Patagonian Conure Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Common NamePatagonian Conure
Scientific Name
OriginIn the big parts of Argentina. They still have small populations in Chile, and some migrate to Uruguay especially during the winter season, or sometimes they are even brought to the Falkland Islands due to the strong westerly winds
HabitatThey prefer to nest in inside cliffs, and they even nest near streams and rivers in savannahs. They love to hang around communal trees and wires.
DietSeeds from fruits and plants, nuts, fresh fruits, crops, and berries
Size and WeightLength of 18 inches (45 centimeters) with a weight of about 280 grams
LifespanWild: 25 years Captivity: 35 years

Physical Description

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Patagonian Conure is a sight to behold due to its distinctive features. Most people compare their attributes to other species of conure and macaws. They are characterized as being robust and heavily built with their small heads and long tails. The color combination that Patagonian conure has resembles the native habitat where they are so that they can easily camouflage. Their body’s color is mostly green, with dark brown tones at the back and on the chest area. Its green body color complements the flight feathers that are mostly in the color blue.

It also has other color combinations such as the olive/brown colored head, hints of yellow color in the lower back and abdomen, orange/red thighs and rump with slight patches of yellow, and green-tinted tails with hints of grey/brown. The eye circle is white, which makes the black beak standout. You can easily distinguish juveniles from adults through the color of their beak, the young have an upper mandible and entire lower mandible of the whitish horn, but the time they reach the age of 6 months, except that the color of their beaks will change and turn dark. There is no distinguishing mark to differentiate males from females, but they can take a blood test or DNA to be exact in determining their gender.

Where it is Seen?

The Patagonian conure mainly thrives in big parts of Argentina. They still have small populations in Chile, and some migrate to Uruguay, especially during the winter season, or sometimes they are even brought to the Falkland Islands due to the strong westerly winds.


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The Patagonian conures love to stay in the flock, and they even travel distances away from the ground. They prefer to nest in inside cliffs, and they even nest near streams and rivers in savannahs. They love to hang around communal trees and wires.

Behavior and Temperament

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Patagonian conure has a great passion for tricks and playing with toys; they have a naturally entertaining personality that is cuddly and affectionate and oftentimes clingy once it gets to bond with the owner. They want to be petted, to get head scratches and belly rubs when they can. You will enjoy their silliness and all the goofy tricks, and you will quickly catch yourself wanting to spend more time with your feathered friend. It won’t take long for you to tame Patagonian conure you’ll just need to spend time with them often. They are not quite noisy, making them perfect for those who are apartment dwellers.

They tend to utter repeating basic words as well as mimicry. They can bark, alarm, and whistle with surprising accuracy. Like other conures, they are also receptive to music when they heat good tunes. Do not let them feel that they are neglected because they also tend to feather plucking when stressed, depressed, or lonely.

Breeding and Reproduction

The reason why there are called the cliff-dwelling or burrowing parrot because they usually nest in tunnels that are deep-seated on the rocks such as limestone and sandstone. The breeding period depends on which country does the Patagonian lives. For those who are in Argentina, the breeding season is within November-April. The Patagonian conure displays their likeness to mate through beak clicking or snapping, strutting and posing.

In captivity, there is a higher chance of having successful breeding when there is only one pair confined in one area. Their clutch size is about 2-5 eggs, where the female incubates it for 26 days, depending on the weather and temperature while the male is in charge of food. After 60 days, except that the juveniles will leave the nest ready to fledge.


The Patagonian conure’s diet comprises of different items that are almost readily available wherever places they go, such as seeds from fruits and plants, nuts, fresh fruits, crops, and berries. They do not only feed on top of the trees, but they are also seen on the ground where they feed on the foods that feel on the ground.

Size and Weight

The adult Patagonian conure may reach an average length of 18 inches (45 centimeters) with a weight of about 280 grams.


With the proper care in captivity, their lifespan in the wild, which is only by 25 years, can be extended in captivity up to 35 years, making them a good companion.

Common Diseases/ Illnesses

1) Malnutrition

The Patagonian conure is mostly prone to Vitamin K and calcium deficiency that leads to feather loss, brittleness, and malformation of beaks and nails, and it may also lead to sudden death. When your bird has malnutrition, they may become infertile and that their eggs may be soft-shelled. Having a poor diet is the most common reason why malnutrition is prevalent, especially for captive birds.

