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The Ultimate Guide to Green-Cheek Conures: Care, Behavior, and More


Green-cheek conures (also known as green-cheeked parakeets) are a popular choice for bird enthusiasts due to their playful nature, affectionate personalities, and striking appearance. They are small to medium-sized parrots that are native to South America, particularly in the Amazon basin. These birds are known for their bright green feathers, red feather patches on their wings, and their distinctive bright blue flight feathers.

One of the reasons that green-cheek conures are such great pets is that they are highly intelligent and social birds. They love to play, interact with their owners, and even learn tricks. These birds are also known for their ability to mimic human speech, although they are not typically as good at it as larger parrots like African greys.

In terms of care, green-cheek conures require a good-sized cage with plenty of toys and perches for exercise and entertainment. They also need a healthy and balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and high-quality bird food. Owners should also be sure to provide their conure with fresh water every day and keep their cage clean and free of debris.

While green-cheek conures are generally healthy and hardy birds, they can be susceptible to a few health issues. These include respiratory infections, mites, and feather plucking. It’s important for owners to keep an eye out for any signs of illness or distress, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or changes in behavior, and seek veterinary care promptly if necessary.

Distinguishing Characteristics

While green-cheek conures share many characteristics with other parrots, there are a few traits that are unique to this species. One example is the distinctive red feather patches on their wings, which are not found in any other parrot species. Additionally, green-cheek conures are known for their playful and curious personalities, which can sometimes border on mischievousness. Finally, while they are not the only parrot species to have blue feathers, the bright blue flight feathers of the green-cheek conure are particularly striking and unique.

Natural Habitat

Green-cheek conures are native to the forests and woodlands of South America, particularly in the Amazon basin. They can be found in countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay.

In the wild, green-cheek conures live in large flocks and are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees. They prefer to live in areas with dense foliage, where they can find food and shelter. Their natural diet consists of a variety of fruits, seeds, and nuts, as well as insects and other small invertebrates.

Green-cheek conures are adaptable birds and can be found in a range of habitats, including rainforests, dry forests, and savannas. However, they are most commonly found in humid and semi-humid forests, where there is plenty of moisture and vegetation.

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and fragmentation, the population of green-cheek conures in the wild has declined in recent years. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their natural habitat and ensure the survival of this beloved species.


Green-cheek conures have a relatively long lifespan for a small parrot, with an average life expectancy of 10-15 years in captivity. With proper care, some green-cheek conures have been known to live up to 20 years or more. However, it’s worth noting that lifespan can vary depending on factors such as diet, environment, and genetics. It’s important for owners to provide their green-cheek conure with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and veterinary care to ensure they live a long and happy life.

Aging Characteristics

Determining the age of a green-cheek conure can be challenging, especially if the bird is fully grown. However, there are a few indicators that can provide some clues:

  1. Eyes: Younger green-cheek conures typically have darker eyes, while older birds may have lighter, more yellowish eyes.
  2. Feathers: A young green-cheek conure will have softer, fluffier feathers, while older birds will have more well-defined and glossy feathers.
  3. Beak: The beak of a young green-cheek conure will be lighter in color and may have some stripes or other markings. As the bird ages, the beak will become darker and more solid in color.
  4. Behavior: Young green-cheek conures are generally more active and playful than older birds, which may be more sedentary.

It’s worth noting that these indicators are not foolproof, and the best way to determine the age of a green-cheek conure is to ask the breeder or previous owner for information. If this is not possible, a veterinarian may be able to provide an estimate based on the bird’s overall health and condition.

Costs of Ownership

The cost of a green-cheek conure can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the bird’s age, color, and the location and reputation of the breeder. On average, a hand-fed, weaned baby green-cheek conure can cost anywhere from $250 to $500. However, some breeders may charge more for rare color mutations, such as cinnamon or turquoise.

It’s important to note that the initial cost of purchasing a green-cheek conure is just the beginning of the expenses associated with owning a bird. Other costs to consider include the price of a cage, toys, food, and veterinary care. It’s essential to provide your green-cheek conure with a healthy and stimulating environment to ensure their long-term health and happiness.

