Patagonian Conure – Care, Food & Profile

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Popularly called the burrowing parrot, and scientifically known as the Cyanoliseus patagonus, the Patagonian conure is a common breed among pet parrots. It has most features that potential bird owners need, being both affectionate and intelligent pets.

Patagonian conures are among the monotypic family. That implies that they are unique members, standing alone with their distinct features. Sun conures and Macaws are their closest relatives, and they have a few similar attributes with both.

These feathered companions are heavily built and robust, with small heads compared to their bodies and long tails.

They have adorable personalities that, combined with their attractive tropical appearance, brightens up homes. Here’s all you need to know about Patagonian conures.

Patagonian Conure Origin & Natural Habitat

Patagonian conures are native to a region that spans large parts of Argentina. There are also some smaller populations of Bio Bio province in central Chile.

Patagonian conures mostly thrive in seemingly harsh conditions and arid regions, such as the famous Monte Desert. These parrots also nest in savannahs close to streams and rivers, as well as open grasslands.

There are various kinds of habitats in Argentina, and the Patagonian conures can easily adapt to each of them. There was a time these birds suffered as a result of illegal trade, as over 122,000 entered the pet markets throughout the world. Their population has been increasing ever since, thanks to stricter regulations.

Physical Appearance

The Patagonian conure’s Dorset green plumage perfectly reflects the attractive Argentina landscape where they originate from.

Their younger ones usually have slightly different colors on the eyes and beaks compared to older ones, with whitish beaks that turn black as they age. They also have black and darker brown coloring on their backs.

Patagonian conures are the biggest conure species, and a fully grown adult weighs about 240-310 grams and 18 inches.

Patagonian Conure Behavior

In the wild, Patagonian conures usually live in large flocks. It makes them naturally sociable, and they prefer living with many other birds. They’re also quite talkative, sociable, and friendly with humans.

Patagonian conures love to mimic speech and sounds but aren’t as loud as other conures, so they’re ideal pets. You can teach them to whistle along to favorite songs or mention a few names and words.

If they don’t get plenty of affection and one-on-one attention, they can become noisier, so ensure to spend some quality time with them to avoid putting up with their noisy squawks.

Patagonian Conure Care

If you love the sound of Patagonian conures, you might be considering adopting them as pets. Here’s what you should know about raising Patagonian conures.

– Temperament

These burrowing birds are popular for being affectionate and are even easier to control if hand raised. Purchasing one at a very tender age and hand feeding it will help to form a closer bond.

This bird also enjoys the company of other birds and will require a lot of affection and time from you if you decide to keep it alone.

Being energetic and playful, Patagonian conures enjoy playing with new things/toys and learning new tricks, so you need to get several things to entertain them. As intelligent birds, they particularly love puzzle games.

Patagonian conures are not nippy, which makes them an ideal option for families with kids. Just ensure that everyone in the family spends enough time with the burrowing parrot to avoid forming attachments with only a few members.

They’re not particularly nippy, but they enjoy chewing things, so you want to avoid leaving any harmful element lying around when you open their cage.

– Training

Patagonian conures are smart and fast learners, so training them isn’t too difficult. They are also fun to watch and love to entertain with songs and funny phrases.

Training them can be challenging if you don’t have any experience training birds, so a professional trainer might be beneficial.

With careful training, your Patagonian conure can learn to mention a few phrases and words and mimic songs and tunes.

– Type of Home

Depending on your pet’s personality, many Patagonian conures can live to be quieter than several other conures. However, they’re still not perfectly suited to small houses and apartments with close neighbors because some of these birds can be noisy.

Keep in mind that they will be noisier if they don’t get the attention they deserve.

– Experience Level

Patagonian conures are very common pet bird species, which makes them suited to almost all experience levels. Any experienced bird owner should be able to train these birds more effectively.

However, for first-time owners, ensure to get a professional trainer to guide in training your pet. It is advisable to regularly handle these birds and care for them from a tender age if you want to form a very close bond with your pet bird.

Cage Size of Patagonian Conure

The first step to take when setting up a Patagonian conure’s new home is getting the perfect sized cage. Most conures require a cage with a minimum measurement of 24 inches long by 24 inches width by 24 inches height.

Since Patagonian conures are the biggest of all conures, you should consider acquiring a bigger cage or an outdoor aviary, as it’s the least size they need. The bar spacing of the cage should be between ⅝ inches and ¾ inches.

Like other large birds, Patagonian conures need to avoid boredom by staying outside their cage many times. You might observe that they might start making too much noise if left in the cage for a long period. That’s another reason they enjoy being in an aviary where there’s enough room to fly.

Patagonian Conure Weight and Size

Adult Patagonian conures can be about 45 cm (18 inches) long and weigh about 280 grams (a bit more than half a pound).

That is quite a large size that requires plenty of space, so ensure to keep this in mind when getting your Patagonian conure pet. Roomy cages, aviaries, and bird rooms are all great choices.

They are the largest among the conure family. Among the parrot family, they have the largest feet compared to their body size.

