Pineapple Conure – Species Profile
Pineapple Conures are small, playful, and beautiful birds, which are the result of a mutation of Green Cheek Conures. Thanks to their unique colors and behavior they have gained popularity among pet owners. Pineapple Conures are relatively easy to care for and make really good pets.
The conure parrot species is currently among the most popular pet birds. This species includes birds that are colorful, lively and clownish. Conures make good choices for both inexperienced and novice pet bird owners because they are not so hard to look after.
Though conures can talk, like the other birds in the parrot family, they are not as good as the other birds and are therefore not very famous for their talking ability. There are over forty conure species you can choose from for your pet.
The two main types of conures are Pyrrhura and Aratinga. The Pyrrhura conures are the more popular of the two. This is because although they are as beautiful as the Aratinga conures and have the same personalities, Pyrrhura conures are quieter, less destructive and smaller than the latter.
Aratinga conures include the blue-crowned, Jenday, mitred, Nanday, brown-throated, dusky-headed, cherry-headed, sun, peach-fronted and orange-fronted conures. Pyrrhura conures include the crimson-bellied, maroon-bellied, blue-throated, green cheek conure and black-capped conures.
Pineapple Conure Quick Facts
|Scientific Name||Pyrrhura molinae|
|Size||10 inches (25 cm)|
|Weight||2-3 ounces (60-80 grams)|
|Diet||fruits, nuts, insects, seeds|
|Behavior||playful, very active|
|Cage Size||20 x 20 x 30 inches (50 x 50 x 75 cm)|
Pineapple Conure Origin and Natural Habitat
Pineapple conures live in the South American wilderness. You can find them in the woodlands and forests of Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Mato Grosso.
Owing to their social nature, pineapple conures are found in flocks of 10-20 birds on treetops. The flocks can have higher numbers in places where there is a lot of food. At times, pineapple conures raid farming fields for food.
Pineapple Conure Appearance and Colors
A pineapple conure’s physical attributes will help you decide whether or not this is the pet bird for you. Since this conure is a mix of the yellow-sided and cinnamon conure, it will have a blend of the physical attributes of both birds.
The bird has yellow sides and a tan-colored head. Its back feathers have a lime green hue like the cinnamon conure’s while its chest has many bright yellow and red feathers.
The pineapple conure has a reddish-orange tint around its lower beak feathers with some red hints just above the cere. The tail feathers have maroon to light red tint like yellow-sided conures do with a halo effect.
The halo effect is particularly noticeable in young pineapple conures. The bird’s eyes have a ruby red glow like the cinnamon conure.
You might not immediately differentiate a male and female pineapple conure. Even so, you can pick a female and male conure from the bird’s behavior. Male pineapple conures are territorial and adventurous while females are sweet and cuddly.
Pineapple Conure Food and Diet
As with all parrot species, food plays an important role in the health of a pineapple conure as well. You should aim for a varied diet for your pineapple conure to get optimum nutrition.
In the wild, pineapple conures will eat seeds, insect larvae, grass, fruits and nuts. In captivity, you should feed them a similar diet, and occasionally you can give them treats as well. Always focus on providing your conure a healthy and balanced diet.
A balanced diet can be achieved by including the foods below in its feeds:
These are the favorites for pineapple conures. Include chia, quinoa, and barley seeds in your bird’s diet. You can mix these seeds up or feed them separately. It would be best to soak the seeds in water a few hours before feeding your conure to make them chewable.
Remember not to overdo the seeds because they have a high-fat content that can lead to obesity in your bird. Steer clear of a market-made seed mix in your conure’s diet since it has an imbalanced nutrition profile and a lot of fat.
These make 65-70% of a pineapple conure’s diet. Pellets have a balanced nutritional profile and are sure to deliver anything that your bird is lacking from its other daily feeds. Instead of settling for a brand name or the cheapest pellet feed for your conure, pick a high-quality feed.
Fruits are favorites of pineapple conures in their natural habitats. Include them in their diet in captivity in mangoes, pears, blueberries, grapes, apples and bananas. You can offer these to conures with or without peels.
