Conures are the charmers of the bird world. These gregarious, spunky little parrots are small enough to fit easily into most households and large enough to satisfy the desire of someone wanting to own a real parrot. Conures range from quiet, green little birds to slightly raucous brilliant orange and yellow parrots.
The conure is native to South America, although some conure species have naturalized in parts of the United States, especially California and Florida. This parrot ranges in size from a petite eight and a half inches (21 cm) to a more substantial eighteen inches (46 cm) long. Although there are over forty types of conures, there are only a few species readily available as pets in the United States.
The Nanday conure is one of the least expensive species. This mid-size conure is green with a black head. Although these little guys are fairly good talkers, their speaking ability comes with a price. They are one of the loudest conure varieties. If you live in an apartment, you may not want to choose this species.
Green Cheeks and Maroon Bellies are also reasonably priced little parrots. These birds are on the smaller side and are some of the quietest conures. The Green Cheek is much easier to find and usually is a bit sweeter than the Maroon Belly.
These birds are so similar in appearance that even experienced bird handlers sometimes mix up the species. Green Cheeks have a maroon tail and a bit more green on their chests than Maroon Bellies. While you can teach these birds to talk, they rarely learn more than a few words and phrases. However, they are one of the best choices for apartment dwellers.
Sun, Jenday and a hybrid of the two birds called a Sunday are also popular conure varieties. These colorful birds are often compared to a sunset because of their bright orange and yellow coloring. While the Jenday has a green body, a yellow head and an orange chest, Sun conures are almost completely orange and yellow.
However, despite their beauty, these birds are not for everyone. They can be quite loud and have a slightly piercing call that many people cannot handle. If you do decide to add one of these little charmers to your home, begin teaching your bird to talk immediately. Often, birds that can talk will not shriek as much as non-talkers.
Two of the largest conure species, the Blue Crown and the White Eye, are some of the best talkers in the conure family. These birds are not terribly colorful, but they readily pick up words and phrases. They are fairly loud, so they are not ideal for apartment residents. The Blue Crown conure is a predominantly green bird with a bluish head, while the White Eye is a green bird with white rings around his eyes.
Conures are very active, playful birds and most of these parrots enjoy being handled. Handfed birds usually learn tricks such as playing dead or picking up rings very quickly. To keep these spunky little parrots happy, you should provide plenty of toys and a roomy cage.
Be sure the cage bars are approximately a half inch (1,2 cm) apart, especially if your bird is one of the smaller varieties, or you may just come home to find your conure sitting outside his cage. These little guys are quite adept at squeezing out of cages with wider spacing.
So, if you are interested in owning a small, personable parrot, then a conure just may be the perfect choice for you.