Avian Species Menu

Blue Crown Conure

Blue Crown Conure

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Species Organizations

National Audubon Society
Website: www.audubon.org
Cornell Lab of Orinthology
Website: www.birds.cornell.edu
The Avian Web
Website: www.avianweb.com

Classification
Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae
Scientific Name
Aratinga Acuticaudata
Other Common Names
Sharp Tailed Conure
Species Description
The Blue-crowned Conure is one of the larger birds in the genus Aratinga measuring approximately 37 cm (14.5 inches) in length and weighing between 140 and 190 grams (4.9 - 6.7 ounces). Blue-crowns have many features common to the Aratingas, including green plumage, long, tapered tails, horn and black-colored beaks, and white, featherless eye (periophthalmic) rings.

Blue-crowns are predominantly green, with dull blue coloring on the forehead, crown, cheeks, and ears. The breast feathers may also be tinged with blue, though they are more commonly green to yellow-green. Closed wing coloring matches that of the body while extended wings show blue-brown, becoming chestnut on the outer flight feathers. The tail feathers are green on top, maroon to red-brown on the underside. Legs are pink-brown with grey-brown claws. The upper mandible is horn-colored, tapering to a needle-sharp, grey-black tip. The lower mandible is horn-colored in juveniles, fading to grey-black by the bird's second year, Some subspecies retain the horn-colored lower mandible throughout adulthood.

The Blue-crowned Parakeet's nest is a hole in a tree. The eggs are white and there are usually three to four in a clutch. The female incubates the eggs for 26 days, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 52 days after hatching.


Habitat
They inhabit grassland, forest margins, and semi-arid regions.

Distribution
Native to large parts of South America, from eastern Colombia in the north to northern Argentina in the south.

Captivity
Blue-crown Parakeets are generally called Blue-crowned Conures in aviculture. They are social birds and are relatively poor talkers, although better than most Aratingas. They have become quite popular as pets, with a reputation as one of the "easier" parrots to care for. However, they are also intelligent, high-energy birds that require a lot of attention and a cage with ample room and toys. They can also be quite loud at times. Consequently, they are more appropriate companions for serious bird enthusiasts rather than the casual birdkeeper.

Summary
Conures are either large parakeets or small parrots that are found in the western hemisphere. They are analogous in size and way of life to the Old World's Rose-ringed Parakeets or the Australian parakeets. All living conure species are found in Central and South America; the extinct Conuropsis carolinensis or Carolina Parakeet was an exception. Conures are often called the clowns of the parrot world due to their constant attention seeking behavior including hanging upside-down and swaying back and forth or "dancing."

Despite being large for parakeets, conures are lightly built with long tails and small (but strong) beaks. Conure beaks always have a small cere and are usually horn-colored or black. Most conure species live in flocks of 20 or more birds. Conures often eat grain, which causes them to be treated as agricultural pests in some places.

Conures are as diverse a group as African Parrots, so trying to characterize them all is difficult and inaccurate. The category conure is loosely-defined because they do not currently constitute a natural, scientific grouping. The term conure is now used mostly in aviculture. Scientists tend to refer to these birds as "parrots" or "parakeets."


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