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Maroon-bellied Conure

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4.5/5

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Is the Maroon-bellied Conure right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Maroon-bellied Parakeet; Brown-eared Parakeet; Reddish-Bellied Parakeet; Scaly-Breasted Parakeet

Scientific name: Pyrrhura frontalis

The basics:
The Maroon-Bellied Conure is a Pyrrhura Conure which first became popular because it offers the size, personality, and color of a conure, but it tends to be considerably more quiet and apartment-friendly than most of the Aratinga conures.

There are three subspecies, all found on the eastern side of South America, ranging from Brazil down to northern Argentina. They are adaptable to a variety of habitats, both natural and disturbed, including parks and gardens. They forage in flocks of up to around 40 birds. While they can be noisy and talkative on the wing, they can also disappear into the trees, since their green and maroon pattern appears to give them the benefit of natural camouflage.

Appearance:
You can tell a Maroon-Bellied from its close relative, the Green-Cheeked Conure, because the Maroon-Belly has a green crown, as opposed to the Green-Cheek's brownish crown. They both have maroon bellies, so the name is one of those tricks that ornithologists like to play on us from time to time.

Weight:
72 - 94 grams (2.5 - 3.3 oz.)

Average size:
26 centimeters (10 in.)

Lifespan:
20 - 30 years

Behavior / temperament:
The Maroon-bellied Conure has a high energy level, and these birds require lots of toys and attention to stay happy and healthy. Like all conures, they are a little clown, always full of antics. While you would not consider them a noisy bird next to a Sun Conure or some other Aratingas, the bird is capable of hanging upside-down and clamoring for attention, so don't make them wait to play with you. Channel their chewing energy away from household furniture and in the direction of puzzle toys, foraging toys, chew toys, and bird-safe, non-toxic tree branches such as unsprayed mulberry branches. They are social, so do not expect your pet to be happy if the bird must spend many hours in alone in a quiet house. They may learn to say a few words if you are patient, but don't have unreasonable expectations for their voice.

Housing:
A single Maroon-Bellied Conure needs a cage at least 24”w by 18”d by 24” h, with a bar spacing of around ½ inch. Although the birds may not chew as recklessly as some species, they will chew, so the cage should be made of a bird-safe powder-coated metal. Place a sturdy manzanita perch anywhere that you do not want to have to replace perches frequently, but it is equally important to provide these birds with something safe that they can chew, such as appropriate bird-safe perches and toys. Every pet Maroon-Bellied Conure should have a play gym to encourage these active birds to exercise.

Diet:
Like all conures, the Maroon-bellied Conure demands a varied, nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. Many people recommend a good pellet-based diet, with lots of chopped vegetables and fruits on the side. Others are using a part seed, part pellet-based diet but, again, there must be plenty of chopped fresh produce included. Whole nuts and bigger, more satisfying seeds like sunflower seeds can be held back to be fed by hand or as part of a daily trick-training routine. They can also be hidden around the playpen to encourage healthy foraging. Crack those nuts that are too hard for the bird to crack by itself. No conure should ever be fed avocado or chocolate.

Important Note: Since the Maroon-bellied 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

social, beautiful bird, happy hookbills, adorable little spitfire, tolerant

challenging

nibbling, louder pet, nextdoor neighbor

interesting

good early socialization, shower, affordable little bird

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