If you do not see any problems with the food that you are giving to your pet, there is a possibility that there is something wrong with the food combinations and the way how the bird absorbs it; that is why you may need to seek guidance from your veterinarian. Always make sure that before changing or shifting the diet of your bird with a different menu, you may need to consult your veterinarian first.

2) Polyomavirus

This is an infectious disease that infests most aviary, especially juveniles because they haven’t produced enough immunity against this disease. It is fatal because it directly impacts the antibodies in their body that slowly weakens their immunity. The healthy the bird is, it is less likely that it will be affected. Research shows that this disease impacts the juveniles more than the adults because the juvenile’s body is still weak. When one bird has polyomavirus, it can be transmitted to other birds immediately, but good thing it is not transferable to humans. A way to avoid the disease to spread is to separate or quarantine the bird that looks weak immediately.

Among the parrot species, the conure species are the ones that are more prone to polyomavirus. There is no cure for this disease, but there is a vaccination to be given before the bird develops its wings to ensure that the immunity of the bird to fight this disease is sufficient. These are the symptoms of polyomavirus diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, loss of appetite, swollen abdomen, and sudden weight loss. Do not wait for a few more days before taking it to a veterinary or before taking the bird to quarantine because the disease can be spread in just minutes, so you need to be observant.

3) Pacheco’s disease

This disease is caused by another virus, which is the herpes virus that is highly contagious to other animals, but good thing it is not transmittable to humans. This can be transmitted easily to other birds through nasal discharge and bird’s feces. When the bird acquired this disease, it can be fatal, especially when the bird’s immunity is low. Even though humans won’t get this disease, they can be a carrier, so be cautious in handling them before handling other birds.

There are manifestations to know if your bird is infected with this disease, and the common side effects are the most common manifestation of this disease is sudden death. Some bird infested experiences green dropping, tremors, and anorexia. When it is detected at an early stage, it can still be cured through the use of an antiviral drug, but this drug has side effects that can damage the bird’s kidneys in a short span of time. Quarantine is used as the safest preventive measure to avoid the disease from spreading further.

4) Salmonella

This is common for feeder birds wherein the bacteria comes from an intestinal-tract infection. If your bird is infected, your child may experience ruffled feathers and diarrhea. As soon as you see these symptoms, take your bird to a veterinarian because usually, this disease can kill them for about 3 days only. If you place more than 1 bird in a cage, remove the infected ones because this disease can spread rapidly. Salmonella is also transmittable to humans, so be sure to wear protective gear.

5) Trichomoniasis

This is caused by a cell called protozoa, which are infected. This is a disease that infects almost all bird species. This disease is evident through the sores in their throat and mouth, and they do not have an appetite for food because of the inability to swallow. When a particular infested bird drops the food from its mouth, and other birds feed on it, except that the disease will be transmitted easily.

6) Aspergillosis

This is a fungal infection that comes from an unsanitary environment where the bird is exposed to wet nesting materials and contaminated food. Your bird will have respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia due to the inhaled spores. If you notice that your bird experiences labored breathing, diarrhea, and weaknesses, take them out and for diagnosis.

7) Giardia

This is an intestinal infection caused by a microscopic parasite that causes abdominal and digestive problems to the bird. It is caused by an unsanitary environment, and if the food and water that are given to them are not clean. A bird that is infested by this parasite shows symptoms of itchiness of their whole body, dry skin that may lead to feather picking, bulky stools, diarrhea, and depression.

The parasites can live in the intestines of the bird for weeks, and it can form cysts that are shed through their feces. When your bird is infested, the disinfection of all the things used by the bird is necessary, such as their toys, perches, water, and food bowl, as well as the whole cage. The infected bird should also be given antibiotics to kill the parasites.

8) Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD)

This happens when the immune system and the cells that take good care of the beak and feathers are attacked by the virus. You know that your bird is suffering from this disease if the feathers change in color and if the feathers are dropping while the beak changes in shape and is fragile. This disease doesn’t have a known cure; that is why some birds who are suffering from this disease have a weakened immune system that is the cause of their death. It is important to let your bird be screened for PBFD before taking it into captivity.

9) Food poisoning/Ingesting toxins

Whether in the wild or in captivity, cockatoos are susceptible to food or toxin poisoning. Not all types of food are healthy to them; there are the kinds of foods that are toxins and may cause negatively on their health, such as avocados, grapes, peanuts. If your cockatoo ingested these toxic foods, they might suffer from the normal real stool, dizziness, liver disease, kidney problems, and heart failure. Inhaling toxic household chemicals is also dangerous for their health; that is why it is advisable not to use any household chemicals near them.

