Animal Stories - Conures


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Rina - 2012-06-16
I need help. About 2 month ago I adopted a GCC. She is 4 years old. I think, at one time she was very loved. Then her owner got sick and she became a neglected bird, living on the carport. She is fine when I sit next to her cage and talk to her, but as soon as I open the door to her cage, she runs to the furthest corner of the cage. Otherwise she does seem very happy here. Next to her cage lives my Lovebird (8 years old), whom I hand raised from 3 days old. He is a very happy, but independent fellow who has taken a shine to my GCC. He tries to get into her cage. My questions are these: how can I get her to trust me and interact and bond with me? Should I let them interact yet, or should I wait with that? Would it be detrimental to my relationship with my Lovebird if they bond? Would my GCC get close to me should she bond with my Lovebird? Please help.... at this point, I do not want to make any mistakes.

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  • Brandi - 2012-06-16
    I don't know anything about love birds so I can not give you advice with that question. The conure...that is something I know a little about. Birds need time...and they must develop trust. Being an older bird (not old they live over 25 years, but not a baby) the bird has already established its 'bonding' relationship with an individual. That doesn't mean that she wont be your friend over time...but being a second owner, this is not an easy task. The worst thing you can to is jepordize your progress so be careful. Conures are so affectionate that it can be hard when this person they are use to is gone. Its like they lost a parent...they are devistated. My bird (although a baby) we are working on her skills because she's taken to me so strongly she squaks if someone gets near 'us' durring our cuddle time. She screams and nips at them. We are working on the behavior, but it shows you they tend to perfer one person. Doesnt mean that the bird can't...my children hold her all the time...but when she allows it. When she interacts with me...its when I allow it. Does that make sence? Anyways, my advice to you is for you to ignore the bird. Feed it, water it, sanatize the bowls daily, change the bedding...but ignore the bird. They get curious. Give it a few days. Sit next to the cage. Read a book and let it get use to your presence. Maybe spend time with your other bird where the conure can see...so he/she knows you are okay. After a few days start talking to him/her sweetly. Not too much, a hi now and then...let the bird know you are aware it is there...always be friendly and kind. Then maybe when he/she starts to act interested and curious maybe open the cage. Leave it open for a min. or two...then close it. Do that for a few days. Try getting a stick or a branch and seeing if the bird will step up on that and come out of the cage...or lift it off the pearch and then put it back. They LOVE people food and it will expand their life cycle. Once the bird becomes curious about you let it watch you eat. Be enthuastic on how yummy it is and how wonderful it is. Offer it a bite through the bars. If it doesnt want it...slowly let the bird watch you place it in the dish and walk away. Curiosity will always get the best of these guys. It will eat the ( watermelon/grape/strawberry/whatever) and realize oh wow, she was giving me the good stuff! Eventually if you can get it to eat out of your hand then you can maybe pet it and touch it an pick it up. Before you make any progress the first thing you have to do is build a relationship and establish trust. Without that ya'll will get nowhere and it wont be a good relationship. These birds live a very long time so you have lots of time. Take it easy, take it slow and always show love. My bird (never been a bird person) is the most amazing creature alive. We have our issues and things we are working on but aside from that...its an amazing experaince. Remember, nothings easy, nothing is over night...and it is all worth it in the end!
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-17
    The little conure is scared and I would think 'cage bound' in she is afraid to come out of the cage.  Put her food outside the cage.  Talk to her, sing, laugh etc.  Let her get used to sounds in your home but get creative to get her out of her cage.  Yep, they become very attached to their humans and this is very different for her -   Get her out of the cage.  She will love you too and probably that little lovebird as well.  Conures just aren't agreeeisve and more velcro birds in that always want to be on you.  Conures like all things.  Mine sleeps frequently with one of my macaws - looks a little odd but the conure will actually and i do not know how break into the macaws cage.  They are pals but that little conure is 'attached like glue to me' and other members of family.  Yours will be that way also - just the way they are.
  • Rina - 2012-06-18
    Thank you Brandi, thank you Charlie. It seems, I am on the right track. Sometimes I get busy with other things and do not give them first thing their veggies.... she sits on the bowl holder, looks at me and let's me know that I forgot something. I adore her personality. I have both their cages placed that I can see them from my desk and they can see me. So we see each other all day. Beni, my Lovebird calls me when he wants to come out and I let him 'help' me with my office work (shred papers). She watches it with interest but that is all. Now, that I got both of your advise, I can relax and just let it happen with her. I thought I was doing something wrong. Many years ago I rescued a 26 year old African Gray. From day one he came into my home, he was attached to me. He wanted to be with me and around me most of the time. At least he wanted to see me. So I thought, it would be the same with my GCC. I will take a deep breath and relax. As long as I know all is well. Thank you again. It was a great help. Rina
  • nell - 2013-01-05
    Rina , I got a GCC from my brother They had been great friends but his life got complicated and the bird spent several years living with my aging mother who was not a bird person. In short he developed some anti social behavior including becoming cage bond and a sad periodic squawking. I ended up with him, it took several years but he's a happy bird now. He bounces cat balls, shreds sisal rope and has developed a nice vocabulary--he learned my name from hearing my aging mother call me. For 15 years all he said was 'osbert' then he learned 'hey nell' frmm my mom ---and his next one was 'osbertnell' (that made me tear up) he say 'sleepy' when he goes into his tent----- oh yeah try to buy him a birdy tent he seems to like having a safe place to hide, it made him more social. It took him several months to use that tent so be patient. Mine loves pasta, blueberries apples and strawberries, rice cakes and a little cheese now and then. Good luck and be patient. It's been a pleasure to see Oz come out of his shell.
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Shelly Mickey - 2012-10-28
We had gotten a 14 month old Jenday Conure from someone who really didnt have the time to spend with it and she had gotten it from a pet store when it was 6 months old. It is afraid of hands. Now when you put a wood perch in front of it and say up, it will go up on it. Now if you were to move your hand around it, it hurries up and moves away. You can try and try to slowly put your finger towards and and say up it dodges it as fast as possible. The ex owner said that Sunny was in the pet store for to long and all the people and kids poking their fingers at it caused it to be the way it is. Now I do have to say is that when sunny gets on his stick he will follow it to the end and climb up your arm and perch on your shoulder. Now if he sees your hand move close to it it moves away quickly. Ok now, I have had this bird now for 2 months now. Sunny gets all excited when it sees me but as soon as I go to change his cage he freaks out because he sees my hand coming into the cage. I would love to be able to touch it and do all the thing everyone else doing with theirs. What do I need to do to do that. HELP!!!!!

