Pets in the past were considered luxuries for the rich who could afford their upkeep. Nowadays, people appreciate the essence of pets on their emotional and physical wellbeing.
According to expert studies, pets will help their owners reduce triglyceride, blood pressure and cholesterol levels as they encourage them to socialize while spending time on their feet. Moreover, they help to reduce depression and loneliness through their companionship.
While there are several pet options currently, birds are becoming quite popular. This is because they are easy to care for, need minimal living space and are inexpensive to buy. Conures are fast becoming popular pet birds.
These are loosely defined in most places as medium or small-sized parrots because they belong to the same family known as Psittacidae. Conures include the Aratinga, Nandayus, Guarouba, Cyanoliseus, Enicognathus, Ognorhychus and Pyrrhura genera.
Even so, not all birds under these genera are always referred to as conures. At times, they are called parakeets.
The nanday conure is also called a black-hooded conure or nanday parakeet. It is the most popular pet conure outside the Aratinga and Pyrrhura genera.
A few avian specialists think that the nanday should be classified under the Aratinga species because it cross-fertilises with species like suns and jendays.
For those looking for a pet bird that will brighten their day, the nanday conure is a perfect choice. It is fun, lively and all smiles throughout. If this sounds like the pet bird for you, below are a few tidbits to help you further understand about nanday conure.
Nanday Conure Origin and Natural Habitat
The nanday conure has an extensive habitat in South America including Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. In fact, the name ‘’nanday’’ is the South American indigenous name for the bird.
Pantanal, the largest tropical wetland worldwide, is the perfect home for the nanday conure in South America. The birds also love savanna woodlands and coastal forests where they play in the rain.
Nowadays, there are several colonies in North America for the bird in Florida, San Antonio and Los Angeles. These colonies include nanday conures that have escaped or been released from captivity.
Nanday Conure Appearance
The nanday conure has a striking appearance. While it looks much like the other birds in the conure species, it has a distinct black hood, hence its name.
Its black facial marking looks like a hood or mask over its beak and face. Its body is primarily green or olive green with a light or grayish-blue spot on its chest.
The nanday conure has long blue tail feathers while its feet and thighs have a touch of red that further adds to its exceptional beauty in flight. There are bare white rings around its feet, beak and eyes which make a striking contrast to its diverse colors.
The blue color on the throats and breasts of immature birds is less compared to that in mature birds. Moreover, if the black hood around your bird’s neck features a rugged brown edge, this means that your pet is less than a year old.
The nanday conure is monomorphic. This means you will be unable to tell whether your bird is female or male by simply looking at it. Females are often a bit smaller compared to the males but this is largely subjective.
The sure way to differentiate the sexes of nanday conures is through a surgical sexing procedure or DNA test.
Nanday Conure Food and Diet
In their natural habitats, nanday conures will thrive on berries, nuts, flowers, fruits, grass, seeds and insects. The considerable amount of food and its wide array as in the wild is not necessarily the healthiest for the bird in captivity.
This is because it is confined and exposed to low exercise levels. Your pet conure’s diet will primarily comprise formulated pellets that are balanced to meet the bird’s nutritional needs.
However, if you feed your bird only on pellet feeds, it may become bored and, with time, no longer interested in food. Moreover, the pellet feeds do not have the phytonutrients needed to boost a conure’s immunity.
You can vary a nanday conure’s diet with cheese, raisins, chopped greens, dark orange fruits, diced apples, pomegranates, grapes, mangoes, papayas, snow peas, cabbage, plums and broccoli.
Lean meat, eggs and fish can also be included in small portions and occasionally because of their high protein content. Avoid salty foods, cured meats, fatty foods, chocolate, avocado and caffeine in your conure’s diet since these are toxic to it.
Nonetheless, the exact dietary needs for your nanday conure depend on its activity level, physiological needs, breeding, molting, and age.
Nanday Conure Weight and Size
You would not want to be stuck with a pet bird that cannot fit in your apartment or too heavy for you to pet. This makes it very crucial to know the size and weight of the pet.
Nanday conures grow to lengths of thirty-seven centimeters and weigh 140-147 grams (5.2 ounces) on average. Their wingspans are about 11 inches.
This weight and size are comfortable for people of all ages and sizes to handle. Moreover, the conure will comfortably fit in almost all interiors.
Nanday Conure Lifespan
You would not want to keep replacing your pet every few years after giving it the best care levels and investing emotionally in it. Considering the lifespan of the pet you will get is thus essential.
The nanday conure has a 25-30-year lifespan in the wild. Even so, with optimal care, it can live for 40 years in captivity.
This means it might outlive you and you do not have to mourn its loss. Furthermore, everything you spend on the nanday conure will be worth it as it is sure to pay off in its long life.
