Mitred conures, also known as red-headed conures or mitred parakeets, are very lively and wonderful birds.
The snappy red and green mitred conures are exuberant parrots (small-sized and medium-sized) that enjoy playing and have the ability to become great talkers.
They are very active, comical, eager to explore, and curious about their environment. They can also be prone to nipping and a bit temperamental. Here all you need to know about caring for a mitred conure.
Mitred Conure Origin and Natural Habitat
Mitred conures are native to the Andes Mountains region in South America, including northwestern Argentina, and North-Central Peru and Bolivia.
They typically dwell in high-altitude forests between 3000 and 10000 ft above sea level.
Mitred conures can also be found in woodland habitats, though not to a large extent. The species have been brought to Hawaii, Florida, and California, where they are often considered a nuisance because they damage crops.
The result could have been foreseen as the mitred conure’s native habitat is replete in their suitable food sources.
As a result of this favorable climate and natural food sources, mitred conures hardly had a need to migrate. However, their population still keeps growing in the United States.
Mitred Conure Appearance
An adult mitred conure has vivid green with bright red spots on its neck, face, head, and the upper part of its legs.
It has gray feet, a white ring around its eyes, and a horn-colored beak. Both females and males have identical colors.
Distinguishing them from their close cousins, cherry-headed conures can be very challenging.
The major difference between these two is that mitred conures don’t have a bright red spot on their wings like the cherry-headed conures.
Mitred Conure Weight and Size
The average weight of a mitred conure is 7 ounces (200 grams), and their average length is between 33 – 40 cm (13 and 15 inches).
There are very few noticeable distinctions between female and male mitred conures. It’s even almost impossible for an untrained eye to notice any difference.
Ensure to consult a professional vet if you notice an abnormal increase or decrease in weight or size in your mitred conure.
Red-masked conures and cherry-headed conures have a similar appearance with mitred conures.
Mitred Conure Food and Diet
Mitred conures require a varied, high-nutrients diet that includes vegetables, protein sources, and lots of fruits. In the wild, most mitred conures feed on seeds, nuts, and fruits. There are many diets that this species can eat.
A great pellet-based diet, with plenty of chopped fruits and vegetables on the side, makes an excellent daily diet. You can also get them soak-and-cook from a commercial supplier or a vet.
Many individuals love to make their own legume and grain-based diet, mostly brown rice and a mix of grains and well-cooked beans.
Practically speaking, you might want to make the cooked diet in big batches, freeze those you won’t need in a few days, and defrost when you need them.
You can include little, high carbohydrate seeds such as millet. Larger oil seeds (treat) like sunflowers can be offered to your pet bird by hand.
You can also give your mitred conures a variety of nuts by hand or hide them around the pet’s cage to encourage them to forage.
If the nuts are too tough for the bird to crack by itself, you can crack them. You want to avoid giving your conure pet chocolate or avocado.
Keep in mind that mitred conures are prone to Conure Bleeding Syndrome, so you’ll need to include vitamin K rich sources in their diet, including turnip greens and several other dark greens.
Mitred Conure Temperament
If tame and hand-fed, a mitred conure can make an affectionate pet with plenty of attention and love.
Mitred conures are an ideal choice for bird owners who love interacting with their pet birds. They usually require between 2 to 4 hours of exercise, social time, and interaction with you every day.
Like any other pet bird, a mitred conure has its moods, and it can get nippy (like other conure species).
Hence, conures aren’t the best pet for families with little children, though they can make great pets for households with older kids who understand how to respect and handle birds.
A well-socialized mitred conure can still be loud. Owners can expect noisy screeching, squawking, and screams during the dusk and dawn periods. These birds are clownish by nature, smart, and can perform tricks to gain your affection and attention.
Mitred Conure Talking Ability
Conures are one of the most talkative parrots. And mired conures will surprise you with their grasp of phrases and words.
