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Conure Interaction At Home

Some conures interact with other birds differently in multiple bird homes

By Anne Watkins

sun conure, conure behavior, bird behavior
Not all conures interact the same with other birds at home.
Courtesy Jano Mladonicky, Texas

You learned how conures take play seriously in the May 2008 issue of BIRD TALK magazine. Now explore how conures interact with other conures and parrots.

Housing Multiple Conures
Owners of multiple birds must deal with housing issues that one-conure families may not think of. Rebecca Kline, who shares her home with seven sun conures and one double yellow-headed Amazon parrot successfully manages to not only keep everybody happy, but safe by providing various cage setups.

All of Kline’s parrots have stainless-steel day cages, which she keeps in an enclosed, climate-controlled sun room lined with plenty of windows. “At night, they have their sleep cages inside the house, which are smaller and outfitted with a toy, perch and a happy hut that they each have for sleeping.”

Kline currently keeps Tootie, the female, apart from the males as Tootie appears to want to breed. Because Peach fights with the others, he and Kiwi share a cage, while their four brothers, Fruitie, Mango, Jingles and Squeeky share a huge stainless-steel cage during the day. “Mango and Fruitie share a sleeping cage, as do Jingles and Squeeky. Of course, the Amazon is always in a cage of his own, both day time and sleeping cage,” said Kline.

Conures & Other Birds
Some conures truly enjoy hanging out with other birds, regardless of species. Unfortunately, small conures like green cheeks sometimes ignore size differences and will boldly grab at tail feathers or nip the toes of bigger parrots. Conures of any species might also be aggressive toward smaller birds like budgies or parrotlets. To avoid possible harm, always oversee any interactions between your conure and other birds.

Diane Baron’s conures enjoy hanging out with each other and with Pilar, Baron's red-lored Amazon parrot, but it requires careful supervision. “In general, I can carry all four on me together, the little guys on one shoulder, Detre, my Patagonian conure on the other and Pilar in my hand.

Sometimes Izzy, a black-capped conure will boss Sammy2, a green cheek, around; they share a cage and are really buds. They preen each other and hang out with each other, but sometimes Izzy is a pill and will chase Sammy2 away, especially around food. Sometimes Izzy, flies at Pilar but Baron always carefully monitors things so nobody gets hurt.

Rescued conures, like Kit Grundstein’s nanday, Banning, are understandably cautious around other parrots. “Banning’s interaction with other birds is interesting. If she’s alone, for example on the playgym, and Merlin, my timneh African grey pushes her around, she just leaves, and she doesn’t care.”

However, if Banning is on Grundstein and Merlin, approaches, Banning attacks Merlin and gives Grundstein, a nip as well, as if to say, “Get away from that dangerous timneh.” Banning also dislikes Grundstein’s female pearl cockatiel enormously, responding to her with wing flapping and aggression. “I discourage this, but it’s slow going. I suspect that all nandays are not as anti-social with other birds as Banning is. She lived without a flock for 10 years, I was told.”

Popular Conure Species
Some of the most popular and readily found conures include:

Sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis)
Size: approximately 12 inches
Personality: energetic, playful, friendly, loud; some learn to speak.
Recommended minimum cage size: 24 inches square.

Jenday conure (Aratinga jandaya)
Size: approximately 12 inches
Personality: charming, talkative, outgoing, acrobatic; often mistaken for sun conures due to their similar coloring.
Recommended minimum cage size: 24 inches square.

Blue-crowned conure (Aratinga a. acuticaudata)
Size: approximately 15 inches
Personality: friendly, sweet, relatively gentle; some learn to speak.
Recommended minimum cage size: 24 inches square

Green-cheeked conure (Pyrrhura molinae)
Size: approximately 10 inches
Personality: bold, acrobatic, friendly, sometimes nippy; not as loud as Aratinga conures.
Recommended minimum cage size: 24 inches square

Nanday conure (Nandayus nenday)
Size: approximately 12 inches
Personality: affectionate, intelligent, acrobatic; can be loud.
Recommended minimum cage size: 24 inches square


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Reader Comments
My little Green Cheek conure, Pedro, is just about the biggest bully in the world. We have 2 'tiels that he likes to push around and bite their tail feathers. He puffs up his little green chest and chases the other birds around the cages. He doesn't ever actually hurt them, but he seems to think he is pretty tough. I couldn't recommend any bird as a pet more than a conure.
Samantha, Elko, NV
Posted: 2/15/2013 2:21:48 PM
My Sun Conure loves my girlfriends Cockatiels. But obviously feels threatened by my Amazons.
mark, Birmingham, AL
Posted: 5/19/2011 2:43:16 AM
Our Jenday is just now recognizing the existence of our Sun - and we've had our Sun for three years!
Barbara, Kerrville, TX
Posted: 2/6/2011 10:14:11 AM
I thought this article was informative and I can relate to my conures personalities. My sun conure, Kallie just does not like my dusky head conure,Gabbie, I have to keep Kallie on a harness and leash when they are all out on the playgym and Kallie and Celine, a peach fronted conure have one playgym while Dixie my green cheeked conure and Gabbie have the other playgym. But yet when Beau was alive Kallie loved her. She Beau was a dusky headed conure as well. And both duskys were female,as Kallie is a male. I just don't get it!
Rose, Marstons Mills, MA
Posted: 1/6/2011 4:59:35 PM
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