Nanday Conure Breeding
Nanday conures will get to their sexual maturity when they turn three years old. This age, compared to other conures, is a little late but nothing that should worry you. There have been reported instances of successful breeding before nanday conures reach three.
However, this is not advisable because it might be fatal for your bird. The conure has a clutch of 3-4 eggs that will incubate for 24-26 days. In a year, your pet bird can have 2-3 successful hatches.
The chicks will fledge after eight weeks of hatching. They will become independent in 2-3 weeks. After they have successfully raised their young ones, nanday conures will create a roost until their next breeding season.
The conures will often nest in tree cavities while in their natural habitats. Both the male and female birds will prepare their nest a few weeks before egg-laying. Females, nonetheless, handle the final preparations of the nest.
In captivity, you can provide a tree cavity for your conure’s breeding or get a nesting box. The dimensions of a nesting box are average, but this will be strongly influenced by your bird’s preference.
The nesting boxes in most pet stores are 16-24 inches. It would be best to pack a lot of nesting material in the nesting box since nanday conures love removing some as part of their primordial behavior.
Before breeding, it is recommended that you feed your nanday conure with a diet high in calcium. You should also include a lot of mineral supplements to boost the fertility of your pet bird and the chances of a healthy offspring.
Nanday Conure Talking Ability
Conjures might not be the most famous among the parrot family for their talking abilities. Even so, the talking ability differs among different species. Nanday conures can learn phrases and build their vocabulary to about twenty words.
They are the chatterboxes of the conure species and can become one in your family if you take time to train them. Furthermore, the voice of a nanday conure is much like that of a cartoon character. Training yours to talk does not sound like such a bad idea for some comic relief.
Nanday conures sometimes mimic the phrases and vocabulary of the people they interact with. As such, be sure to repeat the words you would like your conure to know around it.
While it might take time for the birds to learn the words and you to decipher what it is saying, be patient.
Also, maintain a positive spirit around the bird so that you do not discourage it when developing its speech. Luckily, nanday conures are intelligent and thus easy to train.
Nanday Conure Cage Size
In the wild, nanday conures will live in tree hollows since they want to feel safe. In their natural habitats, the birds can stretch as much as they want. Try to mirror this in your bird’s cage by accounting for enough space for its wingspan.
The recommended minimum cage size for one conure is 20 x 20 x 36 inches. You, however, can go for a bigger cage than this for the maximum comfort of your bird.
Nanday conures are naturally social and you will keep them in groups so you might consider getting a large cage the first time round to avoid the need of replacing the cage often.
It is crucial to keep your conure entertained in its cage for it to remain healthy. Perches and swings that will guarantee your pet bird sits comfortably in its cage are among the first things you should buy.
When choosing the perches, settle for those with different widths and lengths. This allows the bird to exercise its feet and prevent the setting in of degenerative conditions like arthritis.
Chew toys are also important for nanday conures in captivity. There are plenty of these in pet stores. Purchase as many as possible so that you can easily replace those that show signs of wear.
Another aspect of a healthy nanday conure cage is the presence of enough water in which your bird can bathe. In their natural habitats, conures bathe in the rain. This can be replicated in their cages in a shower or a shallow water dish.
For bathing, settle for a pie dish since it is shallow and wide enough to accommodate your pet bird. A few conure owners use a spray mist from a spray bottle to bathe their birds.
Nanday conures are energetic birds and will need some time for exercise outside their cages. Aim for at least four hours outside the cage for your pet bird to guarantee its mental and physical wellbeing.
While this sounds like a demanding thing, you can use the time to bond with your conure to make the time rewarding and fun.
Are Nanday Conures Noisy?
Yes, they are. Nanday conures are among the noisiest pet birds you can get though the noise is nothing that adequate socialization with the bird cannot overcome. Some of the birds have loud voicing habits or natural screams typically in the afternoons and mornings.
This is an instinct that helps the conure flocks maintain contact in their natural habitats. Thankfully, you can train a nanday conure to drop its screaming habit.
Nonetheless, it might take some time for your conure to drop the habit. At times, the screaming is a sign of depression in conures that do not socialize enough.
Now that you know what to expect with a nanday conure, you can confidently walk to a pet store and get one. Alternatively, you can adopt yours from an animal shelter, breeder or consider the ones put for sale by pet owners who want to reduce their conure populations.
To avoid remorse, be on the lookout for common conure diseases when picking your pet bird. These include respiratory issues, Pacheco’s disease (linked to the herpes virus) and conure bleeding syndrome.
A healthy nanday conure should be active and alert. Its crop should also be full, its eyes bright and the feathers clean.
In some places, the nanday conure is considered an invasive species because it is attracted to exotic veggies and fruits. To this end, farming areas might consider the birds a nuisance and ban them.
Moreover, the strong beak of a nanday conure can be used to harm people if the bird is irritated. Therefore, before you settle on this conure for your pet bird, check your local regulations.