A big parrot in a little body
Are you one of the many people who has dreamed of owning a parrot one day? Did you fall in love with the big, boisterous personality of a friend’s macaw or cockatoo? Do you look around your living room and say: “There’s no way I can make room for a cage bigger than my car”? If so, a conure might be the perfect bird for you!
The conure is a lively, charm-packed parrot that can make those dreams come true without over-taking your house. A conure has everything the big birds have – but in a smaller package.
You should know, though, that just because a bird is small it doesn’t mean that you can toss food in its cage and be done with it. Small birds need the same level of care, socialization and training as do the big guys. So if you are looking for a small bird with the expectation of it being easier, think again.
They can be territorial and nippy, especially around their cages, and they have a tendency towards being what we call “one person birds”. These birds often take a preference towards a single member of the household.
For small birds, many conure species can be surprisingly loud. Even though they can’t match the decibel level of a cockatoo or macaw, they make up for it in persistence. Their normal vocalizations might be present throughout the day. For many people, conures are too loud.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal, especially when you are that preferred person, but it becomes a problem when the bird refuses to interact with anyone else but you, sometimes biting others who want to play with them. Worse, they often start to think of you as their mate. During breeding season, they will occasionally try to run off a family member or house-guest who gets too close to you.
To keep this from happening, the conure owner needs to understand the vital role that proper socialization with all family members plays in the raising of their bird. Training is the easiest and most effective way to make that happen and it can solve your conure problems with just a few minutes of one-on-one time a day.
Is training worth the effort?
Think of it this way, I’m sure you know that when you have a parrot it needs out of cage time every day. It would just be cruel to leave a bird in a cage for its entire life, right?
You have a choice… you can spend that out of cage time chasing your unruly conure around the house, as it dive-bombs dad and bites little Timmy’s finger, or you can spend a small fraction of that out of cage time with a quick training session and the rest of the time enjoying each other’s company.
There are over 40 different conure species. They vary enormously in size, personality and appearance giving you a lot to think about before you make your final decision on which bird to take home. The best thing a perspective conure owner can do is to educate themselves by researching any species they have an interest in before they get one. The best teacher will be an owner of the parrot species you are considering.