Categories: Birds

10 Types of Conures Popular as Pets

Conures are intelligent, playful and comical birds that make wonderful pets. There are many different types of conures available, and deciding which type of conure is best for your situation can be confusing. This overview provides information on ten popular conure species to help you choose.

Care & Diet Requirements of Pet Conures

Conure parrots, are delightful little birds that are colorful and full of character. Hand reared conures make excellent pets and are extremely popular with bird lovers all around the world. Some of the more popular, and readily available types of conures kept as pet birds, include the following: Sun Conure, Jenday Conure, Nanday Conure, Blue Crowned Conure, Maroon Bellied Conure, Green Cheeked Conure, Peach Fronted Conure, Dusky Headed Conure, Red Masked Conure, and the Patagonian Conure.

Conure Care

Conures are active birds, and consequently conure bird cages need to be fairly large relative to body size, fitted with lots of toys, especially things to chew, and noisy toys like bells and rattles, to provide stimulation and prevent boredom. As they are intelligent birds that love to interact and play, it is easy to train all types of conures to perform tricks. They will readily lie upside down in the palm of your hand and play dead. They also love water, and it is recommended that a bird bath be provided – alternatively a spray shower in hot weather will always be appreciated.

Conure Diet

A balanced diet of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts is recommended for all types of conures to ensure that they remain in good health. Feed commercial seed and pellet mixes together with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. Conures love apple, corn on the cob, sprouted seeds, as well as a cooked mix of corn and peas, such as the mixes available for pigeons. Foods to avoid include chocolate, alcohol, onions and avocado pear, which is highly toxic to parrots.

Different Types of Conures

Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis)

Description: The Sun Conure is a remarkably striking bird – with its splash of bold colors it is truly a beautiful bird indeed. The body of the Sun Conure is predominantly bright yellow to orange, with dark orange-red highlights around the cheeks and belly. The wings are yellow with green splashes all over and iridescent blue feathers on the wing tips. The tail is green and blue.

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Weight: 100-130 grams
  • Lifespan: 25-30 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 24 x 24 x 36 inches

Characteristics: The Sun Conure is a highly sociable, and affectionate bird. It is lively, fun-loving, and acrobatic, making a very playful pet that will readily learn to perform tricks. It is extremely vocal, and is also very alert and an excellent watchdog; screeching loudly to herald the arrival of someone at the door, or to welcome its owner home after a hard days work.

Sun conures are very demanding, requiring lots of attention and human interaction. They are ranked as one of the noisiest types of conures, and are therefore not recommended for apartment dwellers, or owners with a low tolerance level to noise. However, if you can put up with their screeching, they have beauty, brains, are big in character and make amazing pets.

Jenday Conure (Aratinga janday)

Description: The Jenday Conure is very similar to the Sun Conure in both looks and personality. While it is similar in color to the Sun Conure, the coloration is in distinct bands as opposed to splashes of color all over. The head is a solid yellow, the upper body and wings are bright green, while the belly is bright orange-red. The tail is green and blue.

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Weight: 100-130 grams
  • Lifespan: 25-30 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 24 x 24 x 36 inches.

Characteristics: Similar to the sun conure (above).

Nanday Conure (Nandayus nenday)

Description: The Nanday Conure is a little dull when compared to the coloring of the Sun Conure and Jenday Conure, however he has a big personality to make up for this. The Nanday Conure has a black head, green body and wings with blue primary flight and tail feathers. It has a hint of bright red on the legs.

  • Size: 13 inches
  • Weight: 135-145 grams
  • Lifespan: 25-30 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 24 x 24 x 48 inches.

Characteristics: Nanday Conures make excellent pets, but as they are also inclined to be very noisy and destructive; they are not suitable for apartment living.

Blue Crowned Conure (Thectocercus acuticaudata)

Description: The Blue Crowned Conure (or Sharp Tailed Conure) is predominantly green all over the body, but as the name indicates, it has a blue crown on the head consisting of two shades of blue. The underside of the tail is a shade of red ranging from pink to dark rust in color.

  • Size: 15 inches
  • Weight: 115-130 grams
  • Lifespan: 25-30 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 24 x 24 x 48 inches

Characteristics: The Blue Crowned Conure is an intelligent, sweet natured, playful bird that will readily learn tricks, and also make very good talkers. They also tend to be rather noisy and destructive, so they need plenty of toys to chew and are not suitable for apartment living.

Maroon Bellied Conure (Pyrrhura frontalis)

Description: The Maroon Bellied Conure is a small conure, predominantly green in color, with a yellowish-green barred breast and sides. It has a maroon belly, the primary wing feathers are blue-green in color, and the tail is green on top and light maroon underneath. It has a light brown patch covering the ears.

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Weight: 65-85 grams
  • Lifespan: 20 years

Minimum Cage Size: 20 x 20 x 30 inches with 1/2-5/8 inch bar spacing

Characteristics: Maroon Bellied Conures are highly social, smart, affectionate, playful and love to interact. While they have a shrill call, they are considered one of the quieter types of conures, and do not screech to the same degree as their larger cousins. They are not good talkers.

