|Common name||Blue Throated Conure, Ochre-Marked Parakeet|
|Latin name||Pyrrhura cruentata|
|Life Span||15 – 25 years|
|Origin||Eastern Brazil, from southern Bahia south to Rio de Janeiro|
This parrot species hails from a specific area in southwest Brazil near Rio de Janeiro. Blue-Throated Conures favour humid lowland forests and are particularly drawn to dense, high treetops. However, you’ll also find them at forest edges, in recently logged areas, and even in zones with more human activity, like cacao plantations. They usually live in small groups of about 4 to 10 birds, though sometimes these flocks can grow to up to 50.
When it comes to their diet, they mainly eat berries, fruits, blossoms, and seeds. Unlike many other parrots, they usually don’t go for crops or insects.
In terms of reproduction, these parrots nest high in the treetops, often choosing tree burrows or cavities formed by other bird species. Interestingly, younger birds that have not yet reached sexual maturity are known to assist their parents in caring for their newly hatched siblings.
The Blue-Throated Conure as a species is currently facing significant challenges. They’re designated as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The issue mainly stems from habitat destruction because the area in Brazil where it lives is, unfortunately, very densely populated by humans.
BLUE-THROATED CONURE INTELLIGENCE & PERSONALITY
A well-socialized Blue-Throated Conure will form a deep bond with its owner and generally be fond of cuddles and hanging out. Far from shy, most Blue-Throated Conures comfortably handle and perch on your shoulder for hours at a time.
These parrots are highly intelligent. It’s endlessly fascinating to see how intellectually gifted they are for their small size. Most will enjoy spending time with their owners and have the enthusiasm, curiosity and smarts to learn a variety of tricks.
Most birds love performing their newly learned tricks for their owners, especially when they anticipate a treat as a reward for a job well done. Spending as little as 15 minutes a day teaching your Blue-Throated Conure new skills is a great way to strengthen your bond and stimulate its smart brain. Plus, it’s fun!
BLUE-THROATED CONURE TALKING ABILITY
This species also has the ability to mimic human speech, simple tunes, and household sounds. Even though they produce somewhat high-pitched vocalizations and don’t rank among the top ten best-talking parrots, a Blue-Throated Conure can quickly surprise you with its speed in learning and articulating words.
If you are considering a Blue-throated Conure as a pet and are interested in their talking abilities, it’s important to remember that each bird is unique. While they can learn to mimic words and phrases, their clarity may not be as pronounced, and their vocabulary may not be as extensive. This varies significantly from individual to individual.
Unlike some other conure species, this bird is usually relatively quiet. This means it’s generally suitable for those of us who live in apartments. An excited Blue-Throated Conure can produce some noise, but screaming sessions usually don’t last too long.
Parrots in general, also tend to vocalize during sunrise and sunset. Remember, no parrot is quiet! It’s important to consider whether you can handle the noise before you add a conure to your family.
FEEDING & NUTRITION FOR YOUR BLUE-THROATED CONURE
This bird is not fussy when it comes to its diet. It will usually accept different foods without the need for too much coaxing. Keep in mind that it’s very important to offer a diverse diet in order to ensure your conure’s health and the vibrancy of its amazing natural colours.
A high-quality parrot pellet works well as a base diet. You can supplement this with a seed blend for small parrots. It’s best to choose one that’s not overly high in sunflower seeds, which are too fatty to be fed as a staple and best used as training treats only. They can even become “addictive”, causing your bird to refuse healthier types of food!
Serve fresh vegetables, such as leafy greens and celery, daily. Parrots, like humans, often prefer their favourite fresh produce, so experimenting with different foods is a good idea. Fresh fruits like grapes, apples, and bananas also offer benefits, and you can offer them several times a week. You can have a look at our parrot diet plan for more helpful suggestions!
For a treat, you can give your Blue-Throated Conure millet sprays and different kinds of nuts. Unsalted walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, and pecans all make great choices. You can leave the shell on to help encourage your parrot to work a little for its treats.
Fresh drinking water should be available at all times, and the food and drink bowls should be cleaned on a daily basis. For a general health boost, a twice-weekly sprinkling of Nutrobal or Avimix vitamins on your bird’s fresh veggies can prove beneficial.
During the breeding season, calcium supplementation, such as by providing a cuttlefish bone, is important. The female bird requires additional calcium to produce her eggs.
HOUSING FOR YOUR BLUE-THROATED CONURE
A cage large enough for the bird to exercise and stretch its wings is important. As a suggestion, the cage should be a minimum of 18 x 18 x 20 inches. Even then, keep in mind that your Blue-Throated Conure will still need to be able to spend part of the day exploring the world outside! If you can’t provide out-of-cage time, you will have to keep your conure in a full-sized aviary.
Perches should be made of natural wood, like willow or apple, as this keeps the feet and claws healthy. Try to avoid plastic or dowel perches, which can lead to deformities in the long run.
Provide a good selection of appropriate parrot toys – the right size and checked for safety concerns (parts that could be swallowed or strangulation/entrapment hazards). Like other parrot species, the Blue-Throated Conure is highly playful and easily bored. Equipping the cage with a variety of toys is a must to keep them mentally stimulated.
As mentioned, you should plan on having your bird spend a significant amount of its time on the outside of its cage daily. You can provide a small play gym to give it a place to sit while it’s out.
FEATHER PLUCKING & COMMON ISSUES
Blue-Throated Conures are not known for being big feather pluckers. Maintaining a well-balanced diet and providing plenty of attention and stimulation will help prevent boredom, making them less likely to resort to plucking rather than the usual feather grooming. Offering plenty of toys, meeting the bird’s social needs, and letting it out of its cage daily will also be helpful in preventing plucking.
Originating from humid environments, these birds definitely appreciate a permanent bathing spot with clean water. A bath – which tends to be a rather splashy affair – is usually followed by a thorough preening session. This helps keep the feathers in good condition.
FACTS & FAQ
- The IUCN Red List reports that the wild population of Blue-Throated Conures currently ranges between 2,500 and 10,000. The species is classified as Vulnerable, with the population currently in decline.
- Males and females of this species are so similar in looks that only a DNA test can determine their gender with absolute certainty.
- Native to tropical rainforests, these birds are quite fond of bathing and appreciate regular showers. Seeing them splash around makes all the mess worth it!
- Despite not being very common in captivity, Blue-Throated Conures make outstanding pets thanks to their capacity to form strong bonds and develop a deep affection for their owners. Their high intelligence and endless curiosity make them great candidates for training.
In conclusion, the Blue-throated Conure is vibrant and intelligent. It can moderately mimic speech and is relatively quiet, ideal for apartments. These birds need a varied diet and a large cage with natural perches. Daily interaction is essential to prevent feather plucking and promote mental health. Proper care and stimulation are essential. A diet with fresh produce and low-fat seeds is crucial. This makes the Blue-throated Conure a delightful and engaging pet. It showcases its adaptability and rich social nature, typical of parrots.
To view other Parrot Profiles & Care Guides, visit our Alphabetical list of Parrot Fact Sheets by visiting https://blog.parrotessentials.co.uk/parrot-profiles-care-guides/
Marsden, S. J., Whiffin, M., Sadgrove, L., & Guimarães, P. (2000). Parrot populations and habitat use in and around two lowland Atlantic forest reserves, Brazil. Biological Conservation, 96(2), 209-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00071-9
Marsden, S.J., Whiffin, M. & Galetti, M. Bird diversity and abundance in forest fragments and Eucalyptus plantations around an Atlantic forest reserve, Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 737–751 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016669118956