Green Cheek Conure – Care, Food & Profile
Green-Cheek Conure or also known as Green-Cheeked Parakeets is a popular species in the conure family that possess all the appearance and personality of a conure in a compact package.
They are bold, inquisitive, and engaging. Their curious, playful, and affectionate nature have won the hearts of most bird lovers.
The fact that they are more affordable and less noisy than most parrots make them more appealing as pet birds.
In the next section, we will discuss more various traits of this bird species, including their origin, appearance, talking ability, diet, breeding, and care requirements.
Green Cheek Conure Origin and Natural Habitat
These adorable birds are native to South America. They are mainly found in the rainforests of Bolivia and Brazil’s southern regions of the Mato Grosso state.
They can also be found in northwestern Argentina and western Paraguay. They usually stay at the treetop level in flocks of 10 – 20 conures. The flock would most likely be higher in places where there is more food.
They belong to the subfamily of Arinae as well as the genus Pyrrhura, meaning they belong to the long-tailed New World parrot species. But green-cheeks are referred to as conures in aviculture circles. That is why they are now popular pet birds found in homes of both experienced and novice bird owners.
These birds inhabit woodlands and forests, mostly at high elevations of up to 3000m. The reason why they love to stay in taller trees is that predators will not be able to spot and kill them.
Besides this, predators will not be able to get up to their nests and eggs. The fact that they have a mixture of green and other colors acts as camouflage. So, it will be extremely hard for predators to see them when they are at the top of the green branches when they are perching.
Green Cheek Conure Appearance
They are one of the smallest in the conure family. Some people may even confuse them with maroon-bellied conures. So, if you are not careful when buying them, you may end up with a wrong pair.
Green-cheeked conures are unique creatures. They come in a number of color mutations. But just like other parrots, color differences don’t affect their character. After all, it’s just a matter of difference in feather coloring.
Both males and females have the same coloring. For the most part, green-cheeked conures are olive green, but they also display some other colors in their plumage.
They are bright green on the back, red feathers on the tail and chest, whitish around the neck, olive green patches on the cheek, and black plumage on the head. Their beaks are
But some can also have these color mutations, including yellow-sided, turquoise, pineapple, and cinnamon.
- Cinnamon: These conures are a bit brother, with a tan head, and horn-colored beak and feet.
- Turquoise:Instead of being olive green, these conures are turquoise or blue. They also feature gray tail feathers and gray to tan chest feathers.
- Pineapple: These conures are a mutation of yellow-sided and cinnamon conures.
- Yellow-sided: As the name suggests, yellow-sided conures have bright yellow breasts. The intensity of the yellow color and position often vary, but it is very noticeable.
Green Cheek Conure Food and Diet
In their natural habitat, green-cheeked conures survive on a variety of fruits, seeds, insects, and vegetables. So, you would expect them to have the same diet in their captivity.
If you want them to stay healthy feed them with a variety of vegetables and fruits. You can also supplement these foods with a pelleted diet. The best way to include several other fresh foods is to utilize the chop concept.
A well-balanced diet for these birds consists of the following:
- Clean filtered water is provided on a daily basis.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables and a small number of fortified seeds. High-quality pellets should make up at least 60% of their daily meals.
- Make sure not to feed them with fruit seeds, caffeine, avocado, or alcohol, as they can trigger health issues.
When feeding your conures, make sure that there is plenty of water. And if there is any food, especially fruits and vegetables, that were not taken, you should discard them immediately because they can cause health problems. Also, make sure to limit the treats to about 10% of the daily food intake.
Besides this, you should also let them be active. These birds usually fly several miles in search of food. So, if you keep them in the cage all day long, they will surely be bored.
While it might be difficult to replicate their natural habitat in captivity, you can let them out of the cage under your watch for about two hours a day. Just like all conures, green-cheeked conures do pick feathers, too. They usually do this when they are bored.
If your conure doesn’t receive a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercises, they can easily get infected with common illnesses. You can easily identify when your bird isn’t feeling well by observing their activity levels.
There are a number of illnesses that can affect your green-cheeked conure and these include a nervous system issue, proventricular dilatation disease, a bacterial infection, or a deadly virus like psittacosis.
Green Cheek Conure Weight and Size
Green-cheeked conures are relatively small, measuring about 10 inches. This includes both the body and the tail. Their wingspan is roughly 5 inches.
Their tail is a bit long, measuring about 4-6 inches. In terms of weight, these conures are about 60 – 90 grams.
Green Cheek Conure Lifespan
Their average lifespan is about 10 to 15 years when they are in natural habitat. They can also live the same amount of time in their captivity. But if you take good care of them, then they will even live up to 30 years or even more.
