All About Birds - Specialist breeders of Green Cheek Conures and their mutations
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Green Cheek Conures make beautiful and irresistible pet and aviary birds
Green Cheek Conures are happy and mischievous without being destructive, and are thought to be the most quiet of all Conure species.
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Home Conures Green Cheek Conures All About Green Cheek Conures
All About Green Cheek Conures PDF Print E-mail

A blue pineapple Green Cheek Conure The Green-cheeked Conure (pyrrhura molinae) has become extremely popular in Australian aviaries over the past 10-15 years, but hold on to your hats because it is about to become even more popular. Anyone who has kept this little conure - about 26cm in length - will agree that this species has so many appealing features that it is almost impossible to ignore them. They are easily housed in conventional or suspended aviaries in single pairs or in a mixed/colony arrangement and, unlike most of their larger cousins, they are not noisy, eliminating any hassles with the neighbours. These conures will eat just about anything that is offered, doing well on either a seed or a pelleted diet - with some breeders offering both. In addition, they accept most fruits and vegetables and simply relish endives and soaked seed.

Green-cheeked Conures are quite prolific breeders and will breed in logs or nestboxes of any type, with L- or Z-shaped nestboxes the preferred nesting sites. Normal clutch sizes consist of 4-5 eggs, with seven eggs not uncommon. Incubation lasts 21-22 days, with chicks fledging about 46-47 days later. Two parent-reared clutches per season are certainly a possibility.

Green-cheeked Conures make wonderful pets if handreared from an early age. They are happily mischievous without being destructive. And above all, these conures are quiet, so even a unit dweller can enjoy their companionship. Now that they are becoming more readily available, they have also become more affordable.

A variety of Green Cheek Conure mutations However, if all of these qualities are not enough then there are the colour mutations. The first Green-cheeked Conure mutation to be bred in Australia was the Cinnamon, a very beautiful mutation with its red eyes and light feather tonings. Apparently it first appeared here about four years ago but is now established and becoming more readily available. Because the Cinnamon is sex-linked in inheritance, you only need one Cinnamon or split Cinnamon parent bird to produce Cinnamon or split young depending on the parent combination. Please refer to the table below for breeding expectations.

Breeding expectations for cinnamon or opaline Green-cheeked Conures

Cocks X Hens   Cocks & Hens
Normal   Cinnamon = Split Cinnamon   Normal
Split Cinnamon   Cinnamon = Cinnamon
Split Cinnamon
  Normal
Cinnamon
Cinnamon   Normal = Split Cinnamon   Cinnamon
Split Cinnamon   Normal = Normal
Split Cinnamon
  Normal
Cinnamon
This last pairing is not desirable as it is impossible to tell which resulting offspring cocks are split to Cinnamon/Opaline, unless test mated. Results for Opaline are the same as indicated for Cinnamon.

The second colour to appear was the Opaline Yellow-sided mutation. Like the Cinnamon, it is also sex-linked in inheritance. Through selective breeding the red colouration in the Opaline can be intensified. At present this mutation is held in low numbers but should be readily available in the not too distant future.

In its own right the Green-cheeked Conure is a beautiful little bird. With these two new gorgeous colour mutations it has now become even more irresistible and who knows what new colours and combinations will be achieved.

This article was written by Glenn Matheson and was first published with the title "Green-cheeked Mutations: The Cheek of It!" in BirdKeeper Magazine, Vol. 18 Issue #11 in 2005. Reproduced here with kind permission from ABK Publications.

Recommended reading: For further information on Green Cheek Conures, see A Guide to Popular Conures as a Pet & Aviary Bird and A Guide to Colour Mutations & Genetics in Parrots. Links will open in a new window.

 
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