The Jenday conure is one of the most common medium-sized conures, just below the sun conure in popularity, but not in personality or charm. The Jenday is a member of the Aratinga genus, which includes the sun, gold-capped, and half-moon (orange-fronted), blue-crowned and mitred conures, all charismatic, amiable and attractive birds. The Aratinga conures make great companions for someone wanting a large bird, but without the space to actually keep one. What these conures lack in bulk, they make up for in personality, intelligence, and affection.
The Jenday is the same shape and size as the sun conure, but its body is primarily green, with a bright orange and yellow head. The colorful head appears only in the mature bird, so you should cut a photo of an adult Jenday out of a book or magazine and display it next to your juvenile Jendays, which will be primarily green with mottled yellow heads until they are about 2 years old.
Native Region / Natural Habitat
The jenday conure is native to wooded habitats in northeastern Brazil.
Personality & Behavior
The Jenday is a playful cuddler and a superb family pet, able to bond with everyone in the house. This is a trusting bird, intelligent enough to learn simple tricks, and it can learn to talk, though it isn’t known as a highly proficient talker. The best attribute this bird has is its intense affection for its owners. This is a bird that is content to ride around on a shoulder all day, cuddled up to its owner’s neck. Fortunately, handfed Jendays are not known to become nippy and can maintain a strong bond with an owner during their 30-year lifespan.
Speech & Sounds
Like most conures, the Jenday is persistently noisy, with a raucous call that can disturb those with more sensitive hearing. It’s moderately loud, and shouldn’t disturb neighbors.
Care & Feeding
Jendays need an owner able to give them a great deal of time out of the cage. With some attention on a daily basis, even paired Jendays maintain their pet quality. If you don’t have another Jenday but want to get your bird a friend, you can pair this bird with a gold-capped, a sun, or even a blue-crowned conure, but make sure not to breed these birds — the pairing is for companionship only.
Keeping fit is an important part of keeping healthy, so an adequately sized cage is important, preferably with the dimensions of at least 36 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches high. Though this bird is similar in size to the cockatiel, it will not be happy in a cockatiel-sized cage. Confining a bird of this size and energy to an inadequate cage can lead to self-mutilation and general crankiness.
Jenday conures, like all conures, are notorious chewers, and need lots of wooden toys and branches to serve their chewing cravings. Indestructible toys, such as those made from acrylic, lava, and hard plastic are good too, but should make up a smaller percentage of the toys offered. A play gym and play stand is a must for this active bird, especially one with places to hang rope and toys. Finally, a solid swing made of tough material is a great addition to the Jenday’s environment.
Keeping a Jenday conure in good health isn’t difficult. Jendays are not picky eaters if they learn to eat a variety of foods when they’re weaning. Seeds and pellets and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables should be offered daily. This isn’t a bird known for obesity, but weight problems can occur if the bird is fed improperly and leads a sedentary lifestyle. Conures have busy beaks, which makes Lafeber foods a conure favorite. Lafeber’s Avi-Cakes, Pellet-Berries and Nutri-Berries offer balanced nutrition that appeals to a conure’s chewing needs.
Health & Common Conditions
Conures, including Jenday conures, can be prone to feather picking. If a complete medical exam rules out medical causes of feather plucking, boredom and/or lack of appropriate mental stimulation can be a cause. Offer your jenday conure an enriched environment with plenty of opportunities for play and foraging, as well as a staple supply of safe items to chew. Conures are also susceptible to Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD), Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, Psittacosis, beak malocclusion and Aspergillosis. Regular health checkups by an avian veterinarian are crucial to your conure’s health, as they can help diagnose and treat many disease processes early on.
Get a Jenday Conure
Before you get a Jenday conure, contact your local Fish and Wildlife commission to make sure that the Jenday is legal in your state without a permit, or obtain the proper licensing for the species. For example, people owning Jendays in New Jersey need a permit, according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. Jenday conures are available in some large pet stores, as well as from avian specialty stores and through bird breeders. They are also often available for adoption from avian rescue and adoption organizations.