Here is a breakdown of their lifespan:
- 10 year lifespan: Most experts claim that 10 years is the minimum age a green cheek conure or most conures will live. This is mostly when they are neglected in their captivity. So, we can say that their lifespan depends on how you take care of them. Here, good care means providing them with a nutritional diet, engaging them in various exercises, and cleaning them after every 10 days. We have discussed a lot about diet in the previous section. We will touch a little about hygiene and care in a later section.
- 15 year lifespan: This is the average age of an adult conure when they are treated with moderate care. If you treat them moderately well with a proper diet and not neglecting other areas, your green-cheeked conure will survive for at least 15 years.
- 25 – 30 year lifespan:This is the maximum lifespan that a well-treated green cheek will live. If they are lucky, they can surpass this age range by a few more years. Unfortunately, not many conures have lived this long when staying with their owners. Actually, most information about conures is about 20 years old.
Green Cheek Conure Breeding
Green conures mate naturally when necessary conditions are provided. Provide a good diet, take care of them hygiene-wise, and provide several playing opportunities. Doing this will naturally encourage mating behavior.
In most cases, green-cheeked conures start mating in February, which is usually summer in the natural habitat. If you have forgotten that they need mating, then can remind you through some obvious signs.
During this time, you may start noticing that female conures hide in their cage bars or nesting box. These are mainly the signs that she is either preparing or ready for mating.
Other obvious breeding signs are touching each other below the mid-back, becoming nippy, or regurgitating their food.
The main challenge to most people is that it is not very easy to tell the difference between a male and a female green-cheeked conure. In fact, you can’t tell it visually.
To differentiate them, look at the shape of the head as well as the behavior. Females usually have a rounder head, while males have a falter head. Likewise, females are less bold than their male counterparts.
Surprisingly, both males and females sit on the eggs. This usually happens for about 22 – 25 days. If none of the birds sits on the eggs after 10 days, these eggs are unlikely to hatch.
So, you should just dispose them off. In most cases, a conure will sit on about 4 – 6 eggs at a go, but larger clutches have been reported.
Green Cheek Conure Talking Ability
Green cheeks are best for anyone who desires all the clownish personality of a beautiful bird without much noise. This means that they are also the right fit for someone living in an apartment.
But you shouldn’t take this to mean that green cheeks are not the best talkers. In fact, they do chatter as sun conure, only that their voices have a little bit different decibel.
Their voices are deep and low, which makes it difficult to hear them. And if they speak, you will hardly get anything.
Most owners love these birds because of their relative quietness. They are generally not among the best when it comes to talking abilities. Nonetheless, some of them can learn a few words or mimic household sounds. Generally, these birds are intelligent.
Cage Size for Green Cheek Conures
While green checks are relatively small, they are very active. So, they do need a spacious cage to enable them to move around.
They often practice some acrobatic moves, especially when you provide them with toys. Having said that, here are specific cage requirements for green-cheeked conures:
The cage should be about 24 inches wide, x 24 inches long, x 30 inches high. It should be constructed with metallic bars that are spaced not more than ¾ inches apart. Generally, it is good to provide these birds with enough space for them to play around.
They always thrive in large habitats. You can keep them alone or with other similar birds that can bond together. With that said, avoid putting different bird species in the same cage.
With regards to perches, you should ensure that they are at least ½ inches in diameter and about 10 inches long. The longer the perch, the better. A longer perch will allow green cheek conures to exercise their feet while also preventing arthritis.
In addition to the above, provide a metal grate on top of the droppings tray. This will keep the conures far away from the droppings. For the best living environment, line the dropping tray with an appropriate substrate or habitat paper for easier cleaning.
Make sure to keep the water or food containers under the perch, as it may cause contamination.
It is also important to note that green-cheeked conures can adapt easily to different climatic conditions. They often do well in household temperatures. But make sure that the temperature does not exceed 80 °F or come down below 65 °F.
Extreme temperature changes are a threat to their existence. So, you should always place the cage above the floor or away from drafts.
To keep them healthy in the cage, make a routine to clean the perches on a regular basis. You can use 3% bleach solutions. Part of the cleaning also involves replacing the cage liner or substrate on a weekly basis.
Also, replace the dishes, perches, and any toy that you have provided them. For toys, change them when they are damaged, but you can also rotate new toys into their living space.
While doing so, ensure that the toys do not have zinc or lead-based paints. Galvanized parts can also cause health problems if your conures ingest them.
Finally, avoid using fumes when cleaning the cage. These substances are harmful to birds. Just stick with a natural cleaning substance.
Are Green Cheek Conures Noisy?
As mentioned earlier, green cheeked conures are relatively quiet when compared to other conures. Since loudness is relative, we can say that these birds are not very noisy.
So, you can have them in your apartment without worrying about disturbing the neighbors.
Green-cheeked conures are among the most popular conures because of their friendly behavior. These compact birds are quieter than a majority of larger conures, but they can utter a few words.
They are ideal for both novice and experienced bird keepers and can survive in an apartment.