The Chapman’s Conure (Aratinga alticola), previously known as Chapman’s Mitred Conure, is now proposed to be monotypic (one single species).
Distribution / Range:
The Chapman’s Conure is endemic to the Central Peruvian regions of Huancavelica and Cusco, and the Bolivian department of Cochabamba. They favor the temperate zone of Andes between 2,150 and 3,400 meter (7,100 and 11,240 ft) above sea-level. Seasonal movements depending on availability of food and nesting sites are likely.
This parrot species is endangered in their natural habitat, although their current status is unknown. They may be common in localities.
The Chapman’s Conure averages 36 cm or 14 inches in length, including its long tail.
Adult Chapman’s Conures have a largely dull green to bluish-green plumage. The back, wing and tail upperside are darker. They have a narrow pale red frontal band (above the beak) with a dark red base not wider than 16 mm. The lores area (the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head) has small red feathers and isolated small red feathers are visible around eye. The feathers to the crown are green with wide black-blue edges. The thighs are completely green. The beak is pale horn-colored and they have bare, white ophthalmic (eye) rings. The irides (= plural of iris) are reddish-brown and the legs are blackish. Both male and female look alike.
Juveniles have generally a much bluer plumage.
Similar Species Id: Looks similar to, and is often confused with the Mitred Conure, but it only has red markings on the forecrown and lores (the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head), with a few red feathers in the face; and its thighs are green; while mitred conures may have red feathers scattered variably on hindneck, mantle, throat, thighs and the bends of the wings (shoulders).
Personality / Mitreds as Pets:
Chapman’s Conures are rare in captivity and any suitable specimen should be placed into a well-managed conservation program. However, those that cannot be bred for whatever reason, can be turned into loving pets given a little time and patience (depending on its background and level of socialization).
Conures are popular pets as people enjoy their clowny and inquisitive disposition, in addition to appreciating their excellent talking ability.
However, they can be nippy at times (as is the case with most conures) and they tend to be noisy, also a trait shared with the other conure species. These personality traits make them unsuitable for inexperienced owners who are looking for an easy pet.
Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros and Cons, Care Requirements)
Diet / Feeding
Their natural diet consists of fruits (including berries), seeds, nuts and plant matter. They are occasionally seen foraging in cultivated areas.
Their captive diet should include a quality dry food / seed mix of safflower, oats, some sunflower (also sprouted), hemp, buckwheat, canary grass seed and rowanberries. They should also be provided plenty of fruit, vegetables and greenfood. Also provide fresh branches with flowers and buds to satisfy their urge to chew as well as for additional nutrition. Vitamin and mineral supplements, as necessary.
Breeding / Reproduction:
Chapman’s Conures are virtually unknown in aviculture, and are easily confused with Mitred Conure. These are noisy conures and hard chewers that require a constant supply of fresh wood / branches. They enjoy bathing, are lively and inquisitive when they feel unobserved. They are quite hardy after the acclimatization period.
These lively birds require roomy flights with the following MINIMUM dimensions: 4 x l x 2 meters or 12 x 3 x 6 feet with adjacent shelter. A nesting / roosting box should be available at all times to protect from cold spells.
Conures are generally easy to breed.
Conure Log / Nest-box / Nesting Peferences
Taxonomy / Other Names:
Genus: Scientific: Aratinga … English: Conures … Dutch: Wigstaartparkieten … German: Keilschwanzsittiche … French: Aratinga
Species: Scientific: Aratinga alticola – proposed as monotypic (one single) species; previously: Aratinga (mitrata) alticola aka Psittacara mitrata alticola … English: Chapman’s (Mitred) Conure … Dutch: Chapmans Roodmaskeraratinga … German: Cuzcosittich … French: Perruche à masque écarlate Chapman … CITES II – Endangered
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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