Animal Stories - Green-cheeked Conure


Animal-World Information about: Green-cheeked Conure

   "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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Shirley Mullenbach - 2010-09-29
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) - 2010-10-14
    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. - 2010-10-31
    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.
  • roberta - 2011-01-04
    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.
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danielle - 2010-12-29
Hi,
My partner and I purchased ourselves a green cheeked conure about 10 months ago. His name is Dani, well we don't know his sex but either way we love him :) He's very curious and likes to poke his head into things like boxes and cups and stuff like that. He is hand raised and can be taken outside where he will sit our shoulder and wolf whistle at people who walk by :) He's friendly but very protective of my partner and I to the point where if someone walks over to one of us while we are sitting on the couch he will chase them with his mouth wide open :)
We were thinking of breeding our beautiful boy/girl and were hoping for some tips also :) Thanks and hope that your experience is as wonderful as ours :)

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Michael - 2010-12-21
Deb & I just got our first conure, we had been raising lovebirds and currently have three birds, a fischers lovebird, male, named Snow, a lutino peach faced lovebird, female, named Kane, and, a standard peach face, female, named Star, our conure was born on 27OCT2010, in fact we are actually finishing the weaning process, our conure's name is Kris, a yellow sided green checked conure, later, in about 8 months we will sex our conure, Kris is adapting very well to our home!

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Lyn - 2010-09-06
I brought home my first Conure today. Kiwi is about 1 1/2 years old. He seems small to me, but maybe I'm not used to the green-cheeked sub-species. He rode home on my shoulder and snuggled into my hair. I'm in love already.

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  • Betsy - 2010-11-22
    Lyn, We JUST purchased our conure, Gaspatcho (Gus) and we love him too! What a crazy little guy. My 14 year old son has fallen head over heels and he has spent more time out of his cage than in! We have been surfing to get as much info. as possible. Ours is 6 months and is about 9 inches from head to tail. Betsy
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Rachel - 2010-11-20
I just got a Cinnamon Green Cheeked Conure.:] he's 7 months old. He is very sweet and curious. His name is Montizuma, Monti for short... I love your website :] I have a 5 year old parakeet as well. Are conures good with other birds? I'm scared to introduce them because Monti has such a hard bite and I don't want him to hurt Cloud, my parakeet. I'd just like to know if it's safe to introduce them once Monti is used to his new home?

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terrilynne - 2010-10-04
We just got a greencheek conure he is 6 months old ...how to get him to trust you? I've been dying to hold him but he flies away, I have tried treats and bribery ...

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  • Echo VanderWal, Shelton & Mason Co. Parrot Rescue (SMCPR) - 2010-10-14
    First, you must remember that your parrot is STILL a baby. Having a parrot is very similar to having a "toddler for life" so to speak. His attention span will be lower right now than as he slowly matures.

    Second, I highly recommend that you research and read up on the body language of parrots. This is generally universal no matter which species or sub-species your parrot is. This will help you know if your bird is becoming too upset, frightened, etc. while you are working with your new baby.

    Third, as excited as you are, don't rush it. He will be with you for several decades to come. Start slow. Many birds are territorial about their cage, so if you are unable to handle him or get him to "step-up" on your finger or hand or a perch while he is inside his cage, work with him in a small room when he is outside of it. One of the most important things you will need to teach him is to "step-up". This is when he will step up onto a finger (keep your finger relaxed and curved, not straight- this shows the bird you are relaxed and non-threatening), hand, arm, or even a perch. Teach the bird the command "step-up" when you want him to step up.

    Also, when you notice the bird starting to develop a bad habit, or bad behavior, NEVER hit a bird, and NEVER yell at a bird. Its fairly easy, though can be time consuming, to retrain behaviors and habits. But its rewarding. For example, if the bird starts "nipping" or "biting", whether or not he draws blood or not, it is NOT acceptable. Say in a firm commanding voice, "Ehhh! No bite!". When you have the birds attention, and the bird listened to you and stopped, reward with the bird with verbal praise by changing the tone of your voice to happy and upbeat when you give the verbal praise. Also, don't jerk your hand or finger away, its impulse and difficult, instead slowly pull your finger or hand away and give the correct command.

    The more attention you give your bird, even instead the cage, the better a relationship you will have with your bird.

    Hope this helps you get on the right track to an enjoyable relationship with your new baby!
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Heather Green - 2010-04-25
I have a green cheeked conure and have noticed on a few occasions that the white around his eyes look a little bit red sometimes. I wondered if anyone else has noticed this?

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  • Caroline Normile - 2010-09-24
    I too have noticed this and I think it is similar to how Macaws "blush". Keep an eye (no pun intended) on when it happens and see if it linked to something that is stimulating to him.
  • Echo VanderWal, Shelton & Mason Co. Parrot Rescue (SMCPR) - 2010-10-14
    I'm not very familiar with this sub-species of Conures, but I DO know that there are several parrot species and sub-species who "blush", meaning the normally white or flesh colored area around their eyes turns a pink to red if they are upset, overly excited, or scared.

    This may be the reason for the color change. If you notice that this doesn't seem to be the issue, I would recommend that you take your parrot to the vet for a well-check.

    Hope this helps!
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miranda - 2010-08-30
i also have a gcc and can't belive how many people feed them BAD food. Human processed food is crap and will not only shorten their life but will kill them.

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Barb Digmann - 2010-08-26
I have a beautiful GCC. We have had him since he was 4 months old. He will be three in two months. We have just met a cute Pineapple green cheek. Dose anyone know If my bird will except a new friend or is this a bad idea.

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-08-27
    There should be no problem getting him a friend, but you should introduce them slowly. Start by putting them in separate cages and slowly move them closer and closer until they are next to each other. Watch their behavior towards each other for signs of aggression. Go slow (if needed) and they should begin to like each other over time. Be aware also that birds that have each other will usually become less attached to the human in their lives and more attached to each other.
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gakomuto - 2010-03-22
I have a green cheek that is one year old but I don't know if it is female or male how can I know what it is?

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  • Ryan - 2010-06-03
    You can get your bird sexed or a DNA scan or something like that.
  • Jacinta - 2010-07-10
    Go to the vet is the best way or you can wait for sexual maturity and see the behaviors displayed but this isn't advisable.
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