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Conures 101

A conure's personality depends on the individual, but all conures are playful, acrobatic and can be loud. Find out more here.

Sally Blanchard

sun conure, yellow-sided green-cheeked conure

Aratinga conures (such as the sun conure to the left) are generally louder than Pyrrhura conures (such as the yellow-sided green-cheeked conure to the right).

I hate to lump all conures into one category, because there are definite differences in their personalities; some are obvious, while others are subtle. These birds can be delightful and affectionate companions with the right amount of guidance.

Individual conures can vary a great deal in that their interactions with people can create or diminish their potential as companions. Educated owners who provide proper guidance with liberal interaction usually have great conure companions. Their playful, acrobatic antics can keep people entertained, and it is even more fun if it involves interaction with their owners.

Many conures have a reputation for being noisy, but I have found that much of their noise can be channeled into more pleasant sounds like whistling, talking or even muttering. The key, as with all parrots, is to allow a minimal noise level — based on the happy-to-be-alive noise level (sounds all birds make) — to be an integral part of the personality, and not make it worse by inadvertently rewarding your bird’s screaming by reacting to it. A conure’s noise level will likely increase if it is part of a loud household, especially if there are other conures or noisy birds to communicate with.

Conures in the Pyrrhura genus, such as the green cheek and maroon belly, are little birds with big personalities. These diminutive dynamos are quieter than the bigger conures of the Aratinga genus, such as sun, jenday and nanday conures, but they seem to have a few similar personality traits. They are acrobatic, playful and generally full of themselves. They like to keep busy with lots of little tasks, such as playing with a foraging toy.

Conures are another bird that seems to think that their owners are there to serve as a personal playgym. They can be noisy birds, but they are not loud birds. They seem to chatter a lot and have more finch-like calls.

Don’t let a conure’s little beak fool you. Pyrrhura conures can become nippy, and guidance is just as important for them as it is for bigger parrots. They can often stay affectionate with the entire family if everyone handles them in a positive manner.

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Posted: January 28, 2014, 11:45 a.m. PDT

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