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5 Things You Need to Know About Green-Cheeked Conures

Green-cheeked conures might be small, but don't let their size fool you! These "big birds in a little bird's body" are cuddly and playful, making them great pets.

Amanda Lafond

Green-cheeked conure

Don’t let their small stature fool you; pint-size green-cheeked conures have huge personalities. Originally from South America, these conure clowns will win over even the coldest of hearts. With different color mutations and friendly dispositions, the green-cheeked conure might be the next parrot you’re looking for. Here’s what you need to know:

1) In general, green-cheeked conures are quieter than other conures. Of course, this is not to say that they do not make any noise. A certain degree of sound in parrots is inevitable. In addition, each individual bird is different, and some will vocalize more than others. But if you’re looking for a conure that won’t bother your neighbors, the green cheek might fit the bill. This has made the species popular with apartment dwellers.

2) Green-cheeked conures need plenty of socialization to avoid behavioral problems like nipping. "They are portrayed as being very nippy, and some can be, but that is usually environmentally encouraged or a young bird that has to learn its social limits,” said Mary Covault of Feathered Companions Aviary. Like many parrots, these conures will benefit from being well socialized. Covault added, "Green cheeks can be excellent with large or small families, but socialization early-on is important, plus they are sensitive — like most parrots— and if a member of the family is hostile to them, they will know it and either be afraid of them or aggressive toward them.”

3) Green-cheeked conures have "big bird” personalities. Despite being one of the smaller conures, these birds share many traits with bigger parrot species. They are intelligent, and are capable of learning multiple tricks. They are not especially good talkers, but can learn some speech. Green-cheeked conures are also known for their playfulness and acrobatics. They need plenty of supervision to avoid getting into trouble.

4) Green-cheeked conures can be cuddly. Again, it’s important to keep in mind that every individual bird is different. Generally though, these conures are regarded as affectionate companions. Many enjoy petting, and tolerate handling. Some will even snuggle up against your neck or cheek. These birds want to be with you and need hours of interaction every day. 

5) Be careful about avoiding breeding stimuli. Unless you are trying to breed the birds, it’s best to avoid anything that would cause green-cheeked conures to go into breeding mode. This will prevent unneeded stress on the bird. Covault said, "Conures are cavity nesters, so if one doesn’t want to stimulate breeding behavior, don’t give them dark, closed-in areas in their cages or play [areas]. I give all of my conures open-fronted sleepboxes though, because they do like to sleep in an enclosed area and feel more secure there, and they will chew on them. If the front faces the light source, it’s light during the day, so nesting is not encouraged."

Want to learn more about green-cheeked conures?

Green-Cheeked Conures: Clowns, Snuggle Bugs & Great Talkers
Top 10 Pet Conure Questions Answered

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Posted: March 4, 2014, 12:15 p.m. PDT

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5 Things You Need to Know About Green-Cheeked Conures

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Reader Comments
This article describes my gcc to the tee. He loves playing games! Watching videos and snuggling on my neck. We spend on an average of 6 hours a day together and I let him out of his cage every chance we get. He's so smart he's learned to poop on a perch. He hasn't learned any words yet but does make the kiss sound back to me. We've made great progress despite the fact we've only been together for a little over a month now. If I do have to leave him alone I play the t.v. or videos for him and it keeps him occupied til I come home.
Joyce, North Richland Hills, TX
Posted: 5/17/2015 3:43:19 PM
I rehomed a 6 yr old GCC and it is anything but cuddly. I have read your information and tried positive reinforcement behavior and I still cannot touch the birds head and the modtvincan do is have it sit on my finger. I really think that my capabilities are lacking in re- training this bird and may have to check into a bird Sanctiary and there is OY one near where I live. I am beyond frustrated and do not have any money to buy your DVD's. I think I made a mistake.
I have discussed this with you before and if the bird sits on my shoulder it bites my ear, cheek , neck and face. I just have less patience than I thought and when I see all the cute cuddly birds I guess I get jealous.
I am at my limit I think .
Susan North, Arlington Heights, IL
Posted: 4/16/2014 2:46:11 PM
we have a black cap that has these same traits...alot of fun these smaller conures!
stephanie, no smithfield, RI
Posted: 3/8/2014 2:39:23 PM
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