Animal Stories - Green-cheeked Conure
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Queen of Bavaria Conure
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"Pooki" is just about four months old and he is so darn playful,... he can't wait to be let out of his cage!
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Hi. I will be purchasing two green cheek conures and will house them together. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the minimum size cage requirements are. Would a cage size of 18 by 18 with an inside height of 29 be convenient for two green cheek conures? I have read that the ideal size for two green cheek conures would be 24 by 24 but I am trying to avoid having a cage of that size inside my home.
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Charlie Roche -
Sorry, that would be way too small. I would suggest at a minimum 21/2 by 3 feet by 6 feet. They play a lot and need toys, they need stimulation and human interaction. They need activity and again stimulation or you are into big time feather plucking. If they are going to be in their cage a lot, then you need an even larger cage or think of a flight. My cage is 3 x 4 by 6 for one with a play top and his own perch.
I would say that a 18 by 18 is a bit small for one conure. As it all comes down to how often you get the birds out. I have have a rather large cage for my bird but he is hardly ever in it as he is always on me. I think you should go for a 24 by 24 at the smallest. But if the birds are out of the cage alot a cage of 18 by 18 is just about ok. But remeber evan if the birds are'nt in the cage that often have toys in there for them to enjoy the short time there in the cage!!!!!! Hope you enjoy bird keping as much as I do, harry
First off make sure that the birds getting along with each other and if they are boy and girl, make sure they are not brother and sisters. And that is way to small for just one bird. You will need alot bigger cage aleast 24x24, the bigger the better. And they will need alot of toys and vegs and good seed everyday. And time with the family and not left in a room away from the family. These birds need human to be around.
That size cage would be acceptable for just one Green Cheek with lots of time out of the cage, but you'll need more room for two birds. May have to move up to at least 24 inches.
My green cheek kind of bites when I'm holding him. What can I do to make fun activities with him?
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Charlie Roche -
Try to tell me more about "kind of bites" when you are holding him. If he is on your hand and he tries to nip, twist your hand. He can't hang on and nip at the same time. He will lose his balance and that can break him of nipping. If it is in PLAY and he is getting overly excited, then just turn him upside down and say a big "NO" and then count out loud timeout till 10. So let me know more.
OK games take a rug or towel and make up or buy some toys. Dixie cups and hand helds. Hide the toy under one of the dixie cups. "PEEK" very gently place a sheet of paper towel over his head and say "PEEK". "PRETTY" pull the wing out and cover the eyes and say "PRETTY" a song I would sing and clap with mine to
Sammy, Sammy where you go
Down to the rodeo
Sammy Sammy , what you see?
All the handsome boys they look at me. I would sing and clap and Sammy would bob up and down in rhythym. When she wanted me to sing it, she would sit on my lap and start to bob till I sang it. I have a voice like a rock and she liked it anyway
"Chase the ball" Throw a little bell, ball etc 2 - 3 inches till she picks it up and then gradually throw it farther. You'll get the hang of it. Tell me more about the nipping and I might be able tohelp more. Put peanuts inside a small kong toy.
play with him
Charlie Roche -
I don't know how old your green check is but if he is around 1 year - I used to call it a teething phase when they would just sorta chew on my fingers. Anyway, it really really helps to have a toy in your hand when you are playing with him. Let him sorta chew/bite on the toy instead of your fingers. I don't think they have any idea at all that your fingers might be sensitive - a little. Have something in your hand that he can play with. Another thing I have done with conures to macaws is "TIME OUT" If I am playing with a bird and he starts to get just a little too excited or rough, I will literally turn him upside down and say loudly "TIME OUT" and then count to 10. I have no idea why they calm down or why this works or anything like that. I just thought it worked for my kids (I didn't turn them upside down) but maybe it would work for a bird. It worked. I have also grabbed their beak and said " NO HURT MAMA" and that has worked also. I think whatever you decide to do - just be consistent. Conures chew or nibble and sometimes get caried away but they aren't really biters but they don't know playing too rough so they have to be taught. Good luck and if you come up with something diferent let us know.
Tell him no bit each time he bit, let him know it hurt and if he does it again put him in cage and leave the room. This is just a stag and will end soon.
Hi, I was given a Green Cheek Conure about a year ago and he seems to be really small compared to the ones I have seen at the pet store. Could it be that he is a runt? I am guessing he is going to turn 2 years old this year.
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Charlie Roche -
Not all birds are the same size. It is true that some can be smaller than others.
David Brough -
Birds are like people some are biger then others.
I just got my birds both green cheeked conures. And I was wondering if they might bond with themselves instead of us.Got any ideas?
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Charlie Roche -
Conures are cool pets and yes they will play with each other but they won't leave you out. The more attention you give them the greater the bond will be with you and them. I had queens and they and I were just best pals and had so much fun. We would play on my bed or they would go sliding down the sofa cushions etc. When they were 4 years, I set them up in a large flight cage with a nest box. I went out to the porch and they were just so excited and happy and flying from their food area to the nest box (back and forth) and making all sorts of racket and didn't stop and I figured something was up. I went and looked in the nest box and there were two little eggs. They were so proud and wanted me to know. I had to check the eggs out everyday and when they hatched, I had to check out the babies every day. I actually could pet the babies in the nest box. So you are fine. Just enjoy them both.
