Avian Expert Articles

New To Conures? Answers to Common Conure Questions

Green-cheeked conureConures come in a surprising range of sizes — from the diminutive painted conure (Pyrrhura picta) at 8 ½ to 9 inches to the much larger Patagonian conure (Cyanoliseus patagonus) at nearly 20 inches in length. They can also be a fiery orange, bright yellow, iridescent green, red-headed, black-hooded and many shades in-between. Check out the answers to some common conure questions.

Is A Conure A Parrot?

Yes! Conures,  like all parrots, have a strong, curved bill (beak) and zygodactyl feet (two toes facing forward and two back). Depending on the species, a conure will fall into the Aratinga, Pyrrhura, Nandayus, Enicognathus or Cyanoliseus genus of parrot. They mostly have slender bodies and long, slender tail feathers.

Jenday conureCan Conures Talk?

Conures can certainly be vocal with an array of contact calls and other sounds, but they are not among the most talkative companion parrot species. Some might have five or more words in their repertoire of mimicking human speech. (Keep in mind, there are always exceptions!) Sun conures, nanday conures and blue-crowned conures have reputations as being among the chattier of the conure family.

How Can I Tell If My Conure Is Male Or Female?

Like most parrot species, conures are not sexually dimorphic. This means that males and females cannot be visibly distinguishable. Simply put, you can’t tell a conure’s gender by looking at it. To affirmatively know the sex of a conure, you can order a DNA test kit, which involves sending in a couple drops of blood or a few molted feathers. Of course, if the conure lays an egg you can be sure that she is female.

conure climbing on cageWhat Type Of Cage Should I Get My Conure?

Conures can be energetic and busy birds. They need generous cage space to spread their wings and climb around. A minimum cage size would be 24 inches high and wide, with ½ bar spacing. A Patagonian conure (the biggest of the species) would need a cage on-par for what you would house an Amazon or African grey parrot.

What Types Of Toys/Enrichment Should I Give My Conure?

Conures are a playful bunch that enjoy foraging for items to chew and eat. Toys designed to promote exercise should definitely be on the shopping list. These include swings, boings, ladders, bells, and foot toys. Their need to chew also means you need to provide an everlasting supply of bird-appropriate chew and destroy toys, such as those made of softwood and cardboard or with paper elements.

What Should I Feed My Conure?

Get your conure off to a good start by consulting with your avian veterinarian for a diet that will help ensure that your feathered companion has good nutrition. Conures can be “foodies” that enjoy a variety of healthy foods. They can also be social eaters that appreciate sharing in some of your healthy table selections, such as steamed vegetables, whole-wheat pasta, or rice and legumes.

A nutritionally complete base diet, such as a parrot pellet mix, should be a staple in your conure’s diet. Since conures have “busy beaks” (they need to pick and chew their food) one way to offer them optimum nutrition that is also fun to eat is with Lafeber’s conure-size diets like Nutri-Berries or Avi-Cakes.

3 thoughts on “New To Conures? Answers to Common Conure Questions

  1. I have one conure and one white cap pionus and 10 cockatiels…free flight. My conure can be both a love bug and a terror. Both parrots do not get along so my sun conure hangs with the cockatiels who look at her as an outsider My conure named ‘love bug” eats everything in sight especially the wood frames on my home if she can get to them. I had her tested and She will stay on my shoulder and sleep there when possible. She sounds off most of the day and enjoys flying everywhere in the aviary that I have. I would never take buy another conure since they are too destructive, but at the same time I will never get rid of the “love bug one” that I have. My pionus is 20yrs. old and my conure is near 4yrs. My pionus has never been destructive and is a rescue who was rather ill when I bought him. Love them all.

  2. It was very nice to read your blog. Thank you for your efforts in researching the features of conures and showing their habits and lifestyle. I would recommend your blog to all those who want to buy and breed a conure. Birds are so beautiful, and this species is a spectacular view of our eyes.

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