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Brown-throated Conure

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Is the Brown-throated Conure right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Brown-eared Conure; Brown-throated Parakeet; Yellow-cheeked Parakeet; St. Thomas Conure

Scientific name: Eupsittula pertinax

The basics:
The Brown-Throated Conure isn't particularly well-known to most pet owners, probably because its modest plumage can't compete with the flashy feathers found on other members of this genus, such as the Sun Conure. For those who can appreciate them, the Brown-Throated Conure has proven to be a confident, intelligent, and somewhat vocal conure capable of a strong pair bond, so that it makes a great one or two person bird for the right household. They can learn to talk, so offer lessons early to give the bird the best chance.

This Conure is a complex species that could contain as many as 14 subspecies found in a variety of habitats-- although at least one of these could eventually be accepted as a separate species. Describing the 14 subspecies is well beyond a simple web page, so you should consult with an expert if you are planning to pair your bird. This successful group may be found in Central and Northern South America, as well as a number of Caribbean islands, mostly at lower elevations but even as high as 1,600 meters. A bold bird, it has been seen feeding with much larger parrots like macaws or Amazons. They probably mostly nest in termite mounds found in trees, but they can use crevices in rock or burrows in river banks.

Appearance:
A smaller conure. Most subspecies have an unremarkable brown throat, but a couple of them (including the nominate subspecies E. p. pertinax) feature a striking mostly orange-yellow head.

Weight:
76 - 102 grams (2.7 - 3.6 oz.)

Average size:
25 centimeters (10 in.)

Lifespan:
20 - 30 years

Behavior / temperament:
The Brown-throated Conure has the brash, outgoing personality of the other Aratingas, but some people failed to notice because of their quiet feathers. These birds can be loud, so be prepared to channel their energies into regular playtimes and even into voice training. They can form a tight bond so, if you are the bird's chosen “mate,” it's important to be aware of their body language. Any conure in breeding season can bite their “mate” to drive them out of sight of a rival, so you need to practice good distraction techniques to prevent your pet from developing bad habits. Whenever someone is about to enter the room where you are playing with your Brown-throated Conure, distract the bird's beak with a treat or a chewable toy.

Never neglect the highly social Brown-throated Conure. This pair bond bird expects to spend a lot of time with you, every day, whenever possible. Have a playpen with toys set up in each room where you spend a lot of time, and you'll really cut back on the bird's need to indulge in “contact” calls.

Housing:
A single pet Brown-throated Conure should have a powder-coated metal cage that is at least 24” wide by 18“ deep by 24“ high. Use a manzanita perch in any area where you don't want to have to replace the perch too often. Any other perches or toys should be rated as safe for a strong chewer such as a large conure or an Amazon. These energetic birds should also have a playpen outside the cage, where they can explore, investigate other perches and toys, and indulge in foraging for hidden treats. With their strong pair bond, they need to spend lots of quality time with their favorite person.

Diet:
The Brown-throated Conure demands a varied, nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. There are several diets that work for this species. A good pellet-based diet, with lots of chopped vegetables and fruits on the side, can be a good daily diet. Soak-and-cook, either from a vet or a commercial supplier, is fine too. Many people like to create their own grain and legume based diet, which generally includes a mix of well-cooked beans and grains, including brown rice. As a practical matter, you will probably want to prepare the cooked diet in large batches, freezing what you're not using in a couple of days, and then defrosting it as you need it.

Small, high carbohydrate seeds like millet can be included in the mix. Larger “treat” oil seeds like sunflower can be given by hand. A variety of nuts can also be given by hand or hidden around the bird's playpen to encourage the Brown-throated Conure to forage. Crack any nuts that are too hard for your pet to crack by itself. No conure should be allowed to eat avocado or chocolate.

Important Note: Since the Brown-Throated Conure may be at risk for Conure Bleeding Syndrome, they do need vitamin K rich sources in the diet, such as turnip greens and other dark, leafy greens.

Written by Elaine Radford

wonderful

beautiful bird, real sweetheart, little companion conure

challenging

loud bird squawking, suburban homes

interesting

laughing sound, dance moves

Brown-throated Conure Health Tip

Brown-throated Conure

From Jul 29 2014 11:14PM

4.5/5

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