Massena & Souance, 1854
Approximate range. Now also confirmed for lined area.
The Green-cheeked Conure (Pyrrhura molinae), is a small parrot of the genus Pyrrhura. The name Green-cheeked Conure is primarily used in aviculture, while the name Green-cheeked Parakeet is used elsewhere. It is primarily green, with a grey breast, dark head, maroon tail and blue flight feathers. Its normal weight is about 70 g; its average length (including tail) is 25 cm (10 inches).
It occurs in west-central and southern Mato Grosso, Brazil, through northern and eastern Bolivia to northwestern Argentina. Its habitat is forests and woodland, where it forms big flocks at treetop level. It eats various seeds and fruits and probably other kinds of vegetable matter.
The average clutch is 4"?6 eggs. Average incubation is 24 days, varying from 22 to 25 days.
A yellow-sided Green-cheeked Conure, Pyrrhura molinae sordida. Note the lighter coloration.
The Green-cheeked Conure has several subspecies:
The yellow morph of P. molinae sordida was once considered a separate species, P. hypoxantha. The Green-cheeked Conure is very similar to the Maroon-bellied Conure (P. frontalis) and formerly there have been speculations that they were conspecific..
Green-cheeked Conures are common in aviculture and are popular companion parrots. They are playful, affectionate and intelligent, known as having a "big personality in a small body". They can learn to talk, albeit with a limited vocabulary and a gravelly voice. They like to be held (although some like it more than others) and can learn tricks such as lying on their backs and "kissing." Along with other Pyrrhura conures, they are only moderately loud, therefore making acceptable pets for apartment dwellers. They can be prone to biting, particularly when young, but an owner can cure this behavior with patience and time. They love fruits, (especially bananas and raisins), and seeds such as sunflower, safflower and hemp seeds; all things found in their natural environments. Green-cheeked Conures also love table food; they are flock animals and love to eat with their family. They can eat potatoes, carrots, corn, well cooked meat, bread, pasta, plain popcorn, and even eggs. It is advised not to feed them oil seeds such as sunflower seeds because they are addictive and do not contain the proper nutrition. Sunflower seeds and peanuts contain high amounts of fat. While this is helpful for birds in the wild, a clipped and/or caged bird can develop health problems from eating too much fat. A bird-pellet diet with a calcium supplement will give them the proper nutrition, but should not be used exclusively due to the presence of trace chemical additives and bonding agents not found in the conure's natural habitat. A good rule of thumb is 30% pellet diet, 10% seeds, and the rest being fresh foods- fruits, vegetables, or cooked food. Some conures with health problems related to the kidneys should not be fed pellets. Green-cheeked conures can live to 30 years with proper care, though the average lifespan is typically 10 years due to owner neglect.
A turquoise Green-cheeked Conure.
In addition to the typical natural form, Green-cheeked Conures occur in several color mutations. Most of these are the result of captive breeding and are not known from the wild (Yellow-sided being the exception).
- Cinnamon Green-cheeked Conures are lime green and have a lighter, almost pale color to the feathers. The head is tan and the tail feathers are a lighter maroon than in normal Green-cheeked Conures.
- Yellow-sided Green-cheeked Conures have a dark head and a bright breast of yellow and red. The tail feathers also have a halo effect to them.
- Pineapple Green-cheeked Conures have a breast of bright colors, a tan head and lime green feathers on the back like a Cinnamon. The tail feathers are the same as a Yellow-sided showing a halo effect.
- Turquoise Green-cheeked Conures have a body with some blue-green and green feathers. The breast feathers are grayish and the tail feathers are gray.