By Anne C. Watkins
Patagonian conures are native to South America.
Patagonian conures are the largest of all conures. Both the Patagonian conure (Cyanoliseus p. patagonus) and the Andean Patagonian conure (C. p. andinus) are roughly 18 inches in length, while the greater Patagonian conure (C. p. byroni) measures an impressive 19 inches. Because of their sizes and hefty beaks, Patagonians require sturdier toys and larger cages than other conure species.
“They should be kept in a cage the size of what you would keep a severe macaw, a yellow-collared macaw or a smaller Amazon parrot in. They are similar in behavior and personality, as well. They’re more like a mini-macaw than anything else,” said John Del Rio, a California-based conure breeder.
Patagonian conures have big voices, too. “One of their drawbacks is their vocal capability. Other than that, they are sweethearts. They make the greatest pets,” Del Rio said.
Unfortunately, Patagonian conures can be difficult to find. According to Del Rio, they used to be more common but, as the original imports from the mid-to-late 80s have aged, they have not had babies as much as when first brought into the country.
Diane Baron of North Carolina owns Detre, a sociable, vocal Patagonian conure that loves to dance. “Detre has rhythm," she said. "Whenever some really good music comes on, he starts bobbing his head, turning around and clicking. I can even get him to do it without music by clapping my hands and saying, ‘Go, Detre!’”
Like all Patagonian conures, Detre is loud, but only when he has a reason, said Baron. “He will give the conure nuclear alert to warn me that the vacuum is about to get me or that there is a person outside cutting the grass.”