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Patagonian Conure

Common Names:  Burrowing Parrot, Cliff-dwelling Parrot, Lesser Patagonian Conure, Andean Patagonian Conure, & Greater Patagonian Conure.

Scientific Name:   Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus, Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus, & Cyanoliseus patagonus bloxami
Origin:  South America (Argentina & Chile)
Relative Size:   Medium-small: 200- 300 grams depending on which specie is kept.
Average Lifespan:  20-30 years

The Patagonian Conure is a unique conure.  It looks different then most conures, yet it acts and behaves like a typical conure except for its breeding behavior.  This specie of conure has its own genus that is comprised of three species, the Lesser Patagonian Conure, the Andean Patagonian Conure, and the Greater Patagonian Conure.  All look almost identical but their size separates them.


They inhabit Northern and Central Argentina and can be seen in some parts of Chile.  They are not as abundant in the wild as they used to be, due to habitat destruction, and they are considered pests to local farmers because of crop damage.  For that reason alone they are shot and killed.


This conure has been given many names due to their breeding behavior.  Unlike most conures in the wild, who nest in tree cavities, Patagonian Conures prefer to nest inside cliffs. Their nests are made of tunnels that are deeply rooted into the rocks. That's why this conure has been named the Cliff-dwelling or the Burrowing Parrot.


Pet Aspect:  Patagonian Conures make fantastic pets.  They are very affectionate and very easily entertained.  These birds enjoy being petted and will always seek attention from their owners.  They are not prone to being nippy and are not overly aggressive in such a way that needs to be continually worked with.  All family members can usually interact with the conure without worrying about getting bitten. The conure will gladly sit on all family memberís shoulders all day long, or snuggling by their neck while watching television (be cautious of facial bites).


Like most conures, Patagonian Conures are great at doing tricks.  They can do simple tricks such as waving, turning around, or flapping their wings.  More advanced tricks such as puzzles or object oriented tricks can easily be learned as well.  Putting a coin into a piggybank is no problem. Keep in mind you have to show him how to do them.  It takes work and commitment from both you and bird. To begin training, start by using positive reinforcement towards wanted behaviors.  Your conure will quickly mold or perform behaviors to your needs if you continually reinforce them.


Conures are not known for their talking ability, but Patagonian Conures can talk moderately. They are one of the better speaking conures and can easily compete with Cherry-headed or Mitred Conures.   You should note that they will never have the clarity of an Indian Ringneck, which is a parrot that is similar in size, but their clarity is still somewhat understandable.


Teaching your conure to speak takes work and you need to be patient.  To increase the likelihood of your conure talking, repeat phrases while you interact with your parrot.  Try to make your voice full of energy and try to uses different words if your bird seems uninterested.  Youíll be amazed at how much quicker your conure will start to talk.  Keep training sessions fast and exciting for best results.  Handfed babies are more likely to talk than untamed ones.


Toys: A Patagonian Conure will easily entertain itself on a play stand with toys.  Like most conures, chewing is an enjoyable activity and needs to be accommodated. Owners will find that new wooden toys will quickly be turned into toothpicks in a matter of hours.  Having an ample supply of ropes, wooden toys, and chew toys, should keep the parrot busy until you restock.  Though chewing is a favorite pastime, so is being active. 


Your conure will climb around its play stand or swing from ropes.  Ladders need to be randomly placed throughout the stand for proper exercise.  Expect your conure to flap its wings excessively while holding on to the perches. If your conure wonders of the stand be sure to place him back on.  Continually do this and your conure will understand his boundaries.


Screaming: Conures are known for their shrill screams. If fact, special techniques need to be used to help reduce excessive screaming.  Because the Patagonian Conure is larger than most conures, its calls will be louder. The neighbors will easily know a parrot is present in your house.  These birds cannot be kept inside apartments due to their noise level. Like all parrots, screaming should be expected during early morning, noon, and before sunset. 


Diet:  The diet of your conure needs to be well rounded.  The key to a healthy diet is providing nutrients and proper nourishment.  A seed only diet should not be the only diet you feed your Patagonian Conure.  It will shorten the lifespan greatly.  Instead, keep an even ratio between pellets and seeds.  Include fresh fruits and vegetables daily.  Just donít feed your Patagonian Conure chocolate, avocado, or alcohol.   If a healthy diet is followed, your conure will easily reach an age of 20 or more years.


Cage:  The cage should also be large enough to give the bird plenty of room to exercise.  They are large and need extra space.  From head to toe, the conure measures 18 inches.  A cage for an African Grey or Amazon will suffice.  The cage needs to have a grill that can easily be removed and easily cleaned.  The doors need to accommodate the bird and your hands for easy removal.

A good rule of thumb to house your conure properly is that it needs to be able to climb around, swing, flap his wings, and turn around without touching the cage bars.  The cage should be as large as your budget can afford. 






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