Thanks to improved travel and easy connections worldwide, many animals are being kept as pets far from where they originally live.
I began to wonder where my green cheek conure originally came from, so I did a bit of research.
It turns out, green cheek conures originally came from the forests of South America. Green cheek conures are native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. They are thought to feed on nectar, fruit, and seeds to survive, helping to pollinate and disperse seeds from trees.
Not much is known about their habits or population in the wild.
It is assumed they have a stable population with few signs of population decline.
There is some concern for habitat sustainability due to prevalent logging in these forested areas.
However, at this time, the green cheek conure population does not appear to be affected.
Some feral flocks have been discovered in South Florida and Southern California and are assumed to result from the accidental release of pet birds.
Green cheek conures are part of the Pyrrhura species that consists of over 30 subspecies of parakeets and conures.
How long do they live in the wild?
Green cheek conures are small prey birds in the wild.
They survive by living in the trees and trying to avoid predators like certain bats and hawks.
The “false vampire” bat is most threatening to green cheek conures at night.
However, conures are diurnal (active during the day and sleep at night), so most conures are not affected by this predator.
The ornate hawk-eagle is the other primary predator of green cheek conures in the wild.
Living in flocks helps protect green cheek conures from attacks, and most attacks are unsuccessful.
Typically, a green cheek conure may live 10-15 years in the wild but may live up to 30 years in captivity.
However, this life expectancy has decreased to as little as ten years in situations of neglect.
What kind of climate does a green cheek conure like best?
Green cheek conures are used to climates that average 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you want to keep one as a pet, they can do well in houses between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be sure to place their cage in an area that is not susceptible to drastic temperature changes or drafts, such as near a poorly insulated window or door.
What kinds of coloring do green cheek conures have?
Green cheek conures are found in a variety of color patterns.
The “natural” coloring consists of striking green and blue wing feathers with a red underbelly and tail feathers.
The green in their feathers helps conceal them from predators while in the trees.
However, over time and through breeding, many other color patterns have emerged.
You can find green cheek conures in the following additional colors:
Cinnamon – similar to natural (green and blue wings, red underbelly, and tail feathers) but with cream and cinnamon colors on the face and breast
Pineapple – similar to cinnamon but with a striking redbreast
Yellow-Sided – similar to natural with bright yellow features on the breast
Turquoise – these birds have striking shades of blue on their body, wing, and tail feathers
Turquoise cinnamon – similar to turquoise, but as with the cinnamon coloring, these birds have cream/cinnamon feathers on their face and breast
Turquoise yellow-sided – similar to turquoise, but with yellow feathers on the breast instead of blue feathers
As you can see, there is a wide variety of colorings for these green cheek conures.
This list is by no means comprehensive, and breeders are breeding new colors all the time.
However, in nature, the “natural” color predominates.
How can you tell the difference between males and females?
The green cheek conure coloring is identical for males and females.
The only way to tell males from females is to have a DNA test to sex the bird.
What is their behavior like in the wild?
Green cheek conures are flock birds, often living in flocks of 10-20 birds.
This lifestyle keeps them safe from predators and contributes to their friendly and sociable personalities.
They are playful by nature and enjoy foraging and preening.
They may fly hundreds of miles a day to forage for food.
They make nests in tree holes where they sleep and live.
These homes make it difficult for predators to reach their eggs.
How have green cheek conures adapted to captivity?
Green cheek conures are very popular pet birds and do quite well in captivity.
They are very friendly and love spending time with you and other members of the household.
They communicate vocally but tend to be the quietest of all the conures, making them ideal birds for apartment dwellers.
They need lots of toys to engage them when left alone, but they care most about engaging with their owners when the owner is nearby.
They eat a standard parrot diet, but they do best when various fruits and vegetables are made available.
If they get bored with their diet, they may become moody and display protest behaviors such as increased screaming.
They need opportunities for regular exercise.
If your bird has not had its wings trimmed, ensure a safe environment for flight by turning off ceiling fans, restricting access to large windows or mirrors, and securing any pets that may present a danger to your bird.
These cheeky little pets have adapted well to the charmed life possible in captivity, and they tend to make wonderful companion birds.
Their quiet voices and bubbly demeanor have made them a very popular pet bird, especially those who dwell in small or shared spaces.