Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Green-Cheeked Conure – Personality, Diet & Care Guide (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove

March 3, 2021

Green-cheeked conures can be ideal companions for bird lovers. These little cuties are spirited, loyal, and even shy sometimes. They tend to take very well to their humans, even though they can be friskily independent and mischievous.

Owning a green-cheeked conure will be quite an entertaining experience since you never quite know what they’ll come up with next. These parrots are attractive because of their small size and larger than life attitudes. Let’s learn more about these tropical sweethearts.divider-birds

Species Overview

Green-Cheeked Conure bird
Image Credit: J-a-x, Wikimedia Commons
Common Name: Green-cheeked parakeet, green-cheeked parrot
Scientific Name: Pyrrhura molinae
Adult Size: 10 inches, 3 ounces
Life Expectancy: 30+ years

Origin and History

The green-cheeked conure is a parrot native to South America. These family-oriented birds usually form tight-knit flocks of up to 20 birds, fluttering through the treetops of tropical forests and wooded areas.

Most conures inhabit Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. In the bird-owning world, they’re ever-growing in popularity, but there is still much debate on how these parrots fare in captivity.divider-birds

Temperament

Green-CheekedConure
Image Credit: ortica670, Pixabay

Green-cheeked conures can exhibit quite a wide variety of personality traits that are individual to each bird. However, they tend to be affectionate, smart, playful, and sassy. They thrive on interactions, as they are social and don’t like being alone for long periods.

They can be quite particular about their surroundings, not liking certain stimuli—whether it be sounds, other creatures, or even certain people. They can bond with one person and show distaste for others. Some might be the opposite, curiously interacting with strangers and even showing off.

Green-cheeked conures are typically very gentle, loving to groom and be groomed by their people. They love melodious tunes like singing and whistling—and they might even bop around happily to music, humming along.

These birds are often found playing with shiny objects, and they even love looking at their own reflection. Having lots of stimulating toys in their cage space or things for them to play with while free-ranging will also keep them occupied so they don’t get too bored—which can be a recipe for mischief.

If your green-cheeked conure doesn’t like something that’s going on, they won’t hesitate to tell you about it. While these birds aren’t the most vocal of parrots, they can get quite loud when they are irritated, upset, or overwhelmed.

Pros
  • Fun-loving
  • Affectionate
  • Playful
  • Interactive
  • Theatrical
  • Bonded
  • Intelligent
  • Full of personality
Cons
  • Can be particular
  • Might only bond to one person
  • Could be nippy
  • Could be loud

Speech & Vocalizations

Green-cheeked conures can sometimes be very chatty, but they don’t have extensive vocabularies like some other parrots. Green cheeks tend to be less noisy than other conures.

These birds usually emit loud, high-pitched chirps that have various meanings depending on how they’re feeling.
  • Chirps: Your conure can make happy little sounds when they feel love, excitement, affection, curiosity, and joy.
  • Squawks: Your conure might squawk when they notice something new or odd going on around them. It’s usually very loud, in bursts.
  • Screams: They don’t like something, and they’re letting you know. These screams are shrill and unavoidable.
  • Whistles: These are usually a “where are you” sound. When you leave the room, if you hear your conure whistling out, this means the person they love has left them there are they’re trying to find you.
  • Bald Eagle Noise: This one might be weird, but your conure can sound like a bald eagle with a piercing caw. This noise usually happens in response to being territorial or aggressive.
  • Quacks: That’s right, your conure can quack like a duck. This sound is usually an indicator that they are getting uncomfortable but not yet scared.
divider-birdcage

Green-Cheked Conure Colors and Markings

Green Cheek Conure with a blue leg ring_ice_blue_shutterstock
Image Credit: ice_blue, Pixabay

Though your green-cheeked conure can have certain color patterns that are slightly different from like-birds, their overall look is the same. Traditionally, they are mostly green with some red. On their chests, they have almost a barred pattern of gray and black.