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-10-28
    Not sure but my guess is the mirror - puberty and spring right around the spring.  However, being that all the work you went through - you got the plucking stopped.  Better the 'quacking' than the plucking.  Maybe you could try and remove the mirror when you are home and he can see you and see what happens. Hand shy - it's hard but it is workable.  You can get him out of his cage and everything so let's just keep doing what you are doing but try to give him treats with your hand.  Cheerios work good - normally.  Sit down on the floor with him or on the bed and let him come up into your lap to get cheerios and then just hold one cheerio at a time.  So first let him climb up into your lap with a towel on your lap and a few treats - hands away.  Then just let your hands sit on the towel.  Then try and hold one treat at a time with your hand.  Just try maybe 10 minutes a day - could take a few weeks but should work.
  • sam - 2013-01-03
    You are not spending enough time with your bird. Conures are very affectioante and will allow you to touch only if they trust you and trust can only come if you spend at least 2 to 3 hours daily with it.
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Negurj - 2012-01-22
I bought a young Green Cheek Conure in September 2008 for my partner which turned out to be a delightful little companion, naughty, inquisitive, not scared of and very curious about everything. Life and working pattern changed and a years later we bought a companion who was not well cared for. They took to each other, the new friend bloomed, learned tricks and became very very tame but unfortunately we found out a few month later that this unscrupulous person sold us a Johnny instead of a Jenny. We had no idea what to do and needless to say that eggs did not survive. It took the pair a few month to calm down and become regular pets again. However, they got frisky again this year and despite of removing the sleeping pouch they made eggs. Again, eggs did not hatch but we both can not stand another episode of becoming pseudo-grandparents....and here is my dilemma. Female bird is already back to her normal mischievous self, out of the cage causing mayhem but the male, usually hand tame and cuddly, this time around is inconsolable if she is not with him. When we leave both out he is chasing her and trying to hang onto her - wing, foot, neck, anything he can get hold of her. They are content in the cage and I know we are the problem but has anyone else dealt with this problem? A friend is ready to take the male but are we doing the right thing in separating them? Alternative is a bird sanctuary where he would be living in a flock...HEEEELP please, our hearts are aching by the thought of doing the wrong thing.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2012-01-22
    It sounds like you're not wanting to keep going through the breeding stage, where they become less social and may end up with babies. I understand the birds are content in their cage, but out of the cage the male is chasing and hanging on the female - wanting to keep close contact. It's a tough call to decide to separate them. It sounds like they have a good companionship with each other and birds have a very good memory. But most likely the they would adapt to being without a companion again. If you decide to separate them I think the birds would adapt, though it may take some time.
  • Negurj - 2012-01-28
    Thank you very much for the encouraging words, we have still not decided what to do but at least there is a silver lining. Amazing how two little birds can run your life....
  • mark - 2012-05-13
    Do not separate them. I made that mistake once and will never do that again. The male became unmanageable for all it's remaining years.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-14
    You are not going to do a wrong thing. Your friend can take the male and the male will form a human bond again with a new person. Might take 2 weeks but he will be fine. In the wild they will take other mates and form other bonds. When two parrots are trying to 'do it' for the first time, there is trial and error and more often than not the first few clutches are infertile. There is no FLOCK for them to watch and see how 'it' is done. Many parrots have their hormonal phase in the spring whether mated with another parrot or not. So you can give the male to your human friend and he will bond. You can keep the pair you have and eventually they will figure out how to 'do it'. Many times the hormonal stuff will stop when summer finally comes. If they figure out how to 'do it' you can keep one of the babies for yourself but don't pair it. Example if you put even two males together, frequently one will assume the female role. You can have two conures or a macaw and a conure but don't let them share a cage.
  • Elizabeth Najera - 2012-06-04
    Charlie - you mentioned to keep them in separate cages, is there an underlying reason for that?