Are Patagonian Conures Noisy?

Patagonian conures are very noisy, so you should be very careful if you’re looking to bring home one of them as they’re extremely loud. Do not even consider having one if you stay in an apartment.

Contact calls, loud squawking, and shrieking are among the typical sounds Patagonian conures make. You can train them to talk and mimic some words, but they’re not too perfect at it.

What is the Lifespan of Patagonian Conures?

Patagonian conures can live for about 30 years, so you should be ready for a huge commitment as a bird owner.

Patagonian Conure Food and Diet

The Patagonian conure can have a diet similar to that of an Aratinga, even though it’s not an Aratinga. Ensure to supply them with a nutrient-rich, varied diet that includes plenty of vegetables, protein sources, and fruits.

There are various kinds of diet options you can feed these birds. With plenty of chopped fruits and vegetables on the side, a pellet-based diet can serve as a perfect daily diet. You can also get them soak-and-cook from a commercial supplier or a vet.

Many individuals like to create their own legume and grain-based diet, which typically includes a mix of cooked beans, brown rice, and grains.

Practically, you will want to prepare the cooked food in large quantities and freeze what you won’t be needing in the next few days, and defrost them when needed.

You can also include little, high-carbonate seeds, such as millet, in the mix. You can give bigger “treat” oil seeds, such as sunflower by hand. You can also give various kinds of nuts by hand or hide them around the Patagonian conure’s playpen to encourage the bird to forage.

Crack nuts that seem too hard for the bird to crack on its own. Avoid giving your conure chocolate or avocado.

Since these birds are prone to Conure Bleeding Syndrome, you shouldn’t give them diets with rich vitamin k sources, such as dark, leafy greens, and turnip greens.

– Supplements

The only supplement you Patagonian conure needs is calcium. You can offer this to your pet in the form of a calcium treat or cuttlebone attached to the inside of the bird’s cage.

If your Patagonian Conure doesn’t eat or even touch the calcium treat or cuttlebone, you can directly include a powdered supplement like a packaged oyster shell in the bird’s food.

Also, ensure that the bird gets a good measure of vitamin A in the form of orange and red fruits and vegetables.

For optimal use of the calcium offered to your Patagonian conure, ensure to expose the bird to UVB light for a minimum of three to four hours daily.

– Water

You must provide fresh water for your Patagonian conure at all times. Since the bird will sometimes even bathe in the water, you must check and change it several times each day.

It’s advisable to wipe the bowl clean using a paper towel while changing the water to prevent slimy films in the bowl. The ‘slime’ usually harbors bacteria, which is harmful to your pet.

Thoroughly wash the water bowl with water and a mild dishwashing soap at least once daily.

Every water given to your Patagonian conure for drinking, used for misting, bathing, or soaking, must be 100 percent free of heavy metals and chlorine (some home water filtration systems can’t remove 100 percent of the heavy metals and chlorine from tap water).

It’s advisable to use natural spring water (bottled) or unflavoured drinking water (bottled); avoid using untreated tap water. However, if you happen to use tap water, ensure to treat it using a de-chlorinating treatment.

Avoid using distilled water as it can result in severe medical issues since it lacks the necessary minerals needed for the bird’s body functions.

Patagonian Conure Talking Ability

Patagonian conures are slightly “above fair” compared to several other conures in terms of talking ability, though they are not as good as Blue-Crown or Half-moon conures.

They can learn a few phrases or words and can whistle along to favorite songs and tunes.

Patagonian Conure Breeding

Patagonian conures are monomorphic and attain sexual maturity at about 2 years of age. The males usually sit near or on the nesting box.

Breeding Patagonian conures is fairly easy. The major challenge is usually finding a nesting log or nest box they will accept. There’s a wide variety of dimensions or kinds of nesting log/nest box.

Most preferences are guided by previous experiences; for instance, by the memories of the nest box used to raise them or by the bird’s previous owners’ preferences.

If you don’t know their nest box preferences and they don’t accept the nest box you provided, it’s advisable to offer different types and sizes of nest boxes or logs placed in different locations inside the aviary.

That will help the parent Patagonian conures to make a preferred choice. Once the parent birds have successfully chosen a preferred log or nest box and are convenient with it, ensure to offer the same option to them every breeding season.

You want to keep it for their exclusive use. After the parent birds have chosen their nest box or log, you can remove the other unused ones, sanitize and give them to other breeding Patagonian conures.

Their incubation period is between 24 and 25 days. The egg-laying interval is about two to three days. The male would bring food for the female and her young. The young will fledge after about 8 weeks. They should be ringed after about fifteen days with 9mm rings.

Wrapping Up

If you are searching for a large parrot that is lovable and smart, the Patagonian conure is an excellent choice. They make wonderful pet birds, although they require plenty of affection and time.

They’re full of life and energy and can tear your house down if you don’t give them the attention they need.

However, Patagonian conures are very hardy pets that can take care of themselves and even survive in aviaries; if you need an outdoor bird.

Updated: October 5, 2020

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