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Rose-fronted Parakeet

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Is the Rose-fronted Parakeet right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Rose-fronted Conure; Red-crowned Parakeet

Scientific name: Pyrrhura roseifrons

The basics:
The Rose-fronted Parakeet is a spectacular beauty that was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Painted Conure, P. picta, but which is now accepted as a full species in its own right. They were not imported into the United States until 2000, and very few, if any, of these birds are available as pets, since they are highly coveted by breeders. If you are lucky enough to obtain a Rose-fronted Parakeet, you will know that you have something very special indeed.

Appearance:
An adult Rose-fronted Conure in mature plumage stands out with its rosy red crown and face, accented by yellow ear coverts.

Weight:
50 - 70 grams (1.8 - 2.5 oz.)

Average size:
20 - 22 centimeters (8 - 8.5 in.)

Lifespan:
20 - 30 years

Behavior / temperament:
Breeders are enthusiastic about the Rose-fronted Conure. They are not too noisy, not too chewy, and seem confident and interested in their human caretakers, even in a breeding situation. They are playful and seem to enjoy being handled. By all reports, their pet potential seems to be limitless. They don't develop their full color until they are two years old, but their eye-catching beauty is definitely worth the wait.

Housing:
A single Rose-fronted Conure needs a cage at least 24”w by 18”d by 24” h, with a bar spacing of around ½ inch. Although these 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 Rose-fronted Conure should have a play gym to encourage these active birds to exercise.

Diet:
Like all conures, the Rose-fronted 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 Rose-fronted 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