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