The painted conure, also known as the painted parakeet, is a small bird that is sweet-natured and absolutely eye-catching! They are members of the Psittacidae family – one of the three families that are considered true parrots.
You might be pretty surprised to learn that there are about 350 species of parrots found around the world!
Painted conures are highly prized for their beautiful colors and amazing personalities, but they are quite rare, particularly as pets.
Read on so you can learn more about the spectacular painted conure!
|Common Names||Painted Conure, Painted Parakeet|
|Scientific Name||Pyrrhura picta|
|Adult Size||8.5 to 9.6 inches|
|Life Expectancy||13 to 20+ years|
Origin and History
The painted conure comes from northern South America. More specifically, they are from several regions in the Amazon Basin as well as the Guianas. These birds are also found in some areas of Panama in Central America. They are typically found in and around forests as well as savannahs in foothills and lowlands.
Both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International have placed the painted parakeet in the Least Concern category. This essentially means they are not a threatened species, but their population in the wild is on the decline because of the loss of habitat as well as the pet trade industry.
While the painted conure is considered common in the wild, it’s another story when looking for breeders of this species.
The painted conure is usually found in flocks with 10 to 15 other birds in the wild, but this number will increase while they feed on fruit trees.
As pets, these birds are considered sweet, sociable, and curious and are also very energetic and active.
They have big personalities as they love interacting with their owners, and they are quite intelligent. Painted conures can be trained to do simple tricks, and with some time and patience, they can learn more complicated tricks.
Because they are social birds, you’ll need to interact with them every day, or they will become bored, which typically leads to behavioral problems. Because of this, someone needs to be home with the painted conure for at least several hours every day but spending most of the day home with your bird would be best.
These birds love being the center of attention and enjoy being around a lot of activity but just be careful if you have young children. They can be a little nippy at times.
Speech & Vocalizations
They have loud calls, but overall, they aren’t noisy birds. They are more likely to call out when excited or when something alarms them, or if they have behavioral problems.
They make short “eek” sounds while they are in flight, their contact call sounds like “peeah,” and a loud “kleek kleek” while perched.
The painted conure is not known for talking. Most conures have some ability to vocalize, but it doesn’t come quite as easily and isn’t as clear as it is with other parrots.
Painted Conure Colors and Markings
The painted conure is a beautifully colored bird. They tend to be primarily green with a deep red belly, darker red tail feathers, and reddish-brown cheeks. From their crowns to the napes of their necks, they are dark brown but with a vivid blue on their foreheads.
The neck feathers are quite distinctive, with dark brown feathers that are individually outlined in an off-white, giving it a very visually striking, almost scaled appearance.
Males and females have the same vibrant coloring and can be difficult to tell apart.
Caring for the Painted Conure
You’ll need a cage that is a minimum of 24 inches in height, 24 inches wide, and 18 inches deep, and the bars should be spaced at ½ an inch. Look for a powder-coated cage as all parrots, including the painted conure, are notorious bar chewers.
Add perches and toys that are all bird-safe and therefore safe for chewing.
The painted conure is a social bird and used to living with a flock so you can get a buddy for your bird. However, unless you can find another painted conure, it’s best not to put two different species of conures together in the same cage.
If you don’t have another bird buddy for your painted conure, be prepared to spend a lot of quality time with your bird. They will become bored if left alone and not played with often, so have your entire family interact with your bird on a regular basis.
Beyond the necessary perches, you should also provide your painted conure with natural wood branches that they can perch and chew on. These branches can be found easily online if you look for branches for conures.
Also, look for chew toys and blocks for conures that are also made of wood like pine and fir, as well as leather.
And then there’s the bath. Every bird is individual – some will love taking baths, and others not so much. Some will love to take a bath in their water bowl, while others might prefer to accompany you to your shower. Just figure out what makes your painted conure happy and go with that.
Common Health Problems
Many health conditions that might affect your conure tend to be airborne, so it’s a challenge to prevent them from occurring. What we have listed here are just some of the possible health problems that are known to afflict conures, so it’s a good idea to make yourself familiar with these conditions, so you know what to look out for.
The painted conure is susceptible to:
If you’re knowledgeable about these health conditions, you might, in some cases, be able to prevent them from occurring. Be sure you find yourself an excellent avian veterinarian who is knowledgeable about conures.
Diet and Nutrition
In the wild, painted conures eat fruit (which includes berries), seeds, flowers, some vegetation, as well as larvae and insects.
As pets, you should feed them lots of fresh fruit and veggies as well as flowers and buds.
|Fruit||Pears, apples, oranges, pomegranate|
|Veggies||Celery, green beans, carrots, corn, peas in the pod|
|Leafy veggies||Lettuce, dandelion, swiss chard, sow thistle You can also provide your painted conure with a seed mix.|
|Seed mix||Hemp, sunflower seeds, canary grass seed, oats, buckwheat, rowanberries, safflower. You can also offer your bird sprouted seeds in addition to millet spray a few days a week.|
Make sure your conure’s cage is large enough that he can stretch out and flap his wings. You can add a variety of toys in your painted conure’s cage, which helps with exercise while he is in the cage – ladders, vines, swings, and bungees.
You should also give your painted conure play areas set up outside of the cage, such as play gyms.
Finally, have some fun with your conure – play games like tossing a ball, encouraging him to chase you, and even play hide and seek. And dance with your bird – you’ll both get some exercise and have fun doing it in the process!
Where to Adopt or Buy a Painted Conure
These birds are exceedingly difficult to find, but if you do manage to locate one, they could range in price from $600 and up to $1,000. Try looking for the “painted conure” as well as the “painted parakeet” if you’re looking online for one.
You can also try keeping an eye on websites devoted to adopting out parrots, like the Parrot Partners. You might not necessarily find a painted conure, but you just never know unless you try.
Now that you’ve learned all about the painted conure, you’re probably pretty eager to bring one home. These beautiful, social, and loving birds make exceptional companions, but they are difficult to find. Difficult, but not impossible.
Try posting on social media and ask people on conure message boards and forums about your interest in these birds, and you might end up being the lucky owner of the painted conure.
Featured Image Credit: Gualberto Becerra, Shutterstock
Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she’s not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.