Slice, dice and puree them before serving to make them manageable for your pet. Discard all uneaten fruits within 5-6 hours of serving to avoid contamination.
watercress, beet greens, and collard greens are among your best vegetables for a pet pineapple conure. Spinach is also a good choice since it adds some calcium to the conure’s diet. Other than leafy greens, include dark vegetables in the conure’s diet to deliver a healthy dose of vitamin A.
Winter squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are good dark vegetable options when served in small bite-sized pieces.
This is crucial to keep a pineapple conure’s bones strong and healthy. You can hang the cuttlebone inside your bird’s cage so that the pet chews on it when it wants. The cuttlebone would also double up as a beak grinder to keep your conure’s beak in shape.
These are good treats for pineapple conures. Moreover, the nuts are good EFA sources for your bird and will thus boost their brain health. Chopped walnuts or almonds make for a rewarding platter.
However, do not serve your conure more than half a nut daily because of its high fat content that predisposes your bird to different issues. You can sprinkle seeds on the nuts to make them a delight for your bird.
It is essential to keep your pet bird well-hydrated more so in hot and humid conditions. Have a full water bowl in the bird’s cage and change the water every few hours. In hot months, consider having an extra bowl so that your pineapple conure is not dehydrated if the first bowl runs out.
How Big Does a Pineapple Conure Get?
Pineapple conures are the smallest among conures. They reach full size at about 18 months old. Adult, pineapple conures grow to about 10 inches (25 cm) long in size and usually weigh between 2-3 lbs (60-80 grams). These birds are easy to handle, house, and carry around.
How Long do Pineapple Conures Live?
Pineapple conures have an average lifespan of 15 years, but with proper care, these birds can live for up to 30 years. In the wild, Pineapple conures live less than 10 years due to various diseases, stress, food scarcity, predators, and human pollution.
How and When do Pineapple Conures Breed?
If you are planning to sell or give them away as gifts to family or friends, you might want to consider pineapple conure breeding. Pineapple conures reach their breeding maturity at about 1-3 years of age.
While female pineapple conures can breed at seven months, you should not allow them to until they are at least a year old. This is because early breeding often affects a conure’s health. In the wild, pineapple conures breed in summer that coincidentally fall in February.
You might observe pet conures exhibiting breeding behaviors during the same time in captivity. These include females hiding in the nest box, and both genders regurgitating their food to each other or nipping below the mid-back.
On average, pineapple conures have a clutch size of 4-6 eggs. Females and males both sit on the eggs for 22-25 days one after the other until they hatch. If the conures do not sit on the eggs for the first ten days after laying, they will not hatch.
Pineapple Conure Talking Ability
The talking ability of a pineapple conure can be compared to that of a parrotlet since it is not such a great talker. The conure is generally quiet though it can learn a few words. Its voice is deep-sounding and quite rough.
These qualities make it among the less popular birds to train to speak. Though pineapple conures have limited vocabulary, they have excellent imitation skills and will pick up words spoken around them repeatedly.
With its love for human interaction, it will not be hard to teach your pineapple conure a few words when you spend time with it. The talking ability and time it takes will vary among different conures.
Unfortunately, some pineapple conures do not talk at all. If the ability to talk is thus what draws you to a pet bird, you should reconsider getting a pineapple conure.
What Sounds do Pineapple Conures Make?
Although pineapple conures are not very good at talking, they make a lot of different noises such as singing, clicking, whistling, beak grinding, chatting, laughing and more.
Pineapple conures can mimic different songs and sounds that they hear from you or from the radio or tv. When your pineapple conure is singing it means that the bird is happy and feels safe.
Another sign of happiness and joy is when your pineapple conure makes clicking noises. These noises are produced with their tongues, similarly, as we make clicking noises with our tongues and palate.
Usually, pineapple conures whistle when they want to play. You can teach them to whistle different songs, and they are very keen to learn new tunes from you. It is funny to see them try to mimic the sound they hear from you because they don’t get it always right.
