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Gold-capped Conure

Common Names:  Gold-capped Conure & Gold-cap Conure

Scientific Name:  Aratinga auricapilla
Origin:  South America—Southern Brazil
Relative Size:   Small 140-150 grams
Average Lifespan:  20 – 30 years.

Feral and Captive Behaviors: The Gold-capped Conure is native to Brazil.  These birds function in flocks of 30 or more and are usually noticed through their loud shrills. Together they forage and eat fresh blossoms or ripe fruits.  While in their natural habitat they nest in tree cavities and choose roosting sites that are high. 

At one time these birds were abundant in Brazil; however, habitat destruction has caused their numbers to decline. Nesting sites are now harder to come across due to deforestation.  Fortunately, they breed will in captivity and have been established inside the pet trade. 

Pet Aspect: The Gold-capped Conure is a wonderful pet.  They are common amongst parrot breeders and can be found for reasonable prices.   They have wonderful personalities and are very affectionate creatures.  They have so much energy that finding time to play is never a problem.  To help burn their excess energy, these conures need time outside their cage.  Handfed babies will eagerly cling to the side of the cage until they are let out and placed onto a play stand.

Spending time with their owners is essential to their psychological health.  They need to be interacted with daily.  Placing your conure on your shoulders is a great way to include him in your activities.  While watching television with you, this conure will easily find a nice pocket or place to snuggle in. 

Their antics are quite amusing too.  There is nothing more comical then watching a conure play on its stand or move its head up and down.  They enjoy swinging, flapping, and chewing.  Again, they are truly active, and at times during relaxing moments it can be difficult to keep them rested.  Having some sort of distraction is great to keep them still, such as wooden hand toys.

Talking: Though conures are not known for their talking ability, the Gold-capped conure can speak.  Their clarity is not as clear as an Indian Ringneck; however, their voices are somewhat understandable.  Most owners describe their voices as sounding muffled and high pitched.   It is not uncommon to hear these parrots speak 20 or more words.

Appearance: The Gold-capped Conure is a brightly colored parrot.   It belongs to the Genus Aratinga, a taxonomic group that has conures that look similar and have similar physical traits.  Members inside the group include the Jenday Conure, Sun Conure, and the Golden-fronted Conure.  Like most conures inside this genus, full coloring is not apparent until the conure reaches about a year of age.   

Though not as bright as the Sun Conure, the Gold-capped Conure has some similar colorings.  For example, the cap is golden and highlighted by a red band above the forehead and around the eyes.  Their bodies are green but hues of aqua can be seen in direct sunlight. Red underlines the wings and above the thighs.  Interspersed between the underside of the green wings and black feathers, a bright golden band is present.  The eyes are surrounded by a white ring and the feet and beak are black.  The tail has hues of yellow, green, and blue mixed.

The birds are dimorphic which means they cannot be sexed visually.

Problems:  Conures can be loud.  Their calls are sharp and piercing.  To avoid turning your conure into a screamer, proper techniques should be used to help minimize screaming.  These parrots cannot be expected to keep quiet during their natural calling times, which is during the morning, noon, and before sun set. 

Like most parrots, these conures can become nippy.  To avoid biting, set ground rules from day one and continually distract your conure if you think you will be bitten.  Never encourage nibbling or soft preening of the skin.  Never react to a sudden bite because this can reinforce the bad trait.

Diet:  Your conure’s diet needs to be healthy if you expect him to reach an old age.  A diet of seeds will only keep your conure alive for 10 years.  Seeds are high in fat and therefore should be given in moderation.   The best remedy is giving your conure a mixture of pellets and seeds.  Substitute fruits and vegetable daily.   Fresh fruits and vegetables offer the conure natural unprocessed nutrients that are healthy for him. 






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