Annual Veterinary Care

Like all pets, green-cheek conures require regular veterinary care to ensure their health and well-being. Here are some of the annual veterinary care procedures that may be recommended for a green-cheek conure:

  1. Wellness exam: A yearly wellness exam is recommended to ensure that your bird is healthy and to catch any potential health problems early. This exam typically includes a physical exam, fecal analysis, and bloodwork. The cost of a wellness exam for a green-cheek conure can vary but typically ranges from $50 to $100.
  2. Vaccinations: There are no vaccinations currently available for green-cheek conures, so this is not typically an annual veterinary care expense.
  3. Parasite prevention: Regular testing and prevention for common bird parasites such as mites and lice may be recommended. Medications or other treatments may be required, and the cost will depend on the type of medication and the severity of the infestation.
  4. Beak and nail trims: Green-cheek conures need to have their beaks and nails trimmed regularly to prevent overgrowth, which can cause health problems. The cost for a beak or nail trim can range from $10 to $20 per procedure.

It’s important to note that these costs are estimates and can vary depending on your location and the veterinary practice you visit. It’s also a good idea to budget for unexpected veterinary expenses, as birds can be prone to health issues that require immediate care.


Green-cheek conures, like all birds, are susceptible to certain diseases and health conditions. Here are some of the most common diseases that can affect green-cheek conures:

  1. Psittacosis: Also known as parrot fever, psittacosis is a bacterial infection that can affect a wide range of birds, including green-cheek conures. Symptoms can include lethargy, loss of appetite, respiratory problems, and diarrhea. Psittacosis can be transmitted to humans, so it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately if your bird shows any signs of illness.
  2. Polyomavirus: This viral infection can cause a range of symptoms, including lethargy, vomiting, and weight loss. Polyomavirus is particularly dangerous for young birds, and it can be fatal. Vaccines are available to prevent polyomavirus, so it’s important to discuss vaccination with your veterinarian.
  3. Aspergillosis: This fungal infection can affect the respiratory system and cause symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, and loss of appetite. Aspergillosis can be difficult to treat, so prevention is key. Keep your bird’s cage clean and dry to reduce the risk of fungal infections.
  4. Feather plucking: While not a disease, feather plucking is a common behavioral issue in green-cheek conures. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, boredom, and skin irritation. Treatment may involve addressing the underlying cause and providing your bird with more stimulation and environmental enrichment.

It’s important to provide your green-cheek conure with regular veterinary care to ensure that any potential health issues are caught and treated early. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions you have with your veterinarian.


Training a green-cheek conure can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your bird. Here are some tips to help you train your green-cheek conure:

  1. Start with basic commands: Start by teaching your bird basic commands, such as “step up” or “come here”. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats or verbal praise, to encourage your bird to obey.
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Green-cheek conures respond well to positive reinforcement training, so be sure to reward your bird for good behavior. Treats, verbal praise, and petting are all effective rewards.
  3. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to training. Use the same commands and rewards every time you train your bird to help them understand what is expected of them.
  4. Keep training sessions short: Green-cheek conures have short attention spans, so keep training sessions short and focused. Aim for 5-10 minute sessions, several times a day.
  5. Be patient: Training takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if your bird doesn’t pick up on a command right away. Keep practicing and rewarding good behavior, and your bird will eventually learn.
  6. Provide plenty of stimulation: Green-cheek conures are intelligent and active birds that need plenty of stimulation to prevent boredom. Provide your bird with plenty of toys, perches, and activities to keep them entertained and happy.

Remember to always use positive reinforcement techniques and avoid punishing your bird for bad behavior. With patience, consistency, and plenty of love and attention, your green-cheek conure can become a well-trained and beloved member of your family.


Green-cheek conures have specific dietary requirements to ensure that they stay healthy and happy. A balanced diet for a green-cheek conure includes a mix of the following:

  1. High-quality pelleted bird food: Pelleted bird food is a great base for a green-cheek conure’s diet. Choose a high-quality, commercially available pellet that is designed for small parrots.
  2. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Green-cheek conures should also have access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, carrots, and broccoli. These foods provide important nutrients and vitamins that may be lacking in pelleted bird food.
  3. Seeds and nuts: In addition to pelleted food and fresh produce, green-cheek conures can also have small amounts of seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds and almonds. However, these should only be given as treats and should not make up the bulk of their diet.
  4. Clean water: Fresh, clean water should always be available for your green-cheek conure. Change their water daily and provide it in a clean bowl or bottle.

It’s important to avoid feeding your green-cheek conure any foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar, as well as any foods that are toxic to birds, such as chocolate and avocado. Consult with your veterinarian or avian specialist to determine the specific dietary needs of your green-cheek conure, as their diet may vary depending on factors such as age, health, and activity level.