    I have a cockatiel 'Panfilo' he is my boe. My husband came home with him one afternoon and although it took Panfilo several months to grow on the family, he eventually fell in love with me. I have a special cage for him and I leave his door open. Once I am ready to relax I will call his name out from the room where I am and he flys out to me. After 3 years he will climb on me and approach me on his terms but I am not allowed to touch him lest he fly away. I have always wondered why this is. He lets me play with him in his cage from time to time and on some nights he will fly into my bedroom and sleep with me on my bed. Later, my husband and kids came home with 'Tilly' she was a 4 month old GCC and she was very shy and nervous. She took onto Panfilo right away, although, Panfilo really didn't care for her. Panfilo didn't mind sharing his cage, he just didn't want her getting to close to him, but he was never aggressive. He just flew out of the cage. For about a week Panfilo slept in my bedroom on the ceiling fan and hung out with the family, only visiting his cage for eating or pooping. After a while they adapted to each other and now they both sleep in the same cage and co mingle very well. 'Tilly' however, is now very much like Panfilo...she allows you to handle her but only on her terms and when she comes to you. You may take her from the cage and she will allow it but she loses her fire and becomes shy and nervous again and it's been a year since she has joined our family. I have three cages now. Once in the Laundry room where Tilly enjoys her time best. Also, when Panfilo gets a lil chilly he will go hang out in the laundry room as this is the warmest room in the house when the a/c is on. Well, about 3 weeks ago my husband and kids came home with yet another GCC. She still has no name, but she has taken to me very well. Actually, she is my new bff! I was not able to place her in the same cage as Tilly and Panfilo as Tilly immediately became aggressive with her. So, I kept 'Sweetpea' (I call her that for now) in my bedroom and pretty much handfed her sead and gave her water in my masterbath sink. She takes showers with me too and appears to enjoy them. Now, they are all doing well co mingling. Not sure why Tilly now is ok with her coming into the kitchen cage is what I call it. Since this is where I keep most of the feed and plenty of bathing water and drinking water. The second cage has mainly toys and happy huts what not. Back to my question, is there a specific reason that they should be kept in a separate cage as all mine now by own will fly into the same cage to sleep, I do not place them there they choose to go there on their own.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-04
    Conures are very social and will accept pretty much all family members and all birds and get along with everyone. A cockatiel can be a lot more independent and also a one person bird. I figured that your cockatiel would get pretty jealous of you and possibly get annoyed at the conure and an arguement would ensue. Most birds get along with each other as long as what they consider 'their mate' is not in the room. Sometimes then they can be a tad possessive. Additionally, allowing birds to share the same cage, there is a much greater possiblity they will bond with each other and get a little stand offish with their human. There are always exceptions.
  • tracy - 2013-01-01
    i got a gcc yesturday and hes only 3 months old and hes had no contact with people and is very scared at the min would it be ok if i put my buggie in the same cage as him would they be ok together..i dunno if my buggie is male or female its hard to tell...also i got told to leave him for a week is this true...not to try and pick him up...also im thinking about getting another gcc next week would they all fight or be ok..
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Connie - 2012-12-31
My Jenday Conure is so sweet and loving. I came home from work one day for lunch and he was being amorous with one of his toys is this normal behavior I had never seen this happen before.

