Avian Species Menu

Dusky Conure

Dusky 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

Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae
Scientific Name
Aratinga Weddellii
Other Common Names
Dusky-headed Parakeet, Dusky Headed Conure, Weddell's Conure
Species Description
This long-tailed species is generally green in color (blue mutations are rare, but do exist in captivity) with a gray-brown head, a blue-tipped tail and remiges that are dark gray from below, mainly blue from above. The bill is black, and it has a broad bare white (sometimes yellow-tinged) eye-ring. With an average length of 25-28 cm (10-11 in) and a weight of about 100 grams, it is slightly smaller than the Sun Conure.

It is social, and usually found in pairs or small groups. When food is plentiful, it may form flocks of up to 100 members. It eats fruit, seeds, and flowers, and will search decaying wood for insect larvae. It also ingests mineral-rich soil, e.g. from a clay lick, as a supplement. The pair raise their offspring together, nesting in woodpecker holes in trees or arboreal termite nests.

With macaws and amazons at a clay lick in Ecuador. Consuming clay is believed to provide a mineral supplement and neutralise toxins in their diet.They do well in captivity. They are fairly easy to breed if provided with a durable nest box, and will lay up to three clutches per year.

It inhabits rainforest, marshes, forest remnants and regrowth in cleared areas, and sometimes coffee plantations. It is a common avian species across its range.

The bird is found in the wild along the Amazon River and its tributaries in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil.

The Dusky can be kept in captivity, most successfully in an aviary. It appreciates water for routine bathing and likes a variety of fruit and vegetables. It is easy to breed if provided with a nest box, and will lay up to three clutches per year.

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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