Green Cheeked Conure (Pyrrhura molinae)

Description: Very similar in looks and nature to the Maroon Bellied Conure, the Green Cheeks are primarily green on the body, with grey breasts, maroon tails and blue primary flight feathers. The top of the head is a darker shade of grey and the cheeks are green. Mutations in are common in captivity, and captive breeding has produced the following color variations in Green Cheek Conures: Cinnamon, Turquoise and Yellow Sided Green Cheeks, as well as Suncheek, and Pineapple Conures.

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Weight: 65-85 grams
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 20 x 20 x 30 inches with 1/2-5/8 inch bar spacing

Characteristics: These feisty little birds are full of fun, sweet natured, friendly, and just love attention. They are highly social and do well in communal aviaries. By conure standards, they are relatively quiet, and give a shrill whistle or natter away rather than screech, making them more suitable for those with sensitive hearing and for apartment dwellers.

Special Notes: Endangered in the wild, listed on CITES II

Peach Fronted Conure (Eupsittula aurea)

Description: The Peach Fronted Conure has a green upper body, with a grey-green breast and lighter lime green coloring on the belly. The forehead and centre of the crown are bright orange with blue on the sides of the crown surrounding the eyes. The rest of the head is green. The tail is green with blue tips, and the wings green with black tips. The black beak of the Peach Fronted Conure distinguish it from the Orange Fronted and Half Moon conures.

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Weight: 105 grams
  • Lifespan: 25-30 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 24 x 24 x 36 inches

Characteristics: The Peach Fronted Conure has a sweet disposition, it is cuddly and playful by nature, and makes a lovely pet. As they are rather quiet by conure standards, they are ideal for apartment dwellers or those not partial to the raucous nature of other types of conures.

Dusky Headed Conure (Eupsittula weddellii)

Description: The Dusky Headed Conure is rather dull in color, predominantly green all over, with yellow green belly and a grey-brown head. The primary flight feathers are black edged with blue, and the tail is blue on top and black underneath.

  • Size: 11-12 inches
  • Weight: 90-115 grams
  • Lifespan: 30+ years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 36 x 24 x 30 inches

Characteristics: While Dusky Headed Conures are not as striking as some of the other types of conures, they are also not as demanding. They are relatively quiet as conures go, and are sweet natured, and thus make good pets for children.

Red Masked Conure (Psittacara erythrogenys)

Description: The Red Masked Conure (or Cherry Headed Conure) is bright green on the body, with lighter green on the breast. The head is a bold red, while the eye ring is a predominant white. They have red splashes on the wings in the vicinity of the shoulder. Immature birds are completely green and only acquire their red coloring at around six months old.

  • Size: 13 inches
  • Weight: 200 grams
  • Lifespan: 30+ years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 24 x 24 x 48 inches

Characteristics: Red Masked Conures are one of the larger types of conures. They are very playful, active birds that make good pets. Red Masked conures are very vocal, and can be rather noisy at times, but as they are good mimics, you can easily train them to talk.

Patagonian Conure (Cyanoliseus patagonus)

Description: The Patagonian Conure is the largest species of conure, reaching up to 20 inches from head to tail. It is predominantly dark olive green-brown in color, with a grey breast, a orange-red belly patch edged with yellow, and red on the legs. It has a white collar around the neck, and the primary flight feathers are blue.

  • Size: 17-20 inches
  • Weight: 300-450 grams
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Minimum Cage Size: 30 x 36 x 36 inches

Characteristics: Like all types of conures, the Patagonian makes a wonderful cuddly pet, that loves to play. They are very vocal, and while they can be quite noisy, they also make good talkers. Their large size makes them the ideal choice for someone who is attracted to conures, but who would prefer a larger size bird as a pet.

Is a Conure for You?

There are many different types of conures available on the pet market, they come in a variety of sizes and colors, and vary to a degree in their vocal capacity. Some are relatively demure and quiet, while others are extremely raucous and vocal, and this needs to be considered when choosing a conure to suit your lifestyle.

Conures are extremely social birds, which is why hand-raised conures make such good pets. However, because of their social nature, they require lots of attention and human interaction. If they do not receive this they can become very noisy in their efforts to attract attention. If you do not have the time to devote to these endearing birds, then it is recommended that you rather get a less demanding pet, as it would not be fair to the bird – or your neighbors –  if you cannot give them the attention they deserve.

Featured Image by copperarabian, via Deviant Art

Jenny Griffin

is the Owner/Founder of Ecologix Environmental Media Services, Ecology Matters, and Stuff4Petz. Jenny is a freelance writer specializing in topics related to pet care, animal welfare, and environmental issues. She has published a series of Pet Owners Guides - view her Amazon author profile. Jenny has worked with animals all her life, having owned her own pet shop, dog grooming parlor, and educational mobile petting zoo; and has also worked in the fields of marine science and environmental education. Jenny resides on a smallholding with her extensive menagerie of rescued animals, which is in itself a full time job. When she is not writing or caring for her animals, she can be found surfing the waves at her local beach, or spending time with her horses.

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