10) Ulcerative dermatitis

This is a skin disease that can easily irritate the parrot. A sign that they are irritable is when they peck their skin that eventually leads to wounds and breakage. It brings itchiness and stinging sensations. When you see that your parrot has an open wound, make sure to do first aid so that it won’t be infected. There are ointments that can ease irritations. Your bird can be prone to different bacterial infections if this disease is not treated immediately due to the open wounds that they may get.

11) Overweight parrot

Most conures that are taken into captivity are susceptible to obesity due to incorrect diet and since they only have a limited exercise. When they are obese or overweight, difficulty in breathing, stressed joints, and bones are experienced, and they are also prone to having diabetes, liver disease, and pancreatic disease. Benign fatty tumors, or known as lipomas, are another manifestation of obesity. This tumor is painful especially when it grows large, and the only way to remove it is through surgery, which is quite risky for your pet.

Choose healthy food options for your bird, so there will be no chances that they’ll have weight problems. If they are physically fit, they can move freely, making them healthy and less prone to diseases. You may consult your veterinarian about the specific diet that you need to give your bird. There are foods that you should avoid to give them, such as sugary and fatty foods.

12) Bumblefoot

This is characterized by swelling and lameness of the cockatoo’s feet and is usually consists of lesions with a discharge. If your bird suffers from this condition, expect that they will have difficulty to land on the ground, stand on the porch, or even grasp their food or toys. Since the swelling of their feet is accompanied by lesions, make sure that their cage is hygienic to avoid infections. Bumblefoot is usually due to malnutrition, especially when there is Vitamin A or calcium deficiency.

13) Feather Picking and Self-mutilation

Feather Picking and self-mutilation are usually due to behavioral problems caused by boredom, stress, and sexual frustration. As soon as your bird learns this behavior, it can no longer be unlearned; that is why when you notice unusual behavior from your bird, take it immediately to your veterinarian. This behavior is usually triggered if your bird is lonely and bored; that is why it is always important to make them feel that they are not alone by playing with them, or you can have them in pairs.

Preventing Illnesses

There may not be a way to totally prevent different kinds of diseases or illnesses that may infest your bird pet but being aware of the different illnesses or diseases prevalent is already a big help because you tend to be more aware of what your pet can get so you can easily determine if there is something wrong. A great way to prevent different kinds of illnesses or diseases is to provide your bird with its needs in an ideal environment.

Captive Breeding

Deciding to take Patagonian conure in captivity is not a difficult decision to take because these conure species are intelligent, affectionate and they are not high-maintenance. Even though you have a little knowledge of how to grow a bird, you can still become an excellent owner if you are able to give them their need shelter, attention, love, and affection.

It is not hard for these birds to reciprocate the love that you give them because they are naturally clingy bird species. It is advisable to always get them by pairs especially if you are into breeding and so as to make sure that they will not be lonely if you do not have much time to interact with them on a daily basis.

Availability-Where to Get One?

There is already a regulation and stricter laws when it comes to getting Patagonian conures in the wild, but due to captive breeding efforts, their population in captivity has a stable number; that is why there are always available in the pet industry. This is one of the conure species that are usually sold in different stores you can also avail of this bird species from personal bird breeders that you can discover through online transactions.

How to Care Parrot as a Pet?


As a rule of thumb, even though conure species are not a large bird, it is still advisable to take good care of them in a large cage that is spacious enough to be their playground full of toys and different accessories. The cage should have wide doors that will make it easy for hand to fix things inside and so that the bird will not have a hard time getting in and out of the cage. It is also equipped with a tray that is removable, so cleaning their droppings every day is not that complicated. Their cage should be an engaging place where you could fly, climb around, swing, and flap its wings.

It is important to have a large cage, but you also need to incline it with your budget. You can place their cage, whether indoors or outdoors, but make sure that the environmental temperature is at 40° to 90° Fahrenheit so as not to have problems with their bodily functioning. Choose a place where you can place the cage that is accessible; the ideal place is where they can see people that they can interact with.


In captivity, there is a wide range of food selection that you can give your pet together with pelleted mixes. Formula diet and seed diet differ; formula diet is a combination of fresh food and a palette mix, while the seed diet refers to a pelleted mix only. The formula diet is still an advisable diet to be given to Patagonian conure in captivity because it is enriched with high nutritional value that your pet needs. Aside from giving them fresh foods and pelleted mixes that are healthy, you can still support the nutrients and minerals that can still supply them by means of using cuttlebone to ensure that they will not have e a nutritional deficiency, especially in Calcium and Vitamin A.