Sexual Maturity

Green-cheek conures typically reach sexual maturity between the ages of 1 and 3 years old, with males usually maturing slightly earlier than females. Once they reach sexual maturity, green-cheek conures may begin to exhibit breeding behavior, such as making nesting attempts and laying eggs.

The reproductive life of a green-cheek conure can vary depending on a variety of factors, including diet, environment, and genetics. In general, however, the reproductive life of a green-cheek conure can last several years, with some birds continuing to breed well into their teens or even early twenties.

It’s important to note that breeding can be a complex and sometimes risky process for birds, and should only be attempted by experienced breeders who are knowledgeable about the unique needs and challenges of breeding birds. If you are considering breeding your green-cheek conure, it’s important to do your research and consult with an avian veterinarian or specialist to ensure that you are providing the best possible care for your birds.

Mating Behavior

Green-cheek conures are social and monogamous birds that typically mate for life. During the breeding season, which usually occurs from late winter to early spring, pairs of green-cheek conures will engage in courtship behaviors such as preening each other, feeding each other, and vocalizing to each other.

When a male green-cheek conure is interested in a female, he will often perform a display that involves extending his wings, fluffing up his feathers, and bobbing his head. If the female is receptive, she may respond by lowering her head and fanning her tail feathers.

Once a pair of green-cheek conures have formed a bond, they will typically mate several times throughout the breeding season. The female will lay a clutch of 3-6 eggs, which she will incubate for around 23-25 days. Both parents will take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks once they hatch.

It’s important to note that breeding can be a complex and sometimes risky process for birds, and should only be attempted by experienced breeders who are knowledgeable about the unique needs and challenges of breeding birds. If you are considering breeding your green-cheek conure, it’s important to do your research and consult with an avian veterinarian or specialist to ensure that you are providing the best possible care for your birds.

Gender Characteristics

Distinguishing male and female green-cheek conures can be challenging as they have very similar physical characteristics and colors. However, there are a few subtle differences that can help you identify their gender:

  1. Size and weight: In general, male green-cheek conures are slightly larger and heavier than females.
  2. Head shape: Male green-cheek conures have a slightly broader and more square-shaped head than females.
  3. Eye color: The eye color of male green-cheek conures is typically darker than that of females. Males may have dark brown or black eyes, while females have lighter brown or reddish-brown eyes.
  4. Behavior: During breeding season, male green-cheek conures tend to exhibit more aggressive and territorial behavior than females.

It’s important to note that these differences are not always easy to spot and are not 100% reliable for determining gender. The most accurate way to determine the gender of a green-cheek conure is through DNA sexing, which involves a simple blood or feather test that can be performed by a veterinarian or specialized laboratory.

IUCN Red List Status (Least Concern)

The Green-cheeked Conure (Pyrrhura molinae) is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species of “Least Concern”. This means that the species is currently not considered to be at significant risk of extinction in the wild, as it has a relatively wide distribution throughout South America and its populations are believed to be stable.

However, like many parrot species, green-cheek conures are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and human development, as well as capture for the pet trade. It’s important for individuals and governments to take steps to protect the natural habitats of these birds and to ensure that any trade in green-cheek conures is sustainable and does not pose a threat to wild populations.

Where to Visit Locally

There are currently two green-cheek conures (named Beans and Archie) available for adoption at Port Orchard Parrot Rescue & Sanctuary.  Additionally, Port Orchard Parrots Plus frequently hosts boarding green-cheek conures.  Visitors are welcome to view our flock at any time during regular business hours, however we recommend viewing between noon and 2:30pm when we and our volunteers are not engaged in feeding and cleaning activity. It may also be possible to view Yellow-naped Amazon parrots in the collections of either the Point Defiance Zoo (Tacoma) or the Woodland Park Zoo (Seattle).


  • Green-cheek conures are small parrots that are native to South America.
  • They are popular as pets due to their playful and affectionate personalities, and their relatively low noise level compared to other parrot species.
  • Green-cheek conures have a lifespan of approximately 10-15 years, with proper care.
  • To determine the age of a green-cheek conure, you can look at physical characteristics such as the color of their eyes and feathers, or consult with a veterinarian.
  • Green-cheek conures require a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and high-quality pellets, as well as fresh water.
  • They are social birds that mate for life and engage in courtship behaviors during the breeding season.
  • It can be difficult to distinguish male and female green-cheek conures based on physical characteristics, but DNA sexing is a reliable method.
  • Green-cheek conures are currently classified as a species of “Least Concern” by the IUCN, but are threatened by habitat loss and capture for the pet trade.

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