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Animal-World info on Queen of Bavaria Conure
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mike silver - 2012-12-28
Hola trabajo en el zoologico de morelia Michoacan Mexico, tenemos una pareja de cotorras doradas pero una de ellas la hembra tiene una deformaciĆ³n de su pico como si fueras una cuchara pico inferios, asi mismo una hiperqueratinizaciĆ³n del mismo, y no cierra su pico simetricamente, estoy preocupado por que puede que se encesite cirugia , se agradecen sus valiosos comentarios gracias.

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Animal-World info on Patagonian Conure
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bepasmom@gmail.com - 2012-12-27
I have had my paddi for 4yrs.he was a hatchling when we got him'kalihi'.named after the town of kalihi,ohau Hawaii.my husband found him in a 'bird mill'he didn't even know what that was till I explained it.now back home in Wisconsin I have to tell you he is my best friend.he eats anything and everything he can he barely is ever in his cage and 'fathers'all 4 of my kids.he's the most loyal and loving thing I've ever saw and couldn't imagine life without him.we've been thru thick and thin and have went thru everything from severe biting to attitude to molting really bad to every behavior you can think of.call it gifted but I got him thru every step and now he just blows peoples minds.lol.gota live my conjure.good luck to all

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Animal-World info on Red-masked Conure
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elisea - 2010-03-03
How do you know if it's a girl or boy?

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  • Anonymous - 2012-12-22
    Hello there! I wrote about my red-masked conure last year. I volunteer at the local bird santuary here in Indiana. I love Pete to pieces. He is like sunshine in the mornirng, although some 'She' turns pretty mean and want to attack everybody in the household. His botton started to get huge and red, I was fearful that 'She' was going to die and was searching for answers. She enjoy being on the empty pizza boxes, finally I remove the boxes thinking it was irritating her botton. Last night when I got home she laid 2 non fertile eggs. Her name now is not Peter, now she is Pretty Priscilla. By the way is very detrimental to their health to lay eggs, my uncle John she needs calcium shells and other nutrients. Some people can tell just by examining their physical features by looking at the eyes or the color of their beaks, plumage,etc. If you take you red headed conure to an expert avian he will look into their excreting and they find out if is a male or female by looking into their reproductive organs. That all I now! Like I said when I adopted Pete he was a boy, now I know she is 'lovely Priscilla'
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birdluver99 - 2012-12-19
Hey peeps, just chillin with my Green Cheeked Conure, Menu!

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Animal-World info on Sun Conure
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Sharon - 2012-12-09
My Sun Conure pees when he flies and I was wondering what I could do to pervent that.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-12-09
    Do you mean that when he flies in the air or do you mean when he flies from your shoulder on down?  Parrots do not 'pee'.  They do poop but essentially it is not liquid it is droppings and a solid.  If your conures poop is not solid I would take him to the vet as something is wrong.  If the 'waste's solid and he is flying down from your shoulder - conures try theire best not to potty on their owners and return to cage or perch to 'poop'  
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irma reyeros - 2011-06-01
I found a cherry head conure, he fell from his moms nest. I nursed it back to a healthy parrot. However, I never wanted to trim her wings because I always thought if he flew away hell find many of his brothers and sisters in the area where I found him. But... I have been so sad because I kept him for a year and he was such an amazing bird. Very lovable, affectionate and good companion. I just did not think it was fare for me to keep him in captivity.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-01
    All a person can do is make the best decisions they can on the days they make them. I am glad you got to enjoy her for awhile and saved her life.
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