Species group: Conures
Other common names: Green-Cheeked Parakeet; Argentine Conure; Santa Cruz Conure; Yellow-sided Conure (P.m. sordid morph)
Scientific name: Pyrrhura molinae
Once a little-known species, the smallish Green-cheeked Conure has soared in popularity as a result of its colorful plumage, combined with its easy-going nature and relatively quiet voice compared to the most popular Aratinga conures. The five subspecies of the Green-Cheeked Conure are all found in the central part of South America including portions of Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay.
These adaptable birds form small flocks that may be encountered in a wide range of habitats up to 3,000 meters in elevation. Example: They can be found in a lowland, cattle ranching area in the Bolivian Pantanal, but they can also be encountered over 1,000 meters higher at Refugio Los Volcanes in Amboro National Park, Bolivia. There are reports placing them as high as 9,500 feet in cloud forest.
The Green-cheeked Conure is poorly named, since there are many Pyrrhura conures with green cheeks.To distinguish it from its close relative and lookalike, the Maroon-bellied Conure, check the head. The Green-cheeked will have a brown crown. There are five natural subspecies in the wild, and breeders have also developed several attractive color mutations, so you can find a favorite color whether you prefer Turquoise, Cinnamon, or more.
The Yellow-Sided Conure, a natural color morph, belongs to the P. m. sordid subspecies but was once wrongly thought to be a completely different species because of its strikingly colorful belly.
72 - 94 grams (2.5 - 3.3 oz.)
26 centimeters (10 in.)
20 - 30 years
Behavior / temperament:
The Green-cheeked Conure continues to become a growing favorite of pet bird owners because of its sweet personality and exquisite coloration. They have a high energy level, and they 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.
A single Green-cheeked 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 Green-cheeked Conure should have a play gym to encourage these active birds to exercise.
Like all conures, the Green-cheeked 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: All conures may be at risk for Conure Bleeding Syndrome, caused by a vitamin K deficiency, so it's important to add vitamin K rich food like turnip tops and other dark leafy greens to their diet.
Written by Elaine Radford
smart little guy, big personalities, hilarious acrobats, wonderful loving bird, little clowns
loud vocalizations, obnoxious, thier volume, squawk, stubborn, juvenilehormonal stage, oneperson birds
great eaters, active little birds, mutation colors, real imitating machine, nightly grooming session
Tango the Talented Green-Cheeked
I bought Tango from a pet store in 2006 and she is still alive and well today. She is a bit noisy, in a screechy kind of way, but she is an intelligent bird. She mimics words that are said often around our home (like our dog's names) by matching the tone of our voice and articulating in syllables. It isn't as clear as some other species of bird, but it is obvious that she is mimicking us. She is quite a comical little bird. Green-Cheeked Conures are known for their "monkey-like" personalities, and I can certainly vouch for the validity of this claim. Tango loves to hang upside down and climb on her toys! When she sits on my shoulder and I take a drink of water, she will steal a bit from the glass. She's a goofball. .
From annieanalaigh Jan 23 2019 9:59PM
My Crazy Conure Chinook (Turquoise Green-Cheek Conure)
I purchased Chinook for my husband as a birthday gift. He kept telling me he wanted a conure, but not one of the noisy sun conures, so we picked Chinook out of a small clutch of four baby birds and visited the pet store every week to handle him until he was ready to come home at about three months old.
Once we got him home we started handling him every day to get him used to it. We have one other bird, so we had been through the drill before. Since we had been visiting him for so long, he was already used to us to a certain degree, but it still took a while for him to get used to his new surroundings. After a week or so, he seemed to be acclimated and doing well.
One thing about juvenile birds that I found out through experience is some of them go through a phase where they will bite and nip, and Chinook surely did. For about a month it seemed he would try to bite or nip anyone who was handling him. Unfortunately, this caused my son and daughter to stop handling him, which in turn means he doesn't trust them and will still try to bite them even today if they try to pick him up or do anything more than hand him a treat.
Chinook is not a very loud bird and he does speak. When he speaks, his voice is very gravelly sounding, so it is sometimes hard to understand him, but he can say "gimme kiss", "what are you doing?", and "outside" to name a few. He will also 'laugh' when he hears one of us laughing or someone on the television laughing. If he sees me kiss the other bird or someone else in the house he will make a loud kissing noise.
Chinook is very friendly and loves to be with me or my husband. As I write this he is sitting on my shoulder making kissing sounds while nibbling on my ear. He does not, however, enjoy being petted. There have only been a handful of times I have been able to pet him for any length of time. He doesn't bite or anything, he simply ducks out of the way if you try to pet him. Dancing, on the other hand, is his favorite thing to do. If you start singing to him he will start dancing. If you start dancing, he will start dancing. If you just say the word "dance" he will start dancing. If you put your finger in front of him and move it around, he will start dancing. You get the picture.
My biggest complaint with my conure is his poop. He poops anywhere. You can't trust him to not poop on your shoulder or hand if you are handling him. This may seem silly, but my other bird doesn't poop on anyone he's resting on, he will get up and go poop on his stand. I can't seem to get Chinook to do that, and not realizing you have bird poop on you can be embarrassing. Whenever any of us handle him we have someone do a spot check on us before we go out or we just change our clothes to be on the safe side.
My conure is a great source of entertainment in my house, we all love to watch him dance, blow kisses, and talk/laugh. I can't really take credit for training him to do these things, it was just something he picked up on. He doesn't know any real tricks other than step up, which is a must for any bird.
He does seem to be quite intelligent, for example he seems to know what a kiss is because he will start yelling to give him a kiss when he sees someone kissing. He knows the word dance, and as soon as you open the door to go outside he starts screaming "outside!!" He's also very affectionate in his own way. He may not like being petted, but he loves to sit on your shoulder and snuggle up against your face. He likes to give kisses, but they occasionally hurt. He has always been very healthy, and his diet is pretty standard.
In my opinion, green cheek conures are good birds for novices. They are easy to take care of, very affectionate, playful, and small enough to not be intimidating, which also means their bite isn't very painful. They are also quite beautiful and come in a variety of different colors..
From Chymara Mar 28 2015 6:55PM
Pita the Green Cheek Conure
Pita started off very friendly and lovable and I spent a lot of time with him. However, the older he got the more it seemed his mission in life was to draw blood on me and my husband. He especially liked attacking toes. We tried everything we knew to break him of his biting, but nothing worked. His favorite thing was to bite us, then say, "HEY! No biting!" Guess where he learned that? We finally had to find him a new home, where, apparently he turned into a bird sent from Heaven. I guess we were bad bird parents. I'd had other species of birds before so he wasn't my first bird, but overall it wasn't a good experience. He was beautifully marked and learned words easily, but even our pet sitter commented she'd never seen such an aggressive Conure..
From JillKHPierce Apr 5 2014 12:36PM