They have high-pitched voices that make them sound unintelligible and funny. That doesn’t stop them from being fun and chatty little talkers with their trills and murmurs.
One of the essential aspects of mitred conure care is stimulating and regular contact. Owners are advised to spend at least two hours talking to or playing with their pets each day.
You can achieve this by chatting with your talkative pet or giving them very gentle rubs.
A great way to keep your genius bird occupied is by teaching them new words and phrases and asking them to repeat after you. You might even be impressed by their extensive vocabulary!
But if the bird feels ignored or neglected, it may yell loudly or pluck its feathers as a way to cause self-harm. The bird can also display the behavior if you confine them to their cage all the time.
You need to set them free for some hours every day or week. Some owners may even create playpens for their mitred conures to muck about in.
You want to avoid keeping mitred conures in homes with young children. However, there is no issue keeping mitred conures in homes with older children as they’re more likely to understand the bird and respect it.
Mitred Conure Cage Size
Mitred conures require a spacious cage with a minimum of 36-inch height and 24-inch square footprint. Ensure to provide perches specially designed for strong chewers, and make frequent changes to prevent your pet from getting bored.
A mitred conure is an athletic bird that needs a gym stand or play area outside its cage. They enjoy bathing, and you can shower them with a sink sprayer or a spray bottle regularly.
Mitred Conure Common Health Issues
Like other conures, the mitred conure is relatively hardy compared to other parrot species. But it is vulnerable to similar health problems that affect most other conures, including:
- Feather plucking
- Allergies, cold, and sinus inflammation
- Psittacosis and candidiasis (bacterial infections)
- Pacheco’s disease (a deadly viral infection)
- Aspergillosis a fungal respiratory infection)
If a mitred conure feels neglected or gets bored, it may begin a self-mutilating feather plucking act.
Ensure to have your pet checked by a professional avian vet every year, or if the bird stops eating, begins to act lethargic, or looks unusual to you.
Mitred Conure Breeding
Mitred conures are typically cooperative when it comes to breeding. One of the major challenges might be finding a nest-box that’s acceptable by your birds.
If this becomes the issue, you can offer various types and sizes of nest-boxes or logs, placing them in different spots within the aviary.
It will enable the parent mitred conures to identify and use their preferred log or nest box. The female mitred conure lays two to three eggs in the wild. The incubation period takes about 23 days.
As soon as a pair chooses a particular log/nest-box, ensure to keep it for their exclusive use. Then, you can go on to remove other unused nest-boxes, clean and use them elsewhere.
Are Mitred Conures Noisy?
They can scream if they don’t get the attention they need and want. Mitred conures may not be the ideal pet birds for owners who are sensitive to noise, owners in apartments close to neighbors, or beginners.
Like watchdogs, the mitred conure is an awesome “watch bird” due to its extremely loud alarm noise when approached by unknown people.
What is the Best Temperature for Mitred Conures?
One factor that rare or exotic bird owners overlook is the temperature. Most animals prefer being in their natural habitat, especially birds.
Keeping in mind that the Andes region in South America is the natural home of mitred conures, temperatures between 70° and 80°F is best for them.
It’s the most common temperature in the equatorial and temperate climates where mitred conures thrive. Note that anything slightly below or over these figures are considered fine.
What is the Lifespan of Mitred Conures?
The average lifespan of mitred conures is between 20 and 30 years. In the wild, the bird’s life is mostly cut short.
However, those in captivity can survive for more than thirty years. That is provided the mitred conure receives adequate care and attention.
Do Mitred Conures Like to Play?
As with every bird, adequate workout is essential to your mitred’s good health. They are very analytical and energetic, and they require enough space to play, check out, and fly.
Like all conures, mitred conures love to chew, so you need to provide plenty of chewable toys to nibble on. These toys support their gnawing impulse in the right direction and deliver good mouth exercise.
Mitred are lively birds, and they make wonderful pets. However, they’re not ideal for beginners and people who live very close to neighbors.