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The Popular & Playful Green-Cheeked Conure

The green-cheeked conure might be small, but it has a big personality that charms many pet bird owners.

By Anne C. Watkins

Unlike the midsize conures, green-cheeked conures fit nicely in situations where a larger conure just won’t work out. A green-cheeked conure's little beak can deliver a painful pinch and sometimes even draw blood, but it won’t inflict the damage larger beaks can. A green-cheeked conure is quiet enough for apartment living and generally require smaller setups and less floor space. But don’t let its diminutive sizes fool you; a green-cheeked conure has a huge personality stuffed inside its tiny body.

Mention conures and there’s a good chance that jenday conure, the sun conure or blue-crowned conure come to mind. There’s no doubt that these medium-sized conures deserve their popularity, but there are plenty of other conures that are as equally captivating. Check out the green-cheeked conure and sample its appeal.

The Green-Cheeked Conure
Green-cheeked conures (Pyrrhura molinae) are sassy, bossy, affectionate and completely unaware that they’re barely 10 inches in length. They are prolific breeders, and hand-fed baby green-cheeked conures are usually available. When it comes to bossiness, green-cheeked conures own the game. Carefully supervise interactions between them and other pets, as a green cheek might not hesitate to assert its strong personality.

Washington residents Amy and Jayson W. own a headstrong female green cheek named Nestle that refuses to play nicely with the couple’s other birds. "She is so bossy that it is impossible for her to be friends with the other birds," the couple said. "We tried to allow them to have together time in the beginning, but she immediately took to going after the others. We don’t have a green-cheeked conure — we have a flighted, bossy, opinionated Labrador!”

North Dakota resident Beverly Ault’s green-cheeked conure, Tovi, unmercifully bosses her companion sun conure, Loki. "Tovi treats Loki as if he was her butler. When Loki’s destroying a wood toy, Tovi has him break off pieces for her to chew on. If they have a large chunk of food, she lets him bite off a piece, then takes it out of his beak. When I give them their bath water, Tovi always pushes her way in first.”

Their feistiness sometimes leads to differences of opinion with their owners. Jackie Mosteller of Pennsylvania said that Tator, a DNA-sexed male green-cheeked conure, is a challenge at times and can "definitely be nippy.”

Luckily, green-cheeked conures also know how to pour on the charm. "It is a privilege that such a wondrous [pet bird] has trust in me and loves me to the point of snuggling in my hand while he allows me to kiss him and snuggle him all fluffy and relaxed, an all-trusting ball of feathers,” Mosteller said.

Green-cheeked conures also enjoy bathing. "They love to have a shallow dish of water in their cage that they can jump into and splash around,” said a green-cheeked conure breeder Dawn Adley of Maine. "If they don’t participate in this activity daily, you can use a water spray bottle on a very fine mist aiming down from the top of the cage. It keeps their feathers shiny and tight.”

Michelle Hermary of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, owns Brazil and Bolivia, a breeding pair of green-cheeked conures that are enthusiastic bathers. "I swear they have water radars in those little brains! They could be across the room, and as soon as they sense water, they go looking for it.”

Posted: June 27, 2011, 12:00 a.m. PDT

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Reader Comments
I am in agreement to this article.

We have a Green Cheeked Conure and she is absolutely has a big attitude but, she is also so affectionate. She bonded to both of my husband and I. We love her so dearly! Not sure if your little friend does the "business" in the bathroom but, Reyna (that's her name - it means Queen) - has to do the morning "poop" in the bathroom. She waits for us (either my husband or I) take her and do it in the bathroom. After she did her business - she'll greet herself in the mirror and say "kiss - kiss" while we're replenshing her water bowl. She loves to eat with us (if we let her). Make sure you give her own plate otherwise, she will help herself and eat in your plate!! She loves to be with me, snuggles and nestles on my neck and sleep if you let her!! And yes, she loves to bath. That's her time with my husband and play rough with him. But not to me... she has her own time with me getting "massages" and snuggles and all loving loving!! She just make ourlive fun and "calm" us down!!
Leta, International
Posted: 10/1/2014 5:37:20 PM
I recently inherited a 10yr old Green Cheek and as an existing owner of a young Jenday I half expected a similar type of bird. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the most affectionate and cuddly little fellow imaginable. If I put my hand behind him he throws himself backwards into my hand and lays there with 100% trust. If my wife is anywhere near he leaps towards her and buries himself in her long hair and actively avoids me retrieving him by dodging from shoulder to shoulder. We are now looking for another type of a similar nature. Our Jenday is noisy enough for the whole neighborhood while the Green Cheek has an amazing repertoire of chirps & squeaks.
Greg, International
Posted: 11/15/2013 10:35:08 AM
Interesting. Max has been with me for just over a year and I always wondered why he nipped.I can tell when he's mad as he ruffles his feathers up.Bossy isn't the word! He has gone after my bichon frise a few times by flying right into his face.I ALWAYS supervise them. He still hasn't mastered his kisses but loves to play with my hair.Bathtime entails a mason jar under the faucet in the kitchen sink which he purches on while I splash water over him.He definetly is my challenge.
Heather, Hamilton, ON
Posted: 4/27/2013 1:54:16 AM
My little green cheek is the most affectionate and cuddly bird. He can't stand to not be near me and loves to sit on my shoulder or be held against my chest. He is also one of the most feisty parrots that I have had.
Craig, Kalamazoo, MI
Posted: 4/24/2012 4:56:12 PM
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