As long as you take time everyday to give to them they will still bond with you. They love their person.
Is DNA testing the only way to tell the sex of GCCs, we have been given 6 of them and have no idea what they are. They are not young birds, maybe up to 2 years old.
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DNA testing is the only "sure" way. You're so lucky to have been given 6 of them. Best of luck with them.
DNA is the only sure way to know for sure.
I recently got a green cheek conure from my director. It's a boy we believe. She didn't have much time for him so I took him in. He got on a stick one time. I was present at his old home but we tried here and he didnt budge. I know he needs to gain trust. He's been here for about 2 weeks his name is MANGO. He seems to reply to me whistling. I'm the one scared to touch him but my fiance is willing. He tried and he just kept biting him when he was trying to pet him. I've read some other comments but what approach to take. I talk to him through out the day and so does my 2 yr old. Another reason why I am nervous at the thought of getting him out because I dont want him to bite my son. When I was younger my grandma had a bigger all red parrot in Central America, so I am definitely into them. It's just I haven't been around them much lately. I guess i need some helpful hints!! anyone..help
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Charlie Roche -
First things fist. You have to be relaxed and at ease. They know when you are not and then they get more afraid. You have plenty of time. I am not real fond of sticks. Bird sits there and wonders if you're going to hit him or pick him up. Let's just make friends with the guy first. Let's feed him with our fingers. Try handing him small pieces of food - but large enough that you wn't be worried that he will bite you. Piece of sliced apple, piece of chicken, spehetti cooked (just one string and hold it up), piece of cheese. I have no idea what for sure he will like but keep feeding him by hand - and then let the pieces be smaller - cheerios, piece of dried fruit. Now you and the bird are starting to relax around each other. I take it he is in a cage so after you are relaxed - let him out - just let him out. He might fly but probably will just walk around on top of his cage. Back to the feeding again by hand. Finally after all this - hold a peanut or piece of apple in the palm of your left hand and let him take it from your hand. Now try and just pet the top of his head. I don't mind just sorta grabbing a bird (use a small towel if you want) and hold him and wait till he is calm and just pet the top of his head. If your comfortable, let him sit in your lap while he eats his apple. Don't point - The idea is that you and he will get used to each other slowly. You will feed him and he will learn trust. You will learn that if he is not afraid, he isnot going to bite. You will let him out of his cage and realize he is not going to DIVE BOMB. Then you just start to say things as you do them. They are velcro birds and he will take to you as he is ready. Food, eat, step up and hold out your hand. It isn't easy but you just go slow.
This is farly common in birds when the move to a new home. Just carry on talking and whistling to all the time and he should get used to you. Also try putting your hand in the cage several times a day and slowly move your hand towards him. Be careful not to do this to fast or for a long time as you may make things worse. Try your local pet shop for advice. There are also loads of books on the market in how to break bad habbits in bird. good luck harry
It will only take time for him to trust you. You can try first just talking to him, then just put your hand in the cage and leave it for along as you can each day while talking to him. You can also then try to find something he likes, My Punkin likes grapes. Let him take it from your hand. Green Cheek are great pets and they love their people.
I Bought my 1st Green Cheeked Conure on sat and it's 4 months old...and it's just so loving..loves to hide in my hair and giving kisses...but for some reason he's starting to become very forceful wit his beak...I don't wanna say biting ..but it's hard...any suggestions?
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They are able to bite but if you spend lots of time and give them love they will learn to be nice and not to bite. If you want them to be nice to others then the others must spend time with the Green Cheeked Conure.
Hi I have just purchased a green cheek conure I have been told she is female she is a lovely bird tho every now and then nips my fingers sometimes quite hard am I doing something wrong will I need to go to a vet to get her sexed properly and do females talk (if that's what she is)?
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Editor's Note -
Conures can bite if they feel threatened, if they learn it is an acceptable behavior, or possibly if they have been abused in the past. Do you know her history and how old she is? If she senses you are afraid of her, she may also be more prone to biting. You will need to work with her to teach her biting is not OK. This can take time and patience. Check out this section on
Conure Handling and Training.
You only need to get her sexed if you plan to breed her (or if you just want to know). If she lays an egg, she's a girl! Female conures can learn to talk.
I bought as handraised from a pet shop she's 9 weeks old does it take long to train her not to bite?
I purchased 2 green cheeked conures two days ago because they were 8 months old and very bonded to each other. Despite their agressive reps, they have been nothing but loving and intelligent. They already respond to petting, hand feeding and are prone to 'entertaining' with their antics. We are looking forward to many years of training and fun with Bogie and Bacall. They seem to be quicker to respond than our Fishers lovebird who recently passed away and was badly missed.
