Teaching your pet parrot to talk can be tricky. Perhaps you have a little conure and have been waiting for it to speak, but to no avail. This is normal, and long-term parrot owners would know that it takes time and effort to train these pet birds.
You patience if you want your green-cheeked conures to build a habit of talking. But here’s the good news! The Furry Companion can guide you to teach your conure to talk.
What Is A Green-Cheeked Conure?
A green-cheeked conure or green-cheeked parakeet is from the parrot subfamily Arinae. Despite being small, it has a big personality and is one of the most easygoing parrots. That is why bird novices consider it the right choice for first-time parrot owners.
Green-cheeked parakeets are also cheap because they breed easily and are always available.
Despite being one of the most outgoing parrots, the green-cheeked conure is not a great talker. While they are capable of human speech, it is of limited capacity. Their noise level is low because of their deep, gravelly voice.
Green-cheeked conure parrots are about 10 inches long. They have:
- Primarily lime green feathers
- Light blue flight feathers, and
- Maroon tail feathers
A whitish ring circles their neck, and a bright olive green surrounds the light red patches on their chest. They have green cheeks and black plumage on their head. Most of them have a dark beak and obvious white rings framing their eyes.
It is difficult to tell apart male and female green-cheeked conure because they are identical. But there are different green-cheeked conure mutations. Some of these are:
An American dilute has a generally lighter appearance. It has a cream-white head, white feet, a dark bluish beak, and dark eyes.
Mint American dilute
A visual turquoise has a lime green plumage with an almost pastel color to the feathers. It has a silver head, platinum tail feathers, deep black eyes. and dark feet.
This is a sex-linked mutation resulting in an almost pastel lime green plumage. It has red patches in the lower belly and lighter maroon coloring on the tail feathers. It also has a tan head and a bright-colored chest.
Pineapple conures have a light-colored head. They have a bright red belly, yellow sides, and yellow tail feathers, displaying a prominent halo effect. It is the combination of visual cinnamon and yellow-sided color mutations.
A suncheek is a green-cheeked conure mutation that is both sex-linked and recessive. Its wings are on the lighter yellow side while its chest and belly are on the lighter maroon side. It has platinum blue flight feathers and a pastel crown on its head.
This green-cheeked parakeet is somewhat larger than its siblings. It has a blue-green plumage and a dark head. It also has alluring blue-green cheeks.
A yellow-sided conure is also a sex-linked mutation that looks almost similar to an ordinary green-cheeked conure. It is distinguished by its golden yellow chest.
Personality And Behavior
Compared to normal conures, green-cheeked conures fall a little bit on the shyer side, but just a little bit. Conure parrots in general are known to be friendly and outgoing birds. These pet conures are flock animals more likely to bond with the whole family instead of one individual.
Green cheek conures are affectionate. They love to be cuddled and snuggled close. Sometimes they would even get under the fabric of your clothes. When given enough proper attention, these green conures will repay their owners by learning multiple tricks. A green-cheeked conure is particularly playful, and they love spending time outside their cage.
Some common tricks you can teach your green cheek conure are:
- taking a bow
- sitting on your shoulder
- hanging upside down
- playing dead
- saying hi or hello
On the other hand, a green cheek conure tends to get nippy in the face of its owner’s neglect or indifference. They also get nippy when nearing the breeding season. During these occasions, you need to shower them with patience and understanding.
Nutrition And Diet
You should give your green cheek conure a nutritionally balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, and good-quality pellets. It must be served with calcium, minerals, and amino acids. Vitamin A is also necessary to keep its lime-green feathers bright and glowing.
Occasionally, you can also feed your green cheek conure a variety of seeds, nuts, and nectar. Sunflower seeds and peanuts are common favorites, so give them these as treats, but be careful not to overindulge them.
In the wild woodlands of South America where green-cheeked parrots originated from, these birds forage varied options of fresh foods: seeds, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and insects. That is why you should give your pet a varied diet as much as possible.
Check out some of our suggestions below on what food products to buy and feed your pet conure:
1. Sunseed vita prima wholesome nutrition
If you are looking for natural foraging of grains and seeds, Sunseed Vita Prima Wholesome Nutrition contains pumpkin seeds, quinoa, apples, almonds, and chili pepper. It is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants to aid immunity. This product is available here on Amazon.
2. lafeber tropical fruit nutri-berries conure food
Formulated by top avian veterinarians and nutritionists, this product offers human-grade ingredients only. It has Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for great immunity and healthy skin. The Nutri-berries are also shaped to help exercise your pet bird’s beak. You can find this product here.
