Species group: Conures
Other common names: Black-Headed Parakeet; Black-Headed Conure; Black-masked Conure
Scientific name: Aratinga nenday
The Nanday Conure captures the heart with its rambunctious, active nature and its alert personality. This hardy, adaptable pet can bond quickly to the new pet owner or even to another lonely mid-sized parrot. However, it has a loud, carrying voice, and it cannot be recommended as a good apartment pet. The Nanday is very affectionate and will expect to spend a lot of time kissing and nuzzling you.
The natural range of the Nanday Conure is a relatively small area in South America, the Upper Rio Paraguay basin, including a flooded pantanal area and ranging up to 800 meters. Where they occur, they can be common or even abundant, wandering freely mostly in small flocks in search of food. The species is adaptable, and escapees will try to form flocks in North America. Small introduced populations may be found in Florida and California, but whether they will become established in the long term remains to be seen. A small population that produced a few young in New Orleans in the 1980s seems to have vanished.
An attractive green conure with a black-masked head and the bright red “stockings”on its thighs.
140 grams (5 oz.)
30 centimeters (12 in.)
20 - 30 years
Behavior / temperament:
The Nanday Conure is well-regarded for its looks and intelligence, because it is an alert bird that loves to learn tricks and to spend time playing with its owner. However, before you choose a Nanday, you do need to be aware of the voice. Some of these birds are loud, and it's in their nature to call to you if you're out of sight. Have a play gym in your home office or TV room or another place where you can spend a lot of time close together. Don't make the Nanday Conure yell to get your attention. As with most vocal birds, it's possible for some individuals to learn how to talk or to mimic sounds. Get them started early, and give them something positive to do with those powerful lungs. They also need lots of wooden toys that can be chewed to destruction. They just can't resist a good chew.
A single Nanday Conure needs a powder-coated metal cage of comfortable dimensions, maybe a minimum of 24”wide x 24”deep x 36”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.
The energetic Nanday Conure should also have a playpen outside the cage, where they can explore, investigate other perches and toys, and indulge in foraging for hidden treats. Train your Nanday Conure to step up on a perch on command, so that you can easily remove the bird from its cage to the play area. In that way, even if the bird becomes somewhat territorial about its cage, you can still enjoy the bird on neutral territory.
Like most South American parrots, the Nanday 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 Nanday 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 Nanday 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
clownish, good potential talker, acrobatic stunts, pretty bird, contrasting colours
loudest, alarm birds, feather destructive behaviours, noisiest bird, ear pierceing screech, LOUDLY
trainable, lifetime commitment, kisses, little red pantaloons, Sensitive Nanday Conures
Bandit my Nanday
I got Bandit as a just weaned baby. He was so little and fluffy. He bonded with me pretty easily and I took him everywhere with me. I kept his flight feathers clipped until he was much older and I could trust him not to fly away and get lost. I spent a lot of time with him everyday. He was my buddy and he only liked me. He would bite anyone else or bite me if he couldn't bite them.
I taught him how to dance and make kiss noises. He couldn't talk very clearly but he tried. He was very loud when he was upset or excited. Once he was older and very bonded to me, around 6 yrs old or so, I would let him fly outside in our trees. We lived way out in the country away from people though. He would sit in the trees for awhile then I would tell him time to go back inside and if he didn't come when I told him that, I'd slam the back door as if I went inside and he'd come almost immediately every time. He was very smart and didn't want to be left outside alone.
Their intelligence is amazing and they need a lot of mental and emotional stimulation. They need toys and things to climb and chew. They need lots of love and time with their person too. Birds of all sizes can go 'crazy' and begin hurting themselves if they do not get the love and stimulation they need.
Birds are great pets for older kids/adults who have lots of time for them. Birds need spacious cages and plenty of time out of the cage. Feeding is easy, every species has a food just for them at most pet shops..
From Loucisaputo May 14 2015 12:17AM
A full time pet with a lot of love to give.
Before you even consider taking a Nanday Conure into your life, you must ask yourself a few questions:
Do you have an awful lot of time to devote?
Do you mind having a pet that is extremely loud?
Do you want a pet that will love you unconditionally, crave your attention, but also possibly hate everyone else in your household?
Do you have nearly 70 years to devote?
The Nanday Conure is an incredibly rewarding animal to have in your life, but they are very full time. The bird will need to be out of their cage for many hours a day, and despise being left alone. They are also incredibly loud and do love to hear themselves. They have an adorable chatter and can form some words, though very garbled. This is not a bird who will talk to you, imitate you, or sound like a telephone.
They are beautiful birds, with very bright green plumage, stark black heads, and adorable little red tufts of feathers around the tops of their legs. They are also incredibly loving.
My Nanday Conure Princess loved to kiss, cuddle, and garble little chirps in my ear affectionately. She was a rescue bird whose previous owners were not ready for a bird like her, and so she came to live with me. She adored to take baths in the sink, and was happy to sit on my shoulder while I worked at the computer.
Princess, like many birds, was a one person bird. She not only disliked other people, she actively tried to trick them into getting near her so that she could bite them.
Remember, birds are very intelligent, and love to play tricks.
A Nanday Conure would be a wonderful pet for someone who is home most of the day, does not live with many people (or lives alone), and who has a lot of patience and love to give to them. You also must consider the amount of noise you can tolerate in your home.
Princess has gone on to live in a place with many other birds like her, and lives a very happy life. Please be sure that this is the right sort of animal for you before you bring one into your life. They will likely outlive you, and if you change your mind about them, they may be forced into rescue care..
From MeganW Sep 12 2015 4:21PM
Wild Caught Hell
My roommate and I went to the pet shop in Arizona back in the early 80s to buy a bird. She decided on the Nanday Conure. What we were not told was that the big cage jammed packed with healthy, screaming conures were caught in the wild and being sold as pets.
It takes a special kind of person to tame a wild caught bird, or to even voluntarily own one. Personally, I am 100% against catching birds in the wild and selling them to the pet market.
At any rate, we tried and tried and tried to get this bird to like us and he was having none of it. We took some very serious bites. In the end, he escaped and flew away. I'm sure he was feeling like he was finally free like he should be.
I don't know how good of a pet a Nanday could be because my experience was awful and so was the bird's! The bite of a conure is incredibly bad..
From pslove Jun 1 2014 4:52PM