Thinking about buying a small parrot? The green cheek conure bird makes a great family pet. Green cheeks are quiet, calm, and entertaining.
If you’re looking for a quiet bird because you live in an apartment, look no further. Green cheeks are among the quietest of all companion parrots.
That’s not to say they never get loud, because they definitely do, but they don’t do it often. On the noisy bird scale, I’d rank the macaw at a Level 10 and green cheek conures at Level 1 or 2 (at certain times).
What is a Geen Cheek Conure?
The green cheek conure is a small bird common in the United States pet store trade.
There are many types of birds in the conure family. Conure sizes range from small (10 – 11 inches for a green cheek) to medium (16 – 18 inches for a Patagonian conure).
Conures have a variety of common color patterns and mutations including green, yellow, blue, orange, black, and turquoise.
After the common turquoise, the pineapple green cheek conure is usually most common in pet stores.
Green cheek conure birds live longer than a dog or cat, in most cases, so that is a significant consideration before buying one. It’s not uncommon for some parrot species to live more than 50 years.
Green Cheek Conure Bird Lifespan
15 – 20 years
Green cheek conures live long lives and are known to live up to 20 years in captivity. They are loyal companions and will stick by their owner’s side faithfully. Longevity is dependent on quality of care, inherited genetics, housing, environment, etc.
Green Cheek Conure Price
Finding a green cheek conure for sale is pretty easy. Expect to pay $175 from a private breeder up to $400 from a retail pet store.
Check the local classified newspaper or online pet classifieds for turquoise green cheek conures or pineapple, sun cheek, yellow-sided, or cinnamon. Several other green cheek conure colors and mutations occur in breeding pairs, but availability varies.
They are not the lowest priced pet birds (budgie parakeet or quaker) or the highest (African Grey, Scarlet Macaw, Eclectus Parrot).
Check with local bird rescues to adopt a green cheek conure bird.
Things to Consider Before Buying Your Green Cheek Conure Bird
Green cheek conures are great birds in a small package, but like all companion birds they require a lot mental stimulation, one-on-one time with their owners, good nutrition, veterinary care, beak and nail maintenance, and plenty of toys to keep them entertained to prevent feather plucking and tail chewing.
In the wild green cheek conure habitat includes the grassy lands of Latin America. They use the grasses to forage for food and to hide from predators. Keep this in mind when approaching your bird, and especially if you have other pets. These little parrots are fearful of larger birds and squirrels that are visible outside the home (on a patio, roof, or gutter).
Cage Size: 24 inches wide x 24 inches deep x 36 inches tall is a perfect size for a green cheek conure cage. As small birds they don’t a large cage, but plan to spend $200 or more for a quality cage to last the bird’s lifetime.
Color: Green cheek conures have a unique coloring pattern that makes them stand out among their fellow parrots. These birds are actually born with a white spot on each cheek, which fades a little over time. It’s a case where their name accurately describes their features.
Conures are small, beautiful and colorful creatures who look great on perches inside homes and businesses.
Diet and Nutrition: Feeding your bird properly with excellent nutrition, exercise and mental stimulation will help them remain healthy. They become vocal at feeding times (morning and early evening at our house). Giving in to their demands can exacerbate this trait, so consistent training and keeping to an established schedule helps a lot. Similar to human babies, they are vocal when they want to eat.
Veterinarian Care: It’s important that green cheek conure birds get wellness visits to the veterinarian a couple times each year. This is especially important if you are new to bird ownership until you gain experience for signs of illness or concern (beak issues, toenail issues, changes in fecal sample, and discharge from nostrils, vomiting, etc.)
Beak and Nails: Proper beak and nail trims are key. If the beak is not worn down naturally by chewing, foraging and playing activities birds can develop issues such as scissor-beak that can make eating difficult for birds.
Exercise: Green cheeks need several hours of out-of-cage time daily. They are quite content to play on perches or play trays near their family throughout the day as well.
Budget: Besides the cost of food, cage, treats, toys, and healthcare the cost of pet sitting really adds up quickly. Depending on where you live, the cost of having someone care for your green cheek while you are away from home ranges from $16 to $30 per visit ($64 – $120 for a week-long trip).
Common Green Cheek Traits
- Character: Green cheek conure birds are friendly and affectionate. They enjoy having people around and love to interact with their owners. They are social creatures who thrive in groups and enjoy interacting with others. Green cheeks are fun! You’ll find yourself constantly laughing over silly antics and behaviors, playing games, and engaging in lots of fun activities together.
- Curiosity: These birds are curious about everything and anything. They are always looking for something new to learn and explore. They are inquisitive and enjoy learning new things.
- Intelligence: Green cheek conures do well in captivity and are intelligent enough to understand basic commands. They are able to follow simple instructions and respond to verbal cues.
Green cheek conure birds love attention and crave human interaction. They are extremely affectionate and want to be close to their owner at all times. They are happy to sit on your shoulder or perch on your arm while you watch TV or read a book.
Green Cheek Socialization
Conures are social animals who enjoy company. While some species may spend the majority of their lives alone, conures live in family groups and often prefer to remain near each other.
We do not recommend taking greencheeked conures outdoors (or any companion bird for that matter). The risks outweigh the rewards in our opinion. In good weather we do allow our bird to roam within our screened in porch while we supervise. Take care to remove any hazards. If in doubt, keep your green cheek conure bird inside the traditional indoor home borders.
Green cheek conures require little training to become good housemates. They are eager learners and are quick to pick up new skills. Green cheeks are smart and eager to please, making them perfect for anyone wanting a pet bird that requires minimal effort to care for.
Teach your conure some tricks and they will instantly impress your friends and family during visits. Retrieving a ball, ringing a bell in, or turning in a circle are common tricks rewarded with a treat. We’ve had great success with clicker training techniques. We taught our green cheek several tricks in just a few weeks.
Do green cheek conures talk?
Yes, although the clarity of their vocalizations is poor compared to Amazon, Macaw, or African Grey parrots.
Our green cheek has learned four or five words, but don’t expect your green cheek to talk. We’ve found that speech for green cheeks is often situationally dependent. Learn more about talking parrots in our article, 5 Amazing Talking Parrot Truths
For example, when we place the cover on the cage at night ours commonly says, “Good Boy”. At other times when we are nearby the cage or perch, but not in the immediate vicinity she says, “Come Here”. Her communication is a variety of chirps, whistles, clicking, pecking, or ringing her toys that makes sounds or have bells that ring.
Little Known Green Cheek Fact
Green cheek conure birds (and many other species) make great therapy animals. When properly socialized, parrots become loving, playful, and loyal companions — for adults and children. One on one time with your bird will help you relax.
After a difficult day at work, our green cheek will be happy to see you. Interacting with your little bird friend will help you decompress quickly because birds won’t respond well to rushed, hurried, or loud communication.