Maroon-Bellied Conure – Personality, Food & Care Guide


The maroon-bellied conure is a South American species known for its affectionate and friendly personality. In our guide, we will discuss these birds in-depth, including how to care for them. If you are thinking about bringing home one of these birds, keep reading to learn more about these birds and whether they are right for you and your family.

divider-birdSpecies Overview

Common Name: Maroon-bellied parakeet, reddish-bellied conure
Scientific Name: Pyrrhura frontalis
Adult Size: 9-11 inches
Life Expectancy: Up to 35 years

Origin and History

The maroon-bellied conure, also known as the maroon-bellied parakeet, is a small parrot breed. This bird has origins in South America, mainly Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Their natural habitat is the dense South American forest, woodlands, and wetlands. In addition to these habitats, you may even see a maroon-bellied conure in urban parks in South American cities such as Rio de Janeiro. These birds are fairly common; while their numbers suffered in the 1980s due to habitat loss and poachers, the maroon-bellied conure’s population is stable these days and they are considered to be of “least concern” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Though they are often found in nature, maroon-bellied conures are less common as pets.

Maroon-bellied,Conure
Image credit: Kimberly Palmer, Shutterstock

Temperament

The maroon-bellied conure is known for being a friendly and affectionate animal, making them ideal pets. In addition to their winning personality, the maroon-bellied conure is a very intelligent animal, making it fairly easy to train. You can teach your maroon-bellied conure tricks such as waving, dancing, and even playing fetch! They are energetic animals that love to explore, so they will really enjoy coming out of their enclosures to investigate the various nooks and crannies of your home. One thing you should know about these birds is that they have a fairly shrill voice, which can irritate some people.

Pros

  • Friendly and affectionate
  • Easy to train

Cons

  • Difficult to find
  • Shrill voice

Speech & Vocalizations

Overall, the maroon-bellied conure is known as one of the quietest parrot breeds. However, they do have a very shrill call that they will use to express happiness or excitement. While that may sound endearing, it can be annoying for some, and even more annoying for your neighbors. As a result, it is not recommended that you buy a maroon-bellied conure if you live in an apartment, condominium, or otherwise close quarters with your neighbors.

Maroon-Bellied Conure Colors and Markings

As you might imagine based on its name, the maroon-bellied conure has a dark red, almost brownish belly. However, you won’t find maroon feathers on the rest of its body. These birds are sometimes mistaken for green-cheeked conures because they are mostly green. Its breast is a yellow-green color, with nearly the rest of its entire body covered in emerald green feathers. Here and there, you might find brown patches of feathers, and the very tips of its wings are blue. The only other area you will find its characteristic maroon color is under its tail, which is maroon mixed with blue-purple.

divider-foodCaring for the Maroon-Bellied Conure

Cage and Setup

When choosing a cage for your maroon-bellied conure, make sure to pick something that is large enough for your bird to fully spread its wings without touching the sides of the enclosure. Aim for a cage that is at least 20” x 20” x 36”. If you plan to house two birds in one cage, you should plan to buy something that is at least twice the size of the cage you would buy for just one bird. Of course, if you have the space, you can’t go wrong with something larger. Look at both cages and aviaries to see what will work best for your bird and your home.

When setting up your maroon-bellied conure’s cage, make sure to include several perches at different heights for your bird. You might want to include some toys in your conure’s cage, such as wooden chew toys made for birds. Chewing is a natural behavior for birds that helps them explore their surroundings. If you don’t want your pet to chew the bars of its cage or other things it isn’t supposed to chew, a chew toy will help prevent that behavior.

Don’t forget to provide the essentials as well; food and water bowls should never sit on the bottom of the cage because your bird’s droppings will easily contaminate them from that angle. Instead, make sure they are sitting fairly high up. Bird food and water bowls are typically able to attach to the side of a birdcage.

Common Health Problems

Maroon-bellied conures are usually very healthy birds. However, like all animals, they are prone to certain health conditions. As a bird owner, you should know the basics when it comes to determining whether or not your bird is healthy. A healthy bird should have bright eyes and glossy feathers, be able to maintain a healthy weight, produce healthy droppings, and eat and drink regularly. Some signs that your bird might be ill are excessive sleep, ruffled feathers, poor appetite, drooping wings, and breathing problems. Below are some common health problems that you should look out for:

Health Problems

  • Conure bleeding syndrome
  • Pacheco’s disease
  • Feather picking

Diet and Nutrition

In the wild, parrot species tend to eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. In captivity, you should plan to feed your maroon-bellied conure a diet that primarily consists of pellets. Pellets are formulated to provide your bird with all of its nutritional needs and will help prevent malnutrition. In addition to the pelleted diet, however, conures love to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which can be nutritious treats. Before feeding your conure anything from your home, be sure you are aware of foods that can be toxic to birds. Avocados, rhubarb, asparagus, onions, apple seeds, eggplants, and stone fruit pits should be avoided.

Exercise

Just like humans, birds need plenty of exercise to stay healthy. Maroon-bellied conures are no exception. They need at least 1-2 hours of time outside of their cages in order to get sufficient exercise, especially if their cage is not large enough to allow them to fly around. You can help your bird get the exercise it needs by engaging with it outside of the cage—playing fetch or dancing with your bird will help it get moving. Do be sure to supervise your bird’s playtime to make sure it doesn’t start chewing on your furniture.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Maroon-Bellied Conure

If you are looking to adopt or buy a maroon-bellied conure, you could try looking at your local animal shelter or bird sanctuary first. Shelters often have birds up for adoption that can have a tendency to stay at the shelter for several months or even years because they are not as popular as cats and dogs. If you don’t find the bird you’re looking for by searching locally, you can search for birds up for adoption within a certain radius by using services such as Petfinder.

If you have no luck finding a maroon-bellied conure, you will probably need to go the route of a breeder. If buying from a breeder, you can expect to pay between $125-$250, depending on availability. Make sure to vet your breeder before bringing any birds home to make sure that they are reputable.

divider-birdConclusion

Overall, the maroon-bellied conure is well known for being a wonderful pet. However, they are not as commonly sold as other species, which can make it difficult or even frustrating to track down one of these birds. If you are willing to put in the time to find a maroon-bellied conure from a shelter or a reputable breeder, you will undoubtedly be rewarded with a loving companion.


Feature Image Credit: Ricardo De Paula Ferreira, Shutterstock





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