If you are like me three months ago, asking what’s a Conure, you’re not alone. They are a South American parrot, about the size of a Cockatiel, but smarter. With a large variety in species which comes with variety in colouration, personality and noise levels, Conures are actually awesome little pets. However, their life expectancy is up to 20 years, so they aren’t a commitment to take on lightly. They are incredibly inquisitive, acrobatic and fearless – he stares down our dogs and wins every time!
I was lucky enough to find a lady hand-rearing them on the same block as we live! So I bonded with Kira very quickly, before he was weaned, and ended up taking him home with me early. So he’s well socialised and hand-reared.
What you can see is actually his juvenile colouring, at 2 months old he has yet to get his adult plumage. His entire chest, from the laced neck downwards will be a solid crimson, hence his type, Crimson-Bellied Conure. You can get a hint of that in the photo above where his very first crimson feather on his chest/belly is visible.
The dogs are not huge fans of this noisy, messy character that threatens them with a nip regularly, however I’ve always been a bird person and I’m more than happy to have adopted him. Hopefully as he matures and his brain grows, he can be taught some tricks and basic commands as well.
Because Conures are intelligent parrots they need a large cage with a variety of toys, perches, and fresh fruit every day to keep them engaged. He has a basket under his cage which holds the toys and perches we are rotating every week or two, as well as a fresh branch clipped inside his cage for chewing and climbing on. This helps to avoid destructive type behaviour developing from a bored and frustrated bird. Of course, he still insists on pushing his boundaries and being allowed out of the cage as much as possible, with a nap on Mum every evening around his bedtime. I’m not getting any sewing done during the evenings now with a very curious toddler bird climbing all over my hands and chewing on whatever I might be holding at the time.
Of course, it’s important that he’s well socialised with the whole family, the internet it full of horror stories about birds that are unnaturally attached to one member, going as far as attacking other people in the house. I don’t think we’ll be having that problem here though, he wants to fly to Dad as often as he spends time with me too. They are known colloquially as “velcro birds” and that name is so appropriate. He will just hang out on or near us as much as possible.
Of course, did you notice my one slight faux pas? My bird was DNA sexed as a boy, but by then, the name Kira had stuck and so Kira he remains! So, tell me about your pets? I love animals of all shapes and sizes – who do you share your life and home with?
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