Conure

Psittatus solstitialis, Aratinga nenday, and others

Last updated: October 17, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Yatra/Shutterstock.com

They are intelligent and noisy, often mimicking sounds and learning vocabulary.

Conure Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Psittaciformes
Family
Arinae
Genus
Aratinga, Pyrrhura, and others
Scientific Name
Psittatus solstitialis, Aratinga nenday, and others

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Conure Conservation Status


Conure Facts

Prey
berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetation like leaf buds.
Name Of Young
Chicks
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
They are intelligent and noisy, often mimicking sounds and learning vocabulary.
Estimated Population Size
Unknown
Biggest Threat
Habitat loss and trapping
Most Distinctive Feature
Bright colors and long tails
Distinctive Feature
small rostrums and beaks
Wingspan
5.5 inches
Incubation Period
23 days
Age Of Fledgling
3 weeks
Habitat
moist lowland forests
Predators
hawks, eagles, owls, snakes, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, and bats.
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Type
Bird
Common Name
Conure
Number Of Species
40
Location
Central and South America
Nesting Location
Tree holes, termite mounds
Age of Molting
8 to 10 months

Conure Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Green
Skin Type
Feathers
Top Speed
50 mph
Lifespan
15 years
Weight
0.13 to 0.33 ounces
Length
10 to 20 inches

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“Conures have attention-seeking behavior.”

Summary

The conure is a loosely defined group of small to large parrots and parakeets native to Central and South America. They inhabit tropical and subtropical lowland forests, where they spend their days foraging in large flocks or perched on treetops. These birds are known as “clowns” and often exhibit attention-seeking behavior. Learn more about these intelligent, noisy birds, including where they live, what they eat, and how they behave. 

5 Amazing Conure Facts

  • The conure is not recognized as a scientific grouping. The term is primarily used amongst breeders and includes parrots and parakeets found in Central and South American areas.
  • There are wild flocks of nanday parakeets on Florida’s west coast.
  • They are intelligent and noisy, often mimicking sounds and learning vocabulary.
  • These species have small rostrums on their beaks used for eating.
  • Conures forage on the ground in large flocks to protect themselves from predators.

Where to Find the Conure

All conure species live in Central and South America. Many inhabit areas of Brazil, while others live in countries like Guyana, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Puerto Rico. One species, the nanday parakeet, can be found in the wild in parts of Florida, like St. Petersburg and Clearwater on the west coast. Most conure species live in tropical to subtropical moist lowland forests, dry savannas, and plantations. Look for them flocked together in the treetops or returning to their roosts an hour before sunset. Their noisy calls make them hard to miss.

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Conure Nest

Conures make their nests in tree holes. But some will burrow holes into termite mounds. Other species will use rock crevices in cliffs.

Scientific Name

Conures are loosely defined and currently do not constitute a natural scientific grouping. Breeders mainly use the term “conure,” but scientists refer to them simply as “parakeets” or “parrots.” 

Aviculturists list ten genera in the conure group:

  • Aratinga
  • Pyrrhura
  • Psittacara
  • Eupsittula
  • Golden conure
  • Patagonian conure
  • Enicognathus
  • Golden-plumed conure
  • Yellow-eared conure
  • Carolina parakeet (extinct)

Size, Appearance, & Behavior

Each conure species varies in color; most have some combination of green and yellow, with black or gray heads.

©boyphare/Shutterstock.com

Conures are either large parakeets or small parrots, and they resemble Australian parakeets. These birds have light builds, long tails, and strong but small beaks. Conure species have small rostrums on their beaks used for eating, which are typically gray or black. Each conure species varies in color; most have some combination of green and yellow, with black or gray heads. They measure 10 to 20 inches long, weighing 0.13 to 0.33 ounces, with an average 5.5-inch wingspan.

Conures are nicknamed “clowns” due to their constant attention-seeking behavior. They often hang upside down, sway back and forth, and dance. These species are very social, living in flocks of at least 20 or more. They use their large numbers to protect them from predators as they forage on the ground. These birds are intelligent and noisey, calling out demands, mimicking sounds, and learning vocabulary and tricks. They are also excellent fliers, reaching up to 50 Mph.

Migration Pattern and Timing

Conures are nonmigratory, meaning they remain in their natural environments year-round.

Diet

Conures are omnivores that feed in the treetops.

What Does the Conure Eat?

The conure eats berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetation like leaf buds. They also eat vegetables, which, combined with fruit, makeup 25% of their diet. These birds may also consume grit to aid in digestion. Conures exhibit strong foraging behavior and may even steal farmers’ crops.

Predators, Threats, and Conservation Status

The IUCN lists over 45 parakeets as “near-threatened,” “Vulnerable,” “critically endangered,” or “extinct.” Species like the golden parakeet are listed as “vulnerable.” This bird has a small population and a continual decline from habitat loss and trapping. Others, like the sun parakeet, are “endangered” due to their small and declining population from habitat loss and trapping. The green-cheeked parakeet’s declining population is listed as “least concern.”

What Eats the Conure?

The conure’s primary predators include hawks, eagles, owls, snakes, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, and bats. Conures forage on the ground, which makes them vulnerable to attacks; they prefer to eat in flocks, lessening their chance of being eaten by hungry predators. These parakeets are constantly alert and quickly fly away at the first sign of trouble. However, they will fight using their beaks as weapons if they can’t get away.

Reproduction, Young, and Molting

Conures do not mate for life but partner with one mate at a time and help raise their young together. These birds are sexually mature around one year and breed during spring and summer in their natural habitats. Females lay between four and six eggs and incubate them for around 23 days, while the males bring food. Baby conures fledge the nest around three weeks, and conures move as family units for one to two months. These birds undergo their first molt between eight and ten months old and can live up to 15 years.

Population

The total global conure population is unknown, but many have declining numbers. The sun parakeet from Brazil and Guyana has a population of between 1,000 and 2,400 individuals. They are experiencing a continuous decline in their mature members, primarily due to illegal trapping. Others, like the more common green-cheeked parakeet, are also going through a reduction from habitat loss.

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer and content creator focusing on nature, wildlife, food, and travel. She graduated Kappa Beta Delta from Florida State College with a business degree before realizing writing was her true passion. She lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking!

Conure FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where do conures live?

All conure species live in Central and South America. Many inhabit areas of Brazil, while others live in countries like Guyana, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Puerto Rico.

How big are conures?

They measure 10 to 20 inches long, weighing 0.13 to 0.33 ounces, with an average 5.5-inch wingspan.

How do conures behave?

Conures are nicknamed “clowns” due to their constant attention-seeking behavior. They often hang upside down, sway back and forth, and dance.

Do conures migrate?

Conures are nonmigratory, meaning they remain in their natural environments year-round.

What do conures eat?

The conure eats berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetation like leaf buds. They also eat vegetables, which, combined with fruit, makeup 25% of their diet.

Are any conures endangered?

Sun parakeets are “endangered” due to their small and declining population from habitat loss and trapping.

What are conure predators?

The conure’s primary predators include hawks, eagles, owls, snakes, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, and bats.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Red List / Bird Life International, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?query=conure&searchType=species
  2. Avian Enrichment, Available here: https://avianenrichment.com/learn/instinctual-needs/security/parrots-and-predators
  3. VCA Animal Hospitals / Rick Axelson, DVM, Available here: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/conures-feeding#:~:text=Conures%20eat%20a%20variety%20of,known%20to%20raid%20farmers'%20crops

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