Country of Origin: South America
Males Size: Small to Medium
Female Size: Small to Medium
Weight: 60-90 g
Also known as: Green Cheeks
Lifespan: 20-30 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pet
The Green Cheek Conure is a scrappy bird with a big personality, most like a terrier in the dog world. They come from the Pyrrhura Sub Species and make entertaining pets for most people.
The Green Cheek Conure, a Pyrrhura sub-species, is fairly small in relation to the rest of the Conure family, but average for a Pyrrhura. It is a colorful bird with a dark gray or blackish head, a black beak, dark brown eyes and white, eye rings. Their cheeks are green (no surprise there!).
Their body is dark green and their chest is scalloped gray. Their flight feathers are cobalt blue, and many Green Cheeks have blue feathers under their tail. Their tails are dark maroon and some Green Cheeks also have a full maroon belly. Their beak and legs are dark grey and their feet are pinkish, with dark nails.
Male and Female Green Cheeks look nearly identical but there are some identifying clues to which sex you own. Females tend to have rounder heads and bodies while males have flatter longer heads and slimmer bodies.
If you ask most bird owners, they will tell you that Green Cheeks make great pets with big bird personalities. Some feel that they make better pets in a wider variety of settings than most parrots, including most other Conures. On the cuddly, playful and intelligence scales, Green Cheeks rank near the top. Most Green Cheeks love attention including lots of petting. You may meet a Green Cheek that would rather you pay him attention on his terms, though, so make sure you are clear what yours prefers.
Most toys, especially ones they can chew on, will be a bit hit with your Green Cheek. Any toy that allows them to climb or hang from will almost always be a winner, as well. Green Cheeks are said to be very curious and intelligent and will learn simple tricks from you.
Like all pets, ones that are not properly socialized or trained may exhibit unwanted behaviors. Biting or nipping is one of the most common of these behaviors listed by Green Cheek owners. Green Cheeks may also develop some common fears that are object specific (balls, balloons, cats, etc) or are more general in nature. Keeping frightening objects out of the room your bird lives in is imperative and introducing your bird to new people and things needs a great deal of patience.
While some Conures have a reputation for being loud, most Green Cheeks are quieter than their cousins. Most communicate in squeaks and squawks and will let their owner know when they are looking for attention. While they do not have a large vocabulary, most can say a few words.
Most Green Cheeks are happy to bath themselves – in their water dish! Giving them a more structured bath, in a sterile dish full of water is best. It should be long and wide enough to fit their tails in and spread their wings. Some owners prefer to give their Green Cheek a “shower” by spraying them with a misted water bottle instead.
Pet Green Cheeks should be offered a wide assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and high quality pellets. Some bird enthusiasts recommend that more than half of their diet should consist of pellets with less seeds and nuts. Others strongly advocate for mostly fresh foods such as apples, potatoes and corn. Avoid all junk food, foods with caffeine, chocolate and alcohol.
Your Green Cheek will appreciate a clean, larger cage with plenty of toys. The minimum enclosure should be 41 cm x 41 cm x 46 cm but the larger the better. The cage should not be placed in front of a window, heating vent or door to the outside. Green Cheeks do not do well with drastic temperature changes and will not appreciate the draft. It should be placed at tabletop height (not too high, or too low!)
Many bird enthusiasts also recommend making their cages not only a comfortable place to rest, but an entertaining spot as well. They should contain several perches and wood is the best materials for them. Toys should also be provided but care must be taken in selecting them. Some are prone to causes problems: unraveling ropes, toys that have small holes beaks can get caught in and those made of galvanized wire which can cause lead poisoning. It is best to find size appropriate bird toys that will be chewed and eventually destroyed.
Green Cheeks tend to be healthy birds but there are some minor issues that may arise. If you see your pet wheezing or coughing, favoring one foot, sitting on the floor of their cage, or not eating, call your veterinarian. Fluffed, plucked or soiled feathers, runny stools and eye or nasal discharge are also signs that your bird needs medical attention.
Suitability as a Pet
Most Green Cheeks will make good family pets and with property socialization, they do fine in a busy environment. While they will often get along with all family members, they are likely to choose a favorite.
Most Green Cheeks do well with cuddles and pets, but be aware of having your pet too close to others if they are going through a biting phase. Unknown children, in particular, may move too quickly and scare your Green Cheek so ask them to keep their distance.
There are several different sources for adopting your Green Cheek – breeders, pet shops and from owners who are giving up their pet. No matter where your bird comes from, know that they will require a great deal of time and attention (some say as much as a dog).