3. kaytee fiesta big bites
Give your green-cheeked conure this gourmet food as a treat. Kaytee is a vet-recommended brand, so you can be sure that your pet is in safe hands. It contains all the favorite fruits, nuts, and vegetables. It is designed to enrich the skin and develop vibrant plumage and feathers. Get this treat now on Amazon.
A New World parrot like the green-cheeked conure finds their natural habitat in rainforests where the climate ranges from tropical to temperate. This kind of setting also gave them a lot of freedom of movement, so conures in general are active and lively birds.
Considering this, a green-cheeked conure needs a cage of at least 24 inches high and 24 inches wide. These green cheek birds love to chew on things, so give them cardboard and other nontoxic materials to chew on. They also love to snuggle, so put in a soft cloth to make the cage feel more like a warm, cozy home.
To accommodate your green cheek conure’s playful spirit, include colorful toys like hoops, balls, rattles, and ropes in their shelter. Take time to play with your pet yourself so that it never feels lonely.
At least once a year, have your bird checked by an avian veterinarian. This is the minimum requirement set by the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Keep a close watch on any irregularities in your conure’s behavior, and try to maintain some basic knowledge of the common illnesses observed in these birds.
Psittacine beak and feather disease
Commonly referred to as “Bird AIDS”, this viral disease is caused by what is called a Circovirus. Dead or abnormal feathers are a common sign of this illness. According to Rick Axelson, DVM, the bird can die within 6 months to a year of infection.
This refers to the improper alignment of your bird’s upper and lower mandibles. This is often genetic, but it can also be a sign of other medical concerns such as fatty liver disease.
The Green-Cheeked Conure Talking Ability
A green-cheeked conure is a bird of a few words. If you are looking for a bird capable of huge vocabularies, you might want to try looking into a different species of parrots. However, it can be fun teaching a green cheek conure to learn small words. It is a good bonding moment, and there is much joy in getting one of the shyer parrots to open up and speak confidently.
Of course, it is also a challenging task, but not impossible.
When do green-cheeked conures start talking?
The green-cheeked conure can start talking around 8 -10 weeks of age. It is easy to miss because they have a deep, throaty voice that makes it seem like they are just purring and chirping. They have low-level noise, so they are not easy to hear. It is also not easy to understand what they are saying even when they mimic human speech.
Moreover, the green-cheeked conure does not just suddenly become equipped in speaking at a certain age. They only adopt words that are directly spoken to them regularly. Hence, they will only learn to talk if you make the initiative to regularly talk to them.
What words should you teach your green cheek conure?
Because green cheek conures are normally trained to learn simple tricks, the words they often hear spoken to them are trick commands like “sit”, “up”, “down”, or “bow”. They eventually learn to mimic these words, and they are known to repeat them whenever they hear them spoken by their human.
Of course, it will also be great to teach them short greetings like “hi”, “hello”, or “good morning”. Try to limit what you teach them to 1-3 syllables to not overexert them.
What are the advantages of teaching your green cheek conure to talk?
It can be a great bonding moment between you and your pet. Dedicating time and effort to feed your bird with the confidence to speak despite its initial shyness is a rewarding job.
In addition, verbal communication can also increase the existing trust, affection, and understanding between you and your bird. This is not to say that these things cannot exist with nonverbal communication alone. Some green cheek conures never learn to talk, and that’s alright! There are other ways for a bird and its human to enjoy their time together.
How do you teach your green cheek conure to talk?
1. Dedicate the time to talk to them
Intentionality and patience in talking to your conure is a slow but relevant part of the beginning process. Your pet will not be interested in learning to talk if you do not show interest in communicating with it verbally.
2. Talk gently
Using a calm and friendly voice when talking to your bird will ignite its curiosity. Talking gently will also show them how affection can be displayed through verbal communication.
3. Understand them
Once more, it is not easy to quickly recognize a green conure’s speech. It requires familiarization, so you have to take the time to listen to your pet well and understand the sounds it makes.
It is just as important to understand your conure at an emotional level. Try to find out what keeps it motivated and what makes it curious. Learn to read its body language. Do not force your pet to speak if it is not showing any interest in doing so.
4. Reward and comfort them
Every pet loves a treat. Reward your conure with their favorite food whenever they exhibit success, and even when they fail, continue to encourage them by spending quality time with them.
Green cheek conures are highly intelligent birds, so teaching them is always worth your while. More than that, they are affectionate, so they will love you as you do them. This pet bird is the best for those looking for a fun, talking – but not too talkative – furry companion.
A fitness junkie and a cosmopolitan traveler, Kathy is the mom of peppy baby Malaya and mixed beagle Holly. She’s a capable businesswoman who balances work with living a wanderlust life with her hooman and fur babies.