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Home > Birds > Dusky-Headed Conure: Personality, Pictures, Food & Care Guide

Dusky-Headed Conure: Personality, Pictures, Food & Care Guide

Dusky-Headed Conure_Milan Zygmunt_Shutterstock

Have you recently been to the pet shop, spotted a dusky-headed conure, and fell instantly in love? Or, perhaps you’ve just always wanted a pet bird. If you’re looking to purchase a dusky-headed conure, then you’ll need to know all about its personality, how to feed it, and how to take care of your new pet.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the dusky-headed conure.

divider-birdsSpecies Overview

Common Names: Dusky-headed conure, Weddell’s conure, dusky headed parakeet
Scientific Name: Aratinga Weddellii
Adult Size: 11 inches
Life Expectancy: Up to 40 years in captivity

Origin and History

The dusky-headed conure hails from the Western Amazon Basin and is most commonly found in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru. Often seen in clay pits and freshwater sources, they prefer living in coffee plantations, woodland edges, and even sparse forests.

Luckily, the environment and home zones of this breed haven’t been impacted negatively, and they are a stable species and not on the verge of becoming extinct at all. So if you’re looking for a pet that’s lovable and friendly, then the dusky-headed conure is a good choice. This is a sociable bird, even in the wild, and is often seen in groups and pairs.

dusky-headed conure_MilanZygmund_shutterstock
Image by: Milan Zygmund, Shutterstock


The dusky-headed conure is a gentle, sweet bird that can do tricks and repeat words. He loves to play with toys, dance, and will gladly sit on your shoulder when he’s out of his cage.

However, one thing to note is that this species of conure can be mischievous and will poke holes in your clothes and furniture with his beak if you aren’t careful. In addition, they do tend to become louder and more aggressive when they are about to reach sexual maturity and will squawk and bite more often.

In this case, you need to be patient and loving with your conure until he’s through this phase of life. This adorable bird also enjoys swinging, hopping around on play stands, chewing, and climbing his cage and other indoor terrain.

  • Well socialized
  • Clever
  • Great pets for children
  • Excessive chewing
  • Biting (most conure can be occasionally nippy)

Speech & Vocalizations

If you know anything about conures, then you already know they enjoy being loud and noisy. However, that’s not the case with the dusky-headed conure, who seems to be the exact opposite. This is one of the main reasons that this bird is so popular when it comes to household pets.

This is the perfect bird for apartment living for this very reason. The dusky-headed conure can learn some basic words and imitate sounds. So, for example, your pet may dance and chirp to whatever song you might be listening to.

Dusky-Headed Conure
Image by: bluepaints, Pixabay

Dusky-Headed Conure Colors and Markings

The colors of the dusky-headed conure reflect the calm and loving personality it has. This is one of the prettiest conures around with a green body, black beak, and grey head. The very tips of the feathers on the conure’s tail are blue.

If you’re looking for a bird that has simple colors yet is still gorgeous, then you’ve found that bird with the dusky-headed conure.


Caring for the Dusky-Headed Conure

Now that you know what your dusky-headed conure looks like, where it’s from, and what type of personality you can expect, it’s time to move into how to take care of your new pet. We’ll explain just that in the sections below.

Just like other conures, your dusky-headed pet is going to need a lot of your time and attention. These are very social birds, so you’re going to have to spend time teaching him things, loving him, and just paying him attention, or he will get upset.

Hygiene is also something you’re going to have to take care of for your pet. Make sure to keep his cage clean at all times. You’ll need to clean any toys your pet has by washing them in soapy hot water.

Misting your pet’s feathers with a water bottle is a great idea, or you can provide your bird with a birdbath instead. Wing and tail trimming, however, should only be done under the guidance of a professional.

As for housing, you’ll need a cage that measures at least 30” x 36” x 30” and has bars that are about half an inch thick for your dusky-headed conure to be comfortable and happy.

However, instead of wrapping the cage with a towel or blanket at night, you need to invest in a good cage cover. These pets quickly become seasoned escape artists, so you want a cage that has a very sturdy lock to keep them inside.

Keep your pet in an area that’s draft-free. He’ll be fine in room temperature conditions, but don’t let the temperature rise over 80 degrees Fahrenheit as it could make him uncomfortable or sick.

Common Health Problems

Despite being small, the dusky-headed conure is a pretty healthy bird. However, one common condition to look out for with your conure is called psittacosis. Not only can this health condition hurt your bird, but it can also hurt you and your family as well. Unfortunately, it’s a common condition in all birds, not just the dusky-headed conure.

It’s caused by bacteria that presents as flu-like symptoms. Symptoms to watch for in your bird include sneezing, swollen eyes, runny nose, and a loss of appetite. If you notice these symptoms in your conure, you need to make an appointment with your exotic vet right away.

Diet and Nutrition

Your dusky-headed conure enjoys treats, bird pellets, and larvae. Any combination diet you feed your pet should include a few different nuts, seeds, and flowers that need to be balanced out with fruits, vegetables, and greens.

Veggies, as well as red and orange fruits, are necessary so that your pet will get the proper amount of vitamin A in their diet, while cuttlebones and calcium treats will take care of the calcium they need for proper bone development.

It’s important to keep an eye on the veggies and fruits you offer your pet, as some contain chemicals that the immune system of your bird can’t handle. Make sure to wash everything you give them thoroughly to combat that. Also, don’t feed your conure any type of chocolate, sugary treats, or avocados.


Your bird is going to need at least an hour a day outside of his cage so he can spread his wings. While with a big enough cage, he can easily do that inside, it’s better to let him out at least once a day, as these are very social creatures. Letting him roam around your house for a little bit each day is physical and mental exercise for your pet.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Dusky-Headed Conure

You can purchase a dusky-headed conure in many places. There are reputable shops online or you can visit many local pet stores to adopt this species of bird. There are also many rescue shelters that often end up with conures after pet parents realize they require more care and attention than they first thought. If at all possible, get your dusky-headed conure from a shelter, as you’ll be giving a pet a second chance at a forever home. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, always research the shop or site you’re purchasing one from to make sure they’re reputable.

divider-birdsFinal Thoughts

This concludes our guide on the dusky-headed conure and what type of pet it makes. Remember, these creatures are super sociable so if you don’t have time to spend with them and give them the attention they crave, it’s best to go with another type of bird as a pet.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Milan Zygmunt, Shutterstock

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