It is impossible to give your time to your bird 24/7 that is why it is important that they have ways on how they can be able to entertain themselves to avoid boredom and frustration through different accessories that they can interact with inside their cage. Different kinds of toys and perches are enough to make them happy in times when there is no human interaction. There should also be 2 bowls in your bird’s cage that is for food and water.


For you to be able to surpass or at least attain the expected lifespan of Patagonian conure, it is best to know how to properly take good care of them. Giving them shelter, food and water is not the only way on how to be a responsible owner but you should also know how to instill cleanliness in their environment because they may not have any nutrient deficiencies because of the food that they eat, but if they are staying in an unhygienic environment, they are more prone to different sicknesses or diseases.

You may need to clean their age as well as the accessories in it at least once a week. Make sure that any leftover food and water are always removed every day, so when you supply them with food and water, it is fresh and clean. Their beaks, wings, and nails constantly grow, so grooming is necessary. If you do not know how to trim their beaks, wings, and nails, you may need to bring it to your veterinarian to avoid any harm that you might give them.

Conservation Status

There is a point in time that the population of the Patagonian conure was threatened due to illegal trade, but due to the efforts of different organizations and individuals to protect their population from being extinct, they are now classified by the IUCN as least concern last December 2009 with a stable population in the wild. As of the moment, there is now a stricter law to protect them as well as other conure species. The most common reasons why they are prone to a decrease in population is because of loss of habitat, irresponsible hunting for food, and for captivity and that there is a wide competition for food in the wild from other species.

Fun Facts

  • Among all the parrot species, they are the ones who have the biggest foot. The Patagonian Conure has the largest feet in proportion to their body size of any other parrot. Because they burrow in cliffs and dirt for their nests in the wild.
  • The Patagonian conure is the largest among the conure species.
  • Unlike other conures, Patagonian conures lay eggs in sand cliffs where they burrow.

FAQ Section

Does Patagonian Conure like to be petted?

The Patagonian conures are very passionate, especially to their owners. If you have formed a special bond with them, expect that they will always seek your attention a clear indication that they love to be petted.

Can you train your Patagonian Conure?

It takes great patience for you to be able to train any kind of bird. Repetition is the fastest and efficient way for them to learn, so if you are teaching them how to seek a particular word, always let them hear it a couple of times during your interaction. Not only that, they can be trained on how to speak, but they can also be trained with simple tricks.

How well does your Patagonian Conure talk?

The Patagonian conure may not be the greatest talker among the conure species, but they can talk moderately with proper training. Even though they can only utter a handful of words, but they are one of the conures that speak clearly.

Do Patagonian conures burrow?

They are known as the burrowing parrot because during the breeding season; sometimes they prepare their nest in burrows or tunnels that are deep-seated on rocks. This behavior of Patagonian conures is a risk for them to be eaten by snakes and other burrowing mammals and reptiles.

Why does my Patagonian conure bob his head?

Head bobbing is just normal for this bird species; it is usually done by males for the mating dance. A sign, if they are actually dancing, is if the head bobbing is faster in an up and down motion. When you notice that your pet does this at the highest part of their cage, them most likely it is a sign that they just want to mate.

Are Patagonian conures intelligent?

The Patagonian conures are, by nature, intelligent that they can easily be trained to learn at least five to ten words and some tricks such as shaking hands, turning, and waving. The intelligence that they have can still be further enhanced through the use of different toys to make them active instead of being bored.

Why does Patagonian conure hang upside down?

Sleeping or playing in an upside-down position is just normal for them because, in the wild, they often hide and roost from high areas. In captivity, they used to stay in the highest perch and hand down to sleep.

Why do Patagonian conures puff up?

When your Patagonian conure puffs its feathers, it only means that they are cold and just want to warm their bodies because it is a way for them to conserve the heat. During the cold season, it is a way for them to release the excessive heat in their body to freshen up.

Why does the Patagonian conure rub their beaks on you?

The beaks of these birds grow continuously for their entire lives, there is a way for them to let it stay in shape, and that is to rub it to something whether in tree barks or any hard surface. If the bird’s beak is in shape, they will be able to eat what they eat without any difficulty.

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