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.”