Maroon-tailed Conures or Maroon-tailed Parakeets

The Maroon-tailed Conure, also known as the Maroon-tailed Parakeet (Pyrrhura melanura), is found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. They inhabit subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and moist montanes.

This Maroon-tailed Conure is common in the pet market.

Maroon-tailed Conure or Parakeet
Pyrrhura melanura

Identified Sub-species / Races Including Nominate:

Description:

The Maroon-tailed Conure averages 9.5 ins (24 cm) in length with a wing of 4.9 – 5.3 ins (125 – 135 mm).

Its general plumage is green with small reddish-brown small stripes above the bill. The remainder of the forehead, crown, back of head and nape is dark brown; each feather is edged with green. The sides of the neck, throat and upper breast are green – each feather being edged with greyish-dull yellow.

The primary wing feathers are red, each feather with pale-yellow tip. The outer webs of the blue primaries (longest wing feathers) have a narrow green edging.

The tail upper is reddish-brown with green base; and the underside of the tail is blackish-grey. They have white eye-rings, dark-brown irises. Their feet and the bill are grey.

Immatures look as adults, but their primary wing feathers are partly green, and the edging on the breast is smaller.

PyrrhuraConuresComparisons

Personality / Pet Potential:

Maroon-tailed Conures share the sweet personality of its relatives, the Green-cheeked Conures and Maroon-bellied Conures. They are bold, independent, yet very affectionate. The Maroon-bellied Conures are intelligent, friendly and active. They adapt easily to human contact and are easily trained.

Like most parrots, they also like dunking their food into their drinking water — creating a messy soup requiring the water to be changed frequently. A water bottle may be a good choice, if you are not able to change the water several times a day.

They enjoy bathing and even showering with their owners. However, bathing water needs to be provided daily.

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    Maroon-bellied conures generally love to eat fruits and vegetables, which should be provided to them daily in addition to a quality seed mix. More on bird diet.

    Conure Info / Conures as PetsIndex of Conure SpeciesPhotos of the Different Conure Species for IdentificationConures as PetsCommon Health Problems of ConureConure Nutrition / Foods

    Talking Ability:

    Maroon-bellied Conures are not amongst the best talkers. The majority of them may learn a few things, but there is no guarantee that they will ever learn to talk.

    They also have soft and gravelly voices, so even if they try to talk, they may not say anything understandable!  But there are also a few green cheeks who talk a lot. 

    They are smart little birds, and if you talk to them in context they often learn to speak in context (i.e. “good night” at night, “bye bye” when you leave for work in the morning, “hello” when they greet you). Despite their reputation for not being the “best talkers” some talented maroon-tailed conures do exist.

    They are cuddly birds:

    Maroon-tailed Conure

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      It is said that they are second only to the cockatoos in terms of cuddliness. They like to be held (although some like it more than others) and can learn tricks such as lying on their backs and “kissing.”

      However, individual differences do exist, as some green conures will accept cuddling only on their terms. But these are the exception to the rule. Most seem to thoroughly enjoy cuddling whenever their favorite human is available.

      They are all play

      Like all conures, Maroon-tailed Conures love to play! They are very active parrots that like to play, explore and chew. Lots of toys are recommended to keep their beaks from “getting busy” on your furniture.

      Toys can be store-bought or home-made, and they can also be things that I bet you never thought were toys at all!  Owners report that they are smart and interactive but are also more prone to behavioral problems than are cockatiels or budgies. 

      Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros and Cons, Care Requirements)

      Pacific Conure, Pyrrhura melanura pacifica

      Taxonomy:

      Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura … English: Red-tailed Conures … Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten … German: Rotschwanzsittiche … French: Perruche à queue rouge

      Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura melanura melanura … English: Maroon-tailed Conure, Black-tailed Conure … Dutch: Zwartstaartparkiet … German: Schwarzschwanzsittich … French: Perruche queue marron … CITES II – Endangered

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        Sub-Species / Races Including Nominate:

        • Pyrrhura melanura melanura (Spix, 1824) – nominate species
          • Pyrrhura melanura souancei (Verreaux, 1858)Pyrrhura melanura berlepschi (Salvadori, 1891)Pacific Conure, Pyrrhura melanura pacifica (Chapman, 1915)Pyrrhura melanura chapmani (Bond and Meyer de Schauensee, 1940)

        Distribution: North-eastern Peru, Extreme Eastern and Southern Columbia, North-western Amazonas, Brazil, Southernmost Venezuela, Central Bolivar.


