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Dusky Conure

Common Names: Dusky-headed Conure, Dusky Conure, & Weddell's Conure
Scientific Name:
Aratinga weddelli
Origin: South America— Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru
Relative Size: Small 90-110 grams
Average Lifespan: 20 – 30 years.

Pet Aspect: The Dusky Conure is not a popular parrot kept in captivity, particularly inside the United States. Though they can still be purchased in some pet shops, most are found through breeders who exclusively breed conures. 

These conures make wonderful pets and are exceptionally sweet.  They are renowned for their wonderful personalities if handfed and properly socialized.  Like most handfed parrots, spending time with their owners is highly enjoyed.  They enjoy having their feathers gently stroked.   They will gladly chew on any clothing you have on, so caution should be used when wearing expensive shirts.  Most owners find small holes on their collars or missing buttons.  Jewelry and earrings are not exempt.

Exercise:  A large play stand is ideal for the Dusky Conure.  They are full of energy and will gladly climb ropes, swing, or chew toys.  Play stands should be as large as your budget can afford and be easy enough to clean.  It is not uncommon to replace the stand yearly because of damage caused by chewing. Perches and toys usually will not uphold excessive chewing.  

These conures should not be allowed to roam around feely.  They are very curious, and because of this, it often gets them into trouble.  All free roaming should be supervised.  A Dusky Conure who is not supervised can easily end up into trouble or be stepped on.

The cage should also incorporate the conures need for exercise.  It needs to be large enough to allow the conure to hang upside down, swing from side to side, or flap its wings without the sides touching the bird. 

Noise:  Conures are known for their loud shrill calls.  Your Dusky Conure is no different and will continue this trait.  Dusky Conures can be expected to scream during early morning, noon, and before sunset.  It is not uncommon for them to scream to make you aware of their presence.  Using proper training techniques can greatly reduce this conure trait.  If your conure screams avoid eye contact and walk out of the room.  This will help to reduce this behavior.  Keep in mind though that screaming cannot be eradicated.  These parrots are genetically programmed to be loud and it is very unnatural for them not to make their calls—if not difficult.

Tricks:  The Dusky Conure can pick up tricks easily.  In fact, conures in particular are used for bird shows.  They are not shy and will gladly work for their owner’s affection or treats.  They can do just about anything if worked with such as pulling small wagons, ringing a bell, waving, turning around, or dancing.  If you wish to teach your Dusky Conure to do tricks, start by gradually showing him how to perform the trick and then supporting it by positive reinforcement.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn.

Biting:  Though these conures are not prone to becoming nippy, they can bite during sexual maturity.  During this time avoid yelling at your bird and making a fuss if bitten.  The best reaction is no reaction.  Continue working with your bird and go about your business like usual.  Any type of reaction might reinforce this bad habit.  Avoid eye contact or wobbling your hand.  Of course, never hit or spray your bird with water either.

Diet:  The diet of this conure needs to have a variety of foods.  You should not feed your conure a diet of all seeds or pellets.  Instead, offer fresh fruits and vegetables.  These conures will devour grapes or corn.  Soft carrots and broccoli that have been boiled will also be gladly eaten.  Be sure to give them dark leafy greens such as spinach, dandelion, or carrot tops.  Always wash all fruits and vegetables with water to remove pesticides.  If properly fed and taken to the vet regularly, your conure can live 20 or more years.

Breeding:  A Dusky Conure will breed year round.  The nest will consist of 2 – 5 eggs.  During this time the female will incubate the eggs for 23-24 days.  The chicks will remain with the mother until fully weaned, which is around 7 weeks.  If handfed, weaning can take as long as 10 weeks. 






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