I inherited a GCC from a woman who had taken over the bird from her son so I was 3rd owner. I don't think the poor creature had much by the way of stimulation or interaction with humans and as a result, he is very loud and very very nippy. He has settled a little in the 18 months I have had him and I am trying to spend as much 'open' time as possible with him. He has not had his wings clipped so I don't know how much vet attention he has had either. He is ringed. Does anyone has any suggestions for socializing the boy at such an age?
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Echo VanderWal, Shelton & Mason Co. Parrot Rescue (SMCPR) -
The bird may have some trust issues with humans, depending upon how often he has been passed around as well the type of treatment he has received in the past from humans.
As I often recommend, I highly suggest that you research and read up on the body language of parrots. It is fairly universal between the different species and sub-species of parrots. This will help you determine how the bird is feeling emotionally when you are interacting with him.
For the noise, Conures are generally (in my experience) a loud species of parrot. However, each bird is individual and their history also comes into play. To help solve the problem of the noise, set up some boundaries. Allow the bird to "squawk" for a short time first thing in the morning, and just before he settles for bed. This is normal instinctual behavior. It will also help with the happiness of your bird as well. Outside of those times, when the bird starts getting loud, use the command (in a firm and commanding voice) "Ehhh! Quiet!". Do not hit the bird. Do not yell at the bird. Repeat as needed. When the bird starts responding and doing what you wish, make sure you give a good verbal praise by changing the tone of your voice to more happy and upbeat when you give the verbal praise. Another thing that sometimes helps in retraining this behavior, if the above doesn't work well alone, keep saying, "Ehhh! Quiet!" and slowly lower the volume of your voice until you get quieter and quieter. The bird should eventually get the hang of this and lower his volume as well. Most "screaming" behaviors are to get attention in the first place. Remember to ALWAYS reward the bird when he does what you want with verbal praise (you can offer treats in addition, but keep the treats specific to training- don't give the bird any other time except when training) and make sure you change the tone of your voice as well.
For the nipping, you will want to do something similar to what you do with the noise levels. The difference being, of course watch the body language. It is also instinctual behavior when the bird is scared or frightened. After all he is tiny and you are a huge animal trying to handle him. LOL If he is nipping at your finger, keep your finger relaxed (not stiff). When he tries to bite or nip, say in a firm commanding voice, "Ehhh! No bite!". Gently pull your finger away, do not jerk it away (I know, its impulse and difficult), at the same time you give the command. Try to get the bird to "step-up" again on your finger. Repeat the process. When the bird does not nip or bite, reward the bird verbally by changing the tone of your voice to more happy and upbeat and say something like, "Good bird!" You can also reward with treat at same time, follow above instructions under noise level.
Retraining behavior takes time and patience. However, it is very rewarding once it is accomplished!
Hope this helps!
Deborah T. -
First of all, take the bird to the vet. Get the wings clipped. This can sometimes go a long way towards calming a bird down. I am a breeder and I hand-raise babies, so I hate to hear about babies getting passed on like that. It really changes the temperment. Green Cheeks are not normally really loud conures. So something has definately occured to upset this guy. Talk to him in calming tones anytime you are near. Without more details, I don't know what else to tell you, but at least you have one person's opinion, I hope some of it helps.
Well, I believe it is never too late. We have a cinnamon gcc for 3 years. We just found out it's a girl...from day one she has been free to roam around the house...she loves to walk...and she walks a lot...we are constantly aware of her presence at any given time...it settles in the back of your mind....what I am trying to say is...the more time they spend with you and the more you talk to them the tamer they get...She's in her cage only when she sleeps at night or if we are not home...she is constantly on our shoulder...we are basically her own private ride....because she has been handled so much she does not think of herself as a bird...she's more like a dog...she plays games...like hide and seek, or will walk behind following you around the table or a chair or the bed...she must hang from my shoulder when I am cooking because she ABSOLUTELY has to know what I am cooking and she constanly asks : whatchadoin?...she talks a lot, because we are talking to her all the time...she likes to dance and sing. if we are all at home, god forbid if she's not where we are...she'll scream till we go get her...well, she can fly of course,but she's too spoiled and we have to go get her; when we are eating we have to give her everything...she'll nag you till she gets her food...and she wants to eat with us, not on her perch...well it is said parrots will die if they eat chocolate and avocado...we do not eat avocados so we do not have that in the house at any time...but chocolate is an entirely different story...and sadly to report, she has been known to have "stolen" a bite of a piece of chocolate very so often....and she's OK...she also loves iced tea and whipped cream..she'll probably eat a whole tub if we'll let her..but she only has a little taste...Funny thing is...just read another post here about someone who has lost birds to escape...ours flew out the balcony door once...once outside, I think she just got scared and flew away, and almost instantly she started screaming from the top of her lungs...it was towards the evening and we could not see her and she couldnt see us...but we all went outside and we started calling her...she loves our daughter to pieces and she has finally come to her so we have recovered our bird...iIdo not think the outcome would have been the same if we didn't handle our bird so much ...to the point we think she doesn't see herself different than us...
Hopes this helps somehow.