Acquired: Pet store,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted Jan 22, 2016
I first worked with green-cheeked conures at a pet store in 2008. While I was there, I hand-raised several and several of my friends owned them as pets. I also have several friends now who own them and am considering getting one for myself.
Green-cheeked conures are probably one of the easiest first parrots to own. While they can be a little nippy, especially as babies, they grow out of this habit with plenty of love and handling. They are much quieter than larger conures and are good for people who live in apartments or townhouses and worry about what their neighbors will think of a parrot.
Green-cheeked conures are probably one of my favorite conures because they're so loving and snuggly. Once they've bonded with their owners, they're likely to spend a lot of time snuggled up against their neck or cozied into their hair.
These birds are active, and don't let their small size fool you; they're smart too! To be happy and well-adjusted, they need tons of toys (changed often to keep them fresh and exciting for the bird) and plenty of human interaction. Even a small parrot is a big commitment of time, money, and effort. I would recommend teaching them to forage for their food. This mimics how they would spend most of their time in the wild and keeps them entertained for hours. It's a very healthy behavior for them to learn and will lead to a happier bird with less of a chance of developing behavioral issues.
In pet stores, green-cheeked conures regularly sell for $400 or more. This is way overpriced! Get your conure from a breeder or rescue that will charge you a reasonable price for your bird. Even though a green-cheek is less expensive than other parrots, don't forget to factor in the cost of a spacious cage, lots of toys, perches, and a good pellet food. Parrots should also have fresh fruits and veggies daily.
I'd rate green-cheeked conures high on the list of perfect first time birds with lots of personality in a little body.