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
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
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
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."