– Beak Grinding
Beak grinding can be irritating to us, but this is normal sound conures make before going to sleep. They make these sounds by grinding the top and the bottom beak together. There is nothing to worry about, just turn off the lights or cover the cage, because your bird needs some rest.
Pineapple conures do not laugh naturally, but they can learn to make similar sounds as we do when we laugh. They can be very funny when they try to laugh. Often, when we have a rough day at work, a laughing bird can cheer us up.
What is the Best Cage Size for a Pineapple Conure?
Pineapple conures should be housed in a cage of at least 20 x 20 x 30 inches (50 x 50 x 75 cm) in size and with a bar spacing of 1/2 to 3/4 inches (1-2 cm). A bigger cage would be a much better option, though.
Cage accessories are a must in all conure cages. This is because pineapple conures are by nature playful and active.
Without some accessories, therefore, a pineapple conure will get bored and might have deteriorating health. The following are some accessories to include in the cage without cramping the available space for your bird:
- Perches to strengthen your bird’s flexes and grip.
- Feeding and water bowls.
- Supplements like cuttlebone and high-quality mineral blocks.
- Toys like sparkly items with bells or mirrors on them, swings, rope-like hanging toys and small ladders with catchy patterns. You can also include homemade toys so long as they are made from non-toxic materials.
Make sure, you don’t use decorations and items, that could be toxic for your bird.
How Much is a Pineapple Conure?
Pineapple conures usually cost between $400-$600, depending on the bird’s sex, size, age and origin. Compared to green cheek conure, which usually cost between $250-$400, pineapple conures are more expensive due to their rare mutations.
Are Pineapple Conures Good for Beginners?
Pineapple conures, just like green cheek conures, are easy to care for, which makes a good choice for beginners. These birds are very sociable and friendly. Pineapple conures bond with their owners and love playing and being petted.
Because they get bored and lonely, they need lots of attention. So, if you don’t have enough time to interact and play with your bird, you might consider choosing another pet, which suits your lifestyle better.
Are Pineapple Conures Intelligent Birds?
Pineapple conures are very intelligent, and they can learn to make different sounds, sing, and do tricks such as waving, dancing, turning, flying to you or playing short games. In order to make your pineapple conure thrive, you will have to dedicate a lot of your time, stimulating and teaching your bird.
Are Pineapple Conures Noisy?
No, pineapple conures are among the quietest pet birds you can get. In fact, you can comfortably live with them in an apartment without worrying about disturbing your neighbors. Nonetheless, their quiet nature does not mean that the conures are boring.
They are rather playful and love spending time with their owners. Young pineapple conures are somewhat nippy and might bite you or make noise. Thankfully, these behaviors can be stopped with little training.
Furthermore, your conure might become aggressive if you neglect its needs. Other than the risk of hurting you and the noise it makes when aggressive, the bird often becomes stressed or depressed. This predisposes it to diverse health issues.
Some pineapple conures are initially a bit noisy. Unfortunately, most owners respond to every loud noise that the bird makes. The response to these loud noises makes your conure assume that the noise is good and will attract you.
This reinforces the behavior. Learn to ignore the loud noises so that you discourage the behavior and foster a pleasant home environment.
Wrapping Up – Is a Pinable Conure a Good Choice for You?
Most people worry that training their pineapple conure is hard and are not as convinced to get the bird even with the information from the tidbits above. Even so, these pet birds are quite easy to train when young.
Generally, mature birds will not respond well to instructions. Use the step-up learning technique with your young bird. In the technique, start with simple things and then slowly scale to seemingly complex things when teaching your bird.
This is among the most effective methods of training pet pineapple conures to grasp different things. During training, remember to clip your conure’s wings to prevent accidents. You can later let the wings grow free once the bird has learned its limits and you have bonded well with it.
With all the information you have gleaned from this article, you are now hopefully better prepared to get a pet pineapple conure. There are several pet stores that now stock conures. As such, getting one will not be a hassle.
Though the care needs of a pineapple conure are lower compared to other parrot species, you should have a reliable vet on call. This way, you can get specialist help promptly when the need arises.