The Golden-capped conure is a vibrant, lively species of parrot that hails from the subtropical forests of Brazil and Paraguay. In the wild, they can be found in flocks of 30 or more birds. Having reached Near-Threatened status, their wild numbers have been dwindling due to habitat loss as a result of deforestation.
The Golden-capped conure is easily bred in captivity and is commonplace in the pet trade. These birds range from 11 to 14 inches in length and weigh between 4.5 to 5.5 ounces. They are colorful, loveable, and full of personality, these sweet-natured parrots can make wonderful long-term companions.
|Common Names:||Golden-capped Conure, Golden-capped Parakeet, Flame-capped Parakeet, Golden-headed Conure|
|Scientific Name:||Aratinga auricapillus|
|Adult Size:||11 – 14 inches, 4.5 – 5.5 ounces|
|Life Expectancy:||20 – 30 years|
Origin and History
The Golden-capped conure belongs to a taxonomic group called arantinga, Arantinga is a genus of South American conures that look alike and have similar physical characteristics. Other members in this genus include the Sun conure, Jenday conure, and the Golden-fronted conure.
Native to Brazil and Paraguay, the Golden-capped conure resides in the subtropical and tropical dry forests, moist lowland forests, dry savanna, and plantations of their homeland.
They tend to be found in flocks of 30 or more and spend their time foraging for food and nesting high in the treetops. At one time abundant in their native lands, the wild population is quickly vanishing due to deforestation.
Golden-capped conures are fairly easy to breed in captivity, where their numbers are vast. This bird continues to be very popular in the pet trade.
Golden-capped conures are very outgoing, social birds and will enjoy being near their human companions as much as possible. They are very intelligent and respond well to training with positive reinforcement. If trained properly and given exposure to consistent communication, they can even learn to repeat words and perform tricks.
Conures are known for being active and playful. Chewing, climbing, dancing, and swinging are popular activities among these birds. They will need a spacious and enriching environment full of toys and various forms of entertainment. They can get destructive if left unsupervised around household items.
You can expect your Golden-capped conure to long for your time and affection. They love to cuddle and will happily crawl inside your shirt or upon your shoulder and go along for the ride. Quality time with their human companions is essential for their mental health. They make for a pretty comical household pet.
The Golden-capped conure is not a quiet bird. You will undoubtedly be greeted very enthusiastically when you arrive home. They have loud, shrill screams and can be especially vocal and dawn and dusk. Conures are notoriously nippy. You will need to implement proper training to ensure you have a well-mannered bird.
Speech & Vocalizations
Golden-capped conures have a signature high-pitched, shrill screech. They tend to vocalize the most when they are excited, longing for attention, or startled.
They can learn to speak a few words and phrases but they will not have a vast vocabulary. You can expect them to learn and regularly speak 20 or more words, though the Golden-capped conure does not speak as clearly as some other parrots.
Golden-Capped Conure Colors and Markings
The Golden-capped conure has a slightly larger, more blocky body than the Sun and Jenday conures. They do not reach full coloration until approximately one year of age.
They have green bodies that can take on a more aqua hue in the sunlight. The eyes are surrounded by a ring of white with a red band surrounding the white area and tracing the forehead. There are varying hues of yellow, green, and blue within the tail and of course, the signature golden crown at the top of the head.
Caring for the Golden-Capped Conure
You’ll want a spacious cage for the Golden-capped conure. They need the ability to move around and implement their physical activity needs within their enclosure. Perches, swings, ladders, bells, and bird-safe chewable toys are important to have available.
Golden-capped conures can get along well with other conures and in some cases, other birds that are the same size or smaller. It is hard to determine whether an individual bird with be compatible with another. Golden-capped conures can thrive as a single bird as long as they get a minimum of two hours of human interaction daily and are not left alone any longer than 6 to 8 hours.
The cage should be checked daily for any debris that is accessible to your bird. You will need to wipe down the cage, bowls, toys, and perches daily to prevent any health issues. Cage lining will need to be changed at least every other day. The entire cage should be cleaned thoroughly at least once every month with mild dish-washing liquid and water.
Your bird will need to bathe two to three times per week. You can provide a bowl of lukewarm water or mist your bird gently with warm water from a clean spray bottle.
You will need to consult with an avian veterinarian for your Golden-capped conure’s care. Your bird will require routine health exams and you will need your veterinarian on standby for any unexpected health issues.
Common Health Problems
It is important to be aware of the common health issues that affect the Golden-capped conure. Regular health examinations by an avian veterinarian are needed for your bird’s health and well-being. These check-ups can help prevent, diagnose, and treat many issues.
Diet and Nutrition
Conures can be vulnerable to obesity and nutritional deficiencies if dietary needs are not met. A varied and well-balanced diet must be maintained at all times. You will want to discuss these dietary needs with your avian veterinarian to ensure you are feeding the most high-quality, healthy diet.
It is recommended that conures are fed a mixture of pellets and seeds as part of their base diet. They will also require a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables for optimal nutrition. Below is a list of some acceptable fruits, vegetables, and greens that can be included in their diet:
Golden-capped conures, like the majority of captive birds, will require a lot of exercise and socialization. As an owner, you will be responsible for providing for these needs.
You will want to ensure you have a spacious cage to house them and plenty of toys and perches to enrich their environment. These small parrots have an abundance of energy and will also need some time out of their cage for optimal mental and physical stimulation.
Toys, ropes, ladders, and perches will encourage movement and activity. Golden-capped Conures like to be interactive with their surroundings. You will need to commit your own time to your bird’s daily exercise needs and supervise any time spent out of the cage. You can also keep them active by teaching them tricks and play along in their antics.
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Where to Adopt or Buy a Golden-Capped Conure
The Golden-capped conure is a very popular pet. They generally range in price from $250 to $600. There are many reputable breeders of Golden-capped Conures in the United States. Considering their popularity, they can also be found in pet stores across the nation.
Due to various reasons, many pet birds end up abandoned. Thankfully there are rescue groups in place for these kinds of situations. If you are interested in adopting a rescued Golden-capped conure, you can research some local bird rescues for help finding the perfect bird for you and your family.
The Golden-capped conure can make a great pet for the right person. They are common amongst parrot breeders and can be purchased at a reasonable price. These birds have wonderful personalities and are very affectionate with their humans.
They require physical activity, mental stimulation, and socialization. Owning a Golden-capped conure is a lengthy commitment and you will want to ensure you can provide the care, time, and attention it takes for your bird to thrive in your home.
Featured Image credit: Floratta, Shutterstock