        Identified Sub-species, including Nominate:


        PyrrhuraConuresComparisons

        Sub-species:

        Berlepsch’s Conures:

        Distribution: Huallaga River valley, Eastern Peru

        Description: The Berlepsch’s Conure (Pyrrhura berlepschi) averages 24 cm or 9.6 in in length. Please refer to illustration to the right.

        Breeding: The average clutch consists of 2 to 4 eggs. Both male and female share in incubation duties – the average duration of which is about 27 days.

        Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura … English: Red-tailed Conures … Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten … German: Rotschwanzsittiche … French: Perruche à queue rouge

        Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura melanura berlepschi … English: Berlepsch’s Conure … Dutch: Berlepsch’s Parkiet … German: Berlepsch Sittich … French: Perruche queue marron Berlepsch … CITES II – Endangered


        Chapman’s Conures:

        Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura … English: Red-tailed Conures … Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten … German: Rotschwanzsittiche … French: Perruche à queue rouge

        Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura melanura chapmani … English: Chapman’s Conure … Dutch: Chapmans Parkiet … German: Chapmans Sittich … French: Perruche queue marron Chapman … CITES II – Endangered

        Distribution: They are relatively common in their natural habitat which is the sub-tropical zone between 1,600 m (4,800 ft) and 2,800 m (8,400 ft) on the eastern slopes of Magdalena River valley as well as in Huila and south Tolima, south Colombia.

        Occurs in fairly high cloud forest as well as secondary vegetation and partially cleared areas. Within their natural range, the breeding season stretches from February to June.

        Outside the breeding season, they are seen in flocks of up to 35 birds. They enjoy swinging in the branches and are conspicuous because of their occasional loud calls. If alarmed they initially freeze.

        Description: Averages 26 cm (10 ins) in length, with a wingspan of 132 – 147 mm or 5.20 – 5.79 ins. Looks like the nominate species described above, except …

        • is generally larger
        • the forehead and crown is dark brown and without the green edging
        • the throat, breast and nape are dark brown, each feather broadly edged brownish-white
        • the primary-wing coverts are green, some red
        • the abdomen is more pronounced brownish-red to marking
        • the green marking to base of tail upperside is narrower

        Diet:

        Natural Diet: They usually forage for seeds, fruits, berries, nuts and flowers. Also chew the bark of trees.

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          Captive Diet: A balanced diet should include a quality seed mix of safflower, oats; some sunflower (also sprouted) hemp, buckwheat, millet, canary seed and rowan berries and millet spray. Plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and greenfood should be provided daily, as well as a regular supply of branches with fresh flowers and buds for additional nutrition and to satisfy their strong urge to chew. Vitamin and mineral supplements, as needed.

          Aviculture:

          Breeding is rarely achieved as many pairs don’t come into breeding condition. These conures are generally quiet, except when calling. They are initially shy, and only slowly grow confiding. Bonded pairs stay close together and spend a good amount of time grooming each other. Colony breeding in a spacious flight is possible even during breeding season – also not recommended as pairs can disturb each other. Two breedings a year are possible. They are hardy once acclimatized. They enjoy bathing.

          The flight should be at least 3 x 1 x 2 m (9 x 3 x 6 ft) with a protected shelter. A nest box, 20 x 20 x 70 cm (8 x 8 x 28 ins), should be available throughout the year as they also use it for roosting.

          The average clutch consists of 4 to 5 eggs, but usually one or two eggs are infertile. The incubation period is 23 days and the young fledge when they are about 50 days old.


          Pacific Black-tailed Conures:

          Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura … English: Red-tailed Conures … Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten … German: Rotschwanzsittiche … French: Perruche à queue rouge

          Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura melanura pacifica … English: Pacific Black-tailed Conure … Dutch: Pacifische Zwartstaartparkiet … German: Pazifik Schwanzschwanzsittich … French: