All Types of Parakeets

25 Types of Parakeets

Here, in alphabetical order, are twentyfive conures you might encounter in pet stores, at bird shows, or during your visits to bird breeders.
Hopefully, one of them will prove to be the perfect pet for you!

In the descriptions that follow, the scientific names are provided to help you distinguish between the species. Some books classify conures by their common North American names, while others call them by their common British names.

But the scientific names are the same no matter where in the world you go, so they will assist you in determining which conure is which.



 

Austral Parakeet (Enicognathus ferrugineus)


In her native habitat of southern Chile, the austral conure has the distinction of being the southernmost parrot in the wild. She measures fourteen and a half inches long and weighs about five ounces. Australs were exported to Europe and the United States for more than 100 years, but they failed to catch on with breeders because of their dull coloration, so they might be difficult to find.

In captivity, these olive drab birds with black beaks, gray feet, and blackish-gray eye rings make quite good pets. They are less noisy than most conures, but they tend to vocalize in the evening.

Australs like to forage on the floor of their cage or aviary, looking for tubers, nuts, seeds, berries, and leaf buds. Although in general, bird owners should be concerned if they see their bird on the bottom of her cage all the time, this is perfectly normal behavior for an Austral conure and no cause for alarm.

Austral owners do need to pay extra attention to the cleanliness of their pet’s cage floor, however, because their bird will be spending more time down there than other species might.


Aztecs parakeets

 

Olive-throated Parakeet (Aratinga nana astec)


This conure, which many consider to be a subspecies of the olive-throated conure, has green head feathers and olive-colored body feathers. Her beak is horn-colored and her feet are gray. Aztecs measure about ten inches long and weigh about three ounces. Their native range is from central Mexico to western Panama.

As pets, Aztecs are known for their talking ability, which is considered quite good for a conure. They are feisty little birds who charm everyone they meet.

Somewhat rare as pets, they are worth the wait if you are looking for a small bird with a big personality.

Black-Capped Parakeets (Pyrrhura rupicola)

This uncommon conure has a black forehead, dark brown chest feathers that are scalloped in off-white, green belly feathers, and red feathers on the leading edge of her wings. The beak is gray and the legs are dark gray. The black-cap measures about ten inches long and weighs about three ounces.

Black-caps were imported into the United States from southeastern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northwestern Brazil in extremely small numbers in the early 1980s. However, that small number of birds bred prolifically, so this little conure is now available as a pet.




 

Blue-Crowned Parakeet (Aratinga acuticaudata)


As her name suggests, the blue-crown has a blue head and blue facial feathers.
The coloring becomes more intense as the bird matures. Her body feathers are primarily green, the undersides of her wings are yellowish-green, and her tail feathers have reddish undersides.

This bird has a horn-colored beak, white eye rings that are featherless, and pinkish feet.

Blue-crowns measure about fourteen and a half inches long and weigh about seven ounces. They were first bred in captivity in Great Britain in the early 1970s. In the wild, they are found in South America, from Venezuela to Argentina.

Blue-crowns, which are sometimes called sharp-tailed conures, can be noisy (especially if they are surprised or excited), but they are reasonably peaceful birds. They are popular as pets. They have the ability to talk and have friendly personalities.



 

Brown-Throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax)


This uncommon little conure has an orangish face, green wing and body feathers, buff-colored eye rings, a black beak, and gray legs. She measures about nine and a half inches long and weighs about four ounces. She was imported into St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands about 125 years ago and is sometimes called the St. Thomas conure. She is also found in Central and South America, from Panama to Brazil. There are fourteen recognized subspecies of this conure, which may also be called the orange-cheek or the brown-ear. Some conure fanciers believe brown-throats make great pets, while others are quick to point out that these birds can be aggressive, destructive, and noisy. As with all creatures, each brown-throat has her own personality. To determine whether she’s the right bird for you, spend some time with a brownthroated conure before making a decision to own one.



 

Cactus Parakeet (Aratinga cactorum)


These conures from northeastern Brazil have a gray forehead and throat feathers, a yellowish belly, and green wings. Their beaks are horn colored, their eye rings are white, and their feet are black. Cactus conures measure about ten inches long and weigh about three ounces. The bird’s common name comes from the fact that cactus fruit comprises a large part of her diet.

Cactus conures can become affectionate pets. They are easily tamed, are not destructive, and tend to be quieter than some other conures. Unfortunately, Brazil did not export many of these birds, so these little charmers are not common as pets. Some breeders are starting to raise them in captivity.



 

Red-masked Parakeet (Aratinga erythrogenys)


Sometimes called the red-headed or red-masked conure, mature cherry-heads have red facial feathers; green body feathers with a sprinkling of red on the throat, shoulders, and thighs; bare white eye rings; horn-colored beaks; and dark gray legs. Mature cherryheads are about thirteen inches long and weigh between five and seven ounces.

Young cherry-heads are predominantly green until their first molts, and older birds can take up to ten years to fully develop their red plumage. In the wild, cherry-heads are found in a narrow range in western Ecuador and Peru.

Cherry-heads can learn to talk, and if they do, they often opt to speak their owners’ language instead of vocalizing in conure speech. Cherry-heads are popular as pets.

Dusky-Headed Parakeet (Aratinga weddelli)


Sweetness seems to be a hallmark of this commonly kept small conure, which is sometimes called Weddell’s conure. Other adjectives used to describe her include calm, gentle, and mellow. She is not an eye-catching bird, being mostly green with a gray-blue head, white eye rings, and a black beak and feet, but her affectionate personality soon wins hearts. Conure fanciers routinely describe her as quiet, which is not an adjective often used to describe a conure. A dusky conure can also learn to talk, which may win her even more fans.

Duskies measure about eleven inches long and weigh about four ounces. In the wild, they are found from southeastern Colombia to western Brazil.



 

Finsch’s Parakeet (Aratinga finschi)


These popular pet birds bear a striking resemblance to the red-fronted, or Wagler’s conure, but Finsch’s conures have red feathers on the front edges of their wings. Their body feathers are mostly green, their beaks are horn colored, their eye rings are creamy white, and they have gray-brown legs and feet. Mature Finsch’s conures measure about eleven inches long and weigh about six ounces.

As with the cherry-heads, young Finsch’s conures are completely green. As they mature, they develop their characteristic red foreheads. The native range for the Finsch’s conure is southern Nicaragua to western Panama.



 

Golden-Capped Parakeet (Aratinga auricapilla)


This commonly kept conure has a golden-orange forehead, a green chest, and a reddish belly. Her eye rings are white, her beak is gray-black, and her legs are gray. The gold-cap measures about twelve inches long and weighs about five ounces. She is a common pet bird in the United States.

Gold-caps, sometimes called golden-headed conures, are prone to lying on their backs in their food bowls or in their owners’ hands—it’s simply a comfortable position for them. They are active, energetic little birds and have been captive bred in the United States since the early 1980s. Although they are not as flashy as the yellow-orange jenday or sun conures, some conure experts believe the gold-cap makes the least amount of noise and has the best pet potential of this golden trio.

Because her rainforest habitat is decreasing, the gold-cap is now rare in her native range, which is southeastern Brazil.



 

Green-Cheeked Parakeet (Pyrrhura molinae)


Sometimes the green-cheeked and the maroon-bellied conures are confused with each other. Although recent DNA analysis suggests they may, in fact, be the same species, I will nonetheless treat them separately. The green-cheeked conure and the maroon-bellied are both popular pets, and they do resemble each other quite closely: Both birds have brown heads, green cheek feathers, brown chest feathers scalloped with buff or yellow, maroon belly and tail feathers, white eye rings, gray beaks, and dark gray legs. But the greencheeked has a darker brown head, less maroon on her belly, more green on her cheeks, and a lighter background on the barred area on the chest feathers. The greencheeked also has a completely maroon tail.

In the wild, the green-cheeked is found in west central Brazil, northern Bolivia, and northwestern Argentina. She measures about ten inches long and weighs about four ounces. Green-cheeks make engaging, bold, and inquisitive pets. They lack the loud voice of an Aratinga, so their vocalizations should be tolerable for most owners.



 

Orange-fronted Parakeet (Aratinga canicularis)


The half-moon, or Petz’s conure, is often confused with the peach-fronted conure. Half-moon conures have orange foreheads, olive chest feathers, green wing and belly feathers, horn-colored beaks (as opposed to the peach-front’s black beak), orange-yellow eye rings (the peach-front’s eye ring has small orange feathers on it), and dark gray feet. Half-moons measure nine and a half inches long and weigh about two and a half ounces.

The half-moon conure may be the best known of the Aratinga species because she was widely imported from western Central America for a number of years. Since the 1970s, half-moons have been bred in captivity in the United States.

Young half-moons are as bold as brass. These fearless birds can learn to talk, and they make tame, affectionate pets.



 

Jandaya Parakeet (Aratinga jandaya)


Almost as colorful as the sun conure, the jenday is an eye-catching bird.

She has predominantly orange-red body feathers, green wings with blue accent feathers, white eye rings, a black beak, and blackish feet. Jendays measure about twelve inches long and weigh about five ounces.

This native of northeastern Brazil has not been imported into the United States since the early 1980s; breeders have been able to meet the needs of pet owners with domestically bred birds. Although they can be somewhat noisy, jendays make inquisitive, acrobatic pets.



 

Maroon-Bellied Parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis)


Like her green-cheeked relative, the maroon-bellied conure has a brown head, green cheek feathers, brown chest feathers scalloped with buff or yellow, a maroon belly and tail feathers, white eye rings, a gray beak, and dark gray legs. In contrast to the green-cheeked, the maroon-bellied, as her name suggests, has a larger patch of maroon belly feathers, more yellow on her chest, and green head feathers.
Maroon-bellieds measure about ten inches long and weigh about three ounces.

Maroon-bellieds, which may also be called scaly-breasted conures, were imported into the United States and Europe from their native ranges in southeastern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and northern Argentina starting in the 1920s.

The species has since been set up in captive breeding programs, and pairs have done quite well producing chicks.

Maroon-bellieds have large personalities in their small bodies, and they make lively, playful pets.



 

Maroon-Tailed Parakeet (Pyrrhura melanura)


This bird also goes by the name black-tailed conure. She measures about nine and a half inches long and weighs about three ounces. The maroon-tailed has a brown forehead; green cheeks, wing and belly feathers; and brown-green chest feathers that are scalloped with white. The maroon-tailed also has red feathers on the leading edges of her wings. Her eye rings are white and her beak and feet are gray. As you might expect, her tail feathers are black on top and maroon on the underside, which gives rise to both of her common names.

In the wild, maroon-tailed conures are found from southern Venezuela to northeastern Peru. Maroon-taileds make entertaining pets, and they are not hard to find. They enjoy being around people and take to strangers rather quickly, winning new friends with their charming personalities.



 

Mitred Parakeet (Aratinga mitrata)


Mitred conures are primarily green with reddish foreheads, creamy white eye rings, horn-colored beaks, and brown legs. As with other green and red conures discussed here, young mitreds are completely green until their first molt, when the red forehead starts to become evident. Mitreds are fifteen inches long and weigh about eight and a half ounces.

Mitreds became well known to pet owners when importing birds was at its height; thousands of these parrots were brought into the United States from the mitred’s native habitat, which stretches from central Peru to northwestern Argentina. Their popularity is even greater with the introduction of domestically bred birds.

Although mitreds can be quite vocal, they are also very affectionate pets. This loyal affection for their owners has won the species many fans over the years. They also like to chew, so be sure your mitred has lots of toys she can destroy.



 

Nanday Parakeet (Nandayus nenday)


One of the more colorful conure species, the nanday has a black forehead and cheeks, bluish throat, green belly and wing feathers, orange leg feathers, white eye rings, black beak, and pink feet. Nandays, which are also known as blackheaded or black-masked conures, are twelve inches long and weigh about five ounces.

Nandays were exported from their native habitat, which ranges from southeastern Bolivia to northern Argentina, for more than a hundred years. As is the case with many wildcaught parrots, wild nandays developed a reputation as poor pets. Today’s hand-fed, domestically bred nandays, however, are difficult to top. They are naturally social birds who thrive on attention from their owners, and they get along well with other parrots. The nanday’s main drawback as a pet is that some of them can be quite loud, so they may not be well-suited for life in an apartment or a town house.

It’s difficult to be indifferent about a nanday because these acrobatic little extroverts quickly charm their way into your heart. Many nanday owners are extremely loyal to their colorful little friends. First-time owners need to remember that nandays tend to fall asleep on their backs with their feet in the air—a behavior that can be alarming the first time you see it.



 

Burrowing Parakeet (Cyanoliseus patagonus)


This is the largest conure, measuring about seventeen and a half inches long and weighing a little more than half a pound. Although some might describe their plumage as dull, Patis are actually quite colorful with their olive heads, orange and yellow bellies, blue flight feathers, pink feet, black beaks, and white eye rings. The natural range for this conure is central Chile, northern and central Argentina, and southern Uruguay.

In the wild, Patagonians are known to be ground feeders, so don’t be alarmed if your Pati spends a lot of time on the bottom of her cage. As long as the bird appears otherwise healthy, this is a natural behavior. Patis are quite cuddly pets and some can become good talkers. They have bred readily in captivity and are not hard to find. Among the drawbacks to keeping these conures are the facts that they can be quite loud, they require large cages to be comfortable, and they are voracious chewers.



 

Peach-Fronted Parakeet (Aratinga aurea)


Sometimes called the golden-crowned conure, the peach-fronted conure can be easily confused with the half-moon. Peach-fronts have deep orange foreheads, olive throats, yellow belly feathers, and green wing feathers. Their beaks and feet are black, and their eye rings are covered with small orange feathers.

The peach-fronted occupies a wide range—southern Brazil to northern Argentina—in her native habitat. She measures about ten inches long and weighs about four ounces.

Peach-fronted conures have been kept by bird owners and breeders for more than a hundred years. As pets, these conures have fairly good talking abilities and sweet dispositions.

However, they can be destructive, noisy, and aggressive toward other parrots during the breeding season.



