kept in pairs or in a small flock. Keeping them in flocks may also help to take care of their attention needs. They will still need daily interaction with their family.
With the right care and dietary practices, the Green Cheeked Conures can live up to 30 years.
Even with proper care, some Green Cheeked Conures can get sick. A few common diseases found in the conures are mentioned below:
Beak Malocclusion is a condition in which the upper and lower beaks of the birds do not align properly. It can result in an overgrown or abnormal shape of the beaks. Diet plays an important role in preventing the birds from having this disease. Nutritional deficiencies like lack of Vitamin A can lead to the disease. To prevent the birds from having this disease, feed them a well-balanced pelleted diet. The disease can make it difficult for the birds to eat and lead to loss of appetite. If your bird has Beak Malocclusions take them to a vet immediately to have them treated.
Proventricular Dilatation Diseases (PDD)
PDD is a condition that affects the nerves connected to the gastrointestinal tract of birds. In some cases, nerves supplying other organs can also be affected. It is caused by Avian Bornavirus which results in inflammation of the nerves. Signs of a bird having this disease are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Undigested seeds in feces
- Partial paralysis
- Head tremors or seizures
The above signs may not be a definitive conclusion for the birds to have this disease. Taking them to the vet will help to diagnose the bird and find if they have PDD. Sadly there is no certain treatment for the disease. Supportive care and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to deal with secondary conditions like inflammation and to maintain gastrointestinal function. It is recommended to isolate birds with PDD as the infection can spread to healthy birds through droppings of infected birds.
Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD)
The disease results in complete loss of feathers, usually beginning from the chest and spreading to all over the body. In severe cases, it can cause their immune system to get compromised and even death. Younger Parrots infected with PBFD are more likely to die from the disease than older Parrots. There is no cure for the disease and it can take up to 2 weeks for any symptoms to show. The disease can get transmitted by contact with feathers, feces, dust or other parts of an infected parrot’s body.
Psittacosis also known as parrot fever, is a common bacterial disease that infects many parrot species. It can also be transmitted to humans and other animals. The symptoms of this disease vary based on the strain of the virus but generally includes:
- Respiratory issues
- Dehydration and excess urine
- Eye discharge
- Lethargy or weakness
- Weight Loss
The virus can be excreted through the feces and nasal discharge of the birds. Contact with infected birds can transmit the disease to humans or even other animals. Parrots with any of the above symptoms should be immediately quarantined from other birds in the aviary and human contact with them should be kept to a minimum. Take them to a vet immediately to have them diagnosed. If your bird is diagnosed with this disease and there is anyone in your family with flu-like symptoms, then immediate medical attention needs to be given to them. Psittacosis is treatable in humans but if delayed can become serious.
In feather plucking the Conures will bite or chew their own feathers, resulting in rapid loss of feathers. Lack of attention can make the birds feel bored and cause them to pick their feathers. It is extremely important to take them to a vet at the first sign of feather picking. Your vet can diagnose the cause and treat them early on.
Bathing and Cleaning
Green Cheeked Conures should be given a bath once a week. A water bowl can be kept inside their cage to allow them to bathe, or it can be added just for bathing them. The bathing bowl must be a separate water source than what they use for drinking. The bathing water given to your birds should be lukewarm and without any soap. Remove the bowl after they are done bathing.
Another way to bathe them is to use a water bottle and spray them. If your bird enjoys bathing, they can be sprayed 2 to 3 times a week. Bathing encourages your birds to preen their feathers which should keep them in better health. Keep the birds in a warm location after bathing them so they don’t get cold while drying off.
Your birds will need their nails and feathers trimmed about once a month (or when needed). If you are not confident about doing this yourself, your vet or a professional bird groomer can do this for you.
Feeding Green Cheeked Conures
Green Cheeked Conures found in the wild feed on a variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds and insects. In captivity, they should be fed a diet that is mainly a pellet-seed mix. An only seed diet isn’t good for them because it’s high in fat and lacks the nutrients these birds need. Feeding them a high-quality pellet diet is important as it will give them all nutrients they need. Pellets should make up 70 to 75 percent of their diet.
Fresh fruits like bananas, apples and pears are good for them. For vegetables, kale, carrots, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, green beans are all great choices. Fruits and vegetables should make up 20 to 25 percent of their diet.
Treats like fortified seeds and peas can be given to them occasionally. They can also be given hard cheese as a treat. Treats should not be more than 10 percent of their diet.
It is important to feed them a variety of fruits and vegetables because it will give them a balanced diet and give them the vitamins they need. The fruits and vegetables can be put in their food bowl together.
It’s important to wash the fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your birds. Remove any uneaten fruits and vegetables after about an hour.
There should be a bowl with fresh drinking water in their cage at all times. Water is important to help them stay hydrated and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Is it Normal for Green Cheeked Conures to Hang Upside Down?
Yes, it is normal for them to sometimes hang upside down from their perch or horizontal cage bars. It is not associated with any behavioral or health issues and they may just do this to get your attention or for fun. Conures have been known to dance on the perches or even hide under the paper substrate.