Other color mutations include:
  • Pineapple: This mutation is a mixture of the cinnamon and yellow-sided green-cheeked conures. They are more vibrant in color, making them a popular choice.
  • Cinnamon: These conures have a pale color, which is diluted from their normal color palette.
  • Yellow-sided: This color variant is much the same as the traditional, but there is more noticeable yellow on the chest.
  • Turquoise: This mutation is a stunning dilution of the normal green, creating a lovely turquoise and blue hue in the feathers.
  • Violet: This coloring is newer and totally eye-catching. These conures are deep purplish blue with a very dark, nearly black, head and underbelly.
  • Jade: This color can be very deep jade or very pale green.

Caring for the Green-Cheeked Conure

Giving your green-cheeked conure a suitable environment is one of the core elements that will make a chipper bird.

Pairing

Green-cheeked conures are very social birds, but they don’t necessarily need a mate. They might even be territorial with same-sex situations. If you have a pair that doesn’t always get along, keeping them close but in separate enclosures might work out best.

If you have a lot of time to spend with your conure, they can be happy in an only-bird household. But if they will spend a lot of time alone, having a buddy might be the answer.

Grooming

Bath time will be a favorite activity for your bird. Providing a shallow bowl of lukewarm, chemical-free water for your bird to splash around in will keep them clean and make them happy.

While bathing can be done at home, you will need some help with flight feathers and nails unless you’re very experienced in clipping. It’s best to let a professional groomer or veterinarian do this.

Cage

Green-cheeked conures should be in a tall cage that sits up off the ground. A good rule of thumb is the larger the cage, the better. They love having space to move around, so the bigger enclosure they have to explore, the happier your conure will be.

Minimum cage size:
  • Width: 24 inches
  • Height: 30 inches

Activity

You should also have lots of toys and perches for them to enjoy, creating different levels to explore. Conures are very active parrots, so you should always keep them occupied. They benefit from stimulation of all types, and they should have plenty of things around to keep them entertained.

Socialization

It’s important to socialize your bird with as many situations as you can. If a bird isn’t used to other creatures or people, they can be withdrawn or even aggressive. Bonding with your green cheek is one of the most important factors of proper care.divider-bird

Common Health Problems

green cheek conure_Jida Xu_shutterstock
Image Credit: Jida Xu, Pixabay

Green-cheeked conures can be very healthy birds, especially with appropriate care. Neglect leads to more issues than anything else.

Common health issues are:

  • Psittacine beak and feather disease
  • Psittacosis
  • Beak malocclusion
  • Chlamydiosis
  • Feather plucking
  • Aspergillosis

Healthy birds are alert, interactive, and interested. If you notice that your bird is acting differently, there might be something going on under the surface that isn’t quite right. You won’t want to wait to contact a vet if something is wrong, as the life of your bird could be at stake.

Warning Signs

If you notice any of the following, contact your veterinarian:

  • Sitting on the bottom of the cage
  • Wheezing, coughing
  • Disheveled or missing feathers
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Discolored, liquid stools

Diet and Nutrition

You should offer your conure a pellet diet, making up 70% of their daily intake. The other 30% should be comprised of fresh fruits, veggies, and fortified seeds.

Some conure favorites include:
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Black beans
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Melon

They also need fresh chlorine-free water changed daily. Green-cheeked conures can be especially sensitive to chemicals in some water, which can make them very ill.

Exercise

You probably won’t have to coax your conure into play. They will always be ready to go and love when you play games with them.

For optimal health, your conure should have a minimum of two 15-minute play sessions per day where they can solve puzzles, climb around, and stretch their wings.

If you don’t offer enough exercise and activities for your green cheek, it can lead to aggressive behavior and even depression.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Green-Cheeked Conure

Because many don’t realize what a long commitment bird-owning is, you can likely find someone who is trying to rehome their bird—supplies included. Some rescues might also have adoptable green-cheeked conures.

If you go this route, you can expect to pay $75 or more, depending on what’s included.

Buying a conure from a pet shop or breeder usually costs between $150 to $350, which is for the bird only.

divider-birdcage

Conclusion

If you still have your heart set on a green-cheeked conure, or you just wanted to learn about these amazing birds—hopefully, you’ve found what you were looking for. These sweet, spunky little parrots have so much love to give their human counterparts.

If you do decide to buy a green-cheeked conure, remember to choose responsibly, so you own a healthy bird that will live a long life.


Featured Image Credit: bluepaints, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.