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Mexican Green Conure

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Lauri Väin

Is the Mexican Green Conure right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Green Parakeet; Green Conure

Scientific name: Psittacara holochlorus

The basics:
The Mexican Green Conure is one of those loud conures who often make playful pets that really know how to have fun. Unfortunately, they also know how to let loose with some ear-shattering shrieks. Some people report that they can be a bit shy, but it is not clear if those people obtained birds that had been tamed and trained early enough. It may be possible for Mexican Green Conures to learn a few words, but if it's important to you to have a parrot that talks with a clear voice, pick a different species.

As the name suggests, the Mexican Green is found in Mexico, in scrubby and wooded habitats other than true tropical rainforest, up to around 2,000 meters. The birds are said to be extremely noisy where they gather for their nighttime communal roosts. They can adapt to nesting in a variety of cavities, including termite mounds, cavities in trees, or even holes in the sides of a building.

Appearance:
A slim green parakeet. When the bird opens its wings, you can see that the undersides of the flight feathers are a dull olive.

Weight:
150 grams (5 oz.)

Average size:
30 cenitmeters (12 in.)

Lifespan:
20 - 30 years

Behavior / temperament:
The Mexican Green Conure is infamous for its loud shrieks. Although it has an intelligent, alert personality and can make a great companion, most people who can tolerate the noise probably opt for the better-known, equally noisy, but much more colorful, Sun Conure.

If you do find yourself the proud owner of a Mexican Green Conure, learn the basics of conure body language so you can prevent any behavior problems. Some tightly bonded Conures have an instinctive drive to bite their “mates” to chase them out of sight when a rival comes around. This means that if it's breeding season, and you hear somebody else about to come into the room, you need to quickly distract your Conure with something to chew or to nibble until the behavior dies away. Also, because of their need for a bond, if they are neglected, they may start plucking – a habit very difficult for them to break even when they're happy again.

Housing:
A single pet Mexican Green Conure should have a powder-coated metal cage that is at least 24” wide by 24“ deep by 24“ high with 3/4” bar spacing. 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.

If you place a pair of Green Conures in an outdoor aviary, you should include a sturdy roostbox made of a wood which is safe for a strong beak to chew. Check the box often to make sure that your Mexican Green Conures are not chewing through the wood. For the safety of the birds, you need a double screen system for any outdoor aviary – 1) hardware cloth to keep rats, raccoons, cats, and other pests from entering the aviary, and 2) mosquito netting to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne disease such as West Nile Encephalitis.

Diet:
The Green 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 Green 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 Mexican Green 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

low maintenance, extremely fast learner, excellent choice, sweet birds, Loving Hearts

interesting

mimic laughter, long term commitment, adequate socialization, mental stimulation, daily exercise

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