About The Blue Crowned Conure Parakeet- With Pictures
I was fortunate enough to have been given a Blue Crowned Conure seven years ago by a friend. I didn't want to confuse him by changing his name so he is called 'Charlie' and he is approximately fourteen years old in total now.
I hadn't met Charlie all that much before I agreed to take him on, my daughter had started full time school and my house was becoming rather quiet. I'd been told that Charlie makes plenty of noise, needs lots of attention and a nice new loving home, so I thought perfect!
I have to admit at the start I didn't quite know what I was letting myself in for so I had a lot to learn but I wasn't disappointed, he does indeed make lots of noise and is at his most happiest when receiving my undivided attention. He has a very cheery but temperamental personality and has become very protective over me.
About Blue Crowned Conure's
Many people mistake these beautiful birds for being parrots but they are in fact parakeets. They originate from various parts of South America and it is thought that they live for a less amount of time in the wild compared to what they do if they are well looked after in captivity. Their life span can vary from 25 - 40 years and they will usually grow up to 14.5 inches long from beak to the end of their tail.
At first these parakeets give off the appearance of being just one colour (green) but they have a blue crown around the top of their heads and an array of gorgeous colours hidden underneath their long tail feathers. The colours are often red with a hint of orange and yellow and can be seen clearly when the parakeet stretches out his/her tail feathers in a fan like manner.
Most owners of this species will be first in line to tell you about the wonderful personality these parakeets have, they are extremely playful, friendly and loyal but this will only develop if cared for correctly from birth. Once this parakeet has been raised a certain way it is extremely difficult to change them, if they have started out in life with little trust it will be very hard for you to ever gain their full trust.
I've been very lucky in the sense that Charlie has developed a very strong bond with me and he is happy to come along for a ride on my shoulder and accompany me all around the house or in the garden but he has a very low tolerance for anyone else and is quick to nip them if they come too close to him or myself.
Do they talk?
Blue Crowned Conures don't talk as much as some of the other parakeet species but they will learn and say some words or short sentences. They will happily chat and sing along in their own bird language regularly as well, which is extremely cute to listen to.
Charlie can say hello, bye, come on and also ahhhh when I stroke him. He also mimicks the noise of me sipping my tea or crunching crisps and he sings the England football theme tune.
Do they make ideal pets?
Lots of people see these parakeets and instantly decide that they want one but before you fully decide, you really should listen to their squawk first. It's incredibly high pitched and loud and Charlie can be heard outside my house - three houses down the road and that's with my front door and windows shut!
There's nothing this species loves more than to be in a bit of noise competition with the kids, stereo or TV. Luckily for me the noise doesn't bother me in the slightest but for some of my friends the noise is so alarming that they seem to lose the ability to think and speak clearly when Charlie is having a moment. Whilst I can chuckle about it, visitors plead with me to sit in another room and chat with them, so the noise is far from suitable for everyone's liking.
Also you should take this species personality into consideration and how much time you have. As I've already mentioned, if this parakeet is not raised with full love and attention from the very beginning, it's hard to change them and for this reason I personally think you would do well to have experience in taking care of other birds first before committing yourself to a Blue Crowned Conure. They are very social birds and will do well from having someone who can be around a lot as opposed to someone that works away frequently.
If you can take those points into consideration and still want a Blue Crowned Conure then they do make the most amazing pets. It's a beautiful discovery when you realise just how intelligent, loving and playful they really are. Charlie is very enthusiastic about spending time with me and when we are not playing, he will still come and join me and blissfully chat away to me whilst I wash up the dishes or he'll sit groom himself on the desk whilst I work at the computer. He is great company to have around the house and the kids never fail to be fascinated that I have a bird sitting on my head or shoulder when they come in.
What food do they eat?
A parakeet will eat just about any type of food going if you allow them to. They are particularly keen on mash potato and pasta, but some human foods can be harmful to them and can affect the way their beak and claws develop so you should stick to a dried mix of parakeet or parrot food which will allow them to get their essential nutrients and vitamins.
It's also good for them to have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables such as grapes, oranges, apples, bananas, melon and sweetcorn. They will need a fresh supply of water every day.
Toys & Exercise
You will need to ensure that your parakeet has lots of toys to play with and chew up as they need regular stimulation. A bored parakeet could become quite destructive and may pluck their feathers, bite or screech a lot. This can also be a sign that your bird is distressed or unwell so always take precautions if your parakeet starts to behave in this way.
Having plenty of toys to play with and chew will not only help them to keep healthy but it will help them to keep their beak and claws in good shape. They need a lot of exercise everyday as they are highly energetic; ideally they should be allowed out of their cage for at least 2-3 hours a day but more where possible.
A nice roomy cage is needed so that your bird can still spread out their wings while they are inside if they want to. You should change the bottom of the cage daily and then do a thoroughly cleaning of the whole cage on a weekly basis.
The blue crowned conure's are well known for their personalities and when it comes to keeping themselves clean, it’s no different. Some will be happy for you to put a tray on top of their cage and they will hop in for a bath, others will prefer you to put the tray inside of the cage or have a bird birth hooked into the side of the cage. You can also give your parakeet a shower by using a spray bottle and holding it above the cage.
Your bird will run away from the water if they don't want a bath or shower and unless your bird has got themselves into a mess then you should respect their wishes and simply offer them the option again later or the next day.
You should always use mildly luke warm water and if possible allow them to dry off a nice warm room. They will finish grooming themselves after bathing by pruning their feathers with their tongue.
My final thoughts
All in all, the Blue Crowned Conure's are a special breed of bird in my eyes and they truly deserve the absolute best life you can give them.
Love them with everything you can and you will receive that love back from them in abundance.
I couldn't imagine life without Charlie now, he is a joy to have around the house and it's an honour to have him in my life.