 

Queen of Bavaria Parakeet (Aratinga guarouba)


The Queen of Bavaria is a large, visually striking bird. Her primary feather color is brilliant yellow with olive green flight feathers, and she has a horn-colored beak, white eye rings, and pinkish feet. Queens measure about fourteen inches long and weigh about half a pound. Because they are so eye-catching, they have been featured in advertisements for premium bird foods. The San Diego Zoo has a pair of Queens on display that I make a point of visiting each time I’m there.
These large conures cause more than a few visitors to stop and take a second look.

Queens, which are sometimes called golden conures, are native to a small area in northeastern Brazil. They are endangered in the wild because of deforestation, nest site destruction, and human encroachment. They have a long history of captive breeding that dates from 1939 in Sri Lanka. This species has been bred in the United States for more than fifty years. Despite this long history in captivity, Queens are uncommon pets, and they command top dollar.

Queens are prone to a few behavioral problems, including loud vocalization, feather picking, and aggression toward other parrots, particularly during breeding season. However, they are generally tame and affectionate toward their owners.

This species is not recommended for first-time conure owners because they require a great deal of attention and because they are still not common in aviculture.



 

Red-Fronted Parakeet (Aratinga wagleri)


Also known as Wagler’s conure, the red-fronted is a green bird with a red forehead, white eye rings, a horn-colored beak, and brownish feet. Young birds start out life completely green and develop their red foreheads as they mature. The red-fronted is about fourteen and a half inches long and weighs about six and a half ounces.

In the wild, the red-fronted conure’s native range stretches in a narrow band from northern Venezuela to southern Peru. These birds have been bred in captivity in the United States since 1957. They make entertaining pets and are capable of learning a variety of tricks.

Red-Throated Parakeet (Aratinga holochlora rubritorquis)


This subspecies of the green conure makes a comical pet who has a good chance of becoming a talking bird. Red-throated conures measure about twelve inches long and weigh about four ounces.

In the wild, red-throateds are found from eastern Guatemala to northern Nicaragua. Across their range, these birds are highly prized as pets. They were not imported to the United States in large numbers, but the birds who are here have bred well in captivity.

Like some other types of conures, young red-throateds start out life all green (well, once they have their feathers, anyway). They develop their red throats after their first molt. Red-throats also have beige eye rings, horn-colored beaks, and brownish legs.



 

Slender-Billed Parakeet (Enicognathus leptorhynchus)


Like the austral, this olive drab conure with gray eye rings, a reddish stripe of feathers around her eyes, a black beak, and grayish feet has been largely overlooked in the pet trade because she simply doesn’t have eye-catching plumage.

This uncommon bird does, however, have an eye-catching beak that may cause some first-time bird owners to think something is wrong with her. Her upper mandible is considerably longer than that of other parrots, but it’s simply an adaptation that enables the slender-billed to dig for tubers and roots in her native habitat of central Chile. The elongated bill also helps the bird retrieve one of her favorite foods—the seeds of the Araucaria araucana tree. Slenderbilled conures kept in captivity might appreciate pine nuts, which are similar to their favorite wild seeds.

Slender-billed conures, which are sometimes called long-billed conures, are one of the larger conures, measuring about sixteen inches long and weighing about six ounces. They are peaceful birds who do well in captivity.

They can be quite noisy when they want to be, but they can also learn to talk rather well.

Slender-billeds tend to spend long periods of time on the cage floor, foraging for food, so don’t be alarmed if your slender-billed seems to be down in her cage bottom all the time. You can make the hunt for food more interesting for this bird by scattering a few seeds in the bottom of her cage. Be alert to the condition of the cage bottom and keep it scrupulously clean to help ensure the health of your conure.



 

Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis)


These flashy little birds have been described as the Cadillacs of the conure group. A mature sun conure (pictured on the first page of this chapter) is a brilliant blaze of orange, yellow, red, and green feathers, and younger sun conures have mottled green plumage until their first molt. Mature suns have black beaks, white eye rings, and grayish feet. They measure about twelve inches long and weigh about four and a half ounces.

Suns are found in the wild from Guyana to northeastern Brazil, but they have been captive bred in the United States for many years. As pets, they are known for being content to be with their owners for hours at a time, sitting on a shoulder or the back of a chair. They can be noisy if ignored but otherwise make fine pets.



 

White-Eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalmus)


White-eyed conures take their name from the bare ring of white skin around their eyes. They are predominantly green birds with a sprinkling of red on their bodies, horn-colored beaks, and graybrown legs. White-eyed conures measure about thirteen inches long and weigh about four and a half ounces.

In the wild, white-eyed conures can be found from Guyana to Uruguay. They have bred well in captivity and are commonly available as pets. They can be quite affectionate, engaging birds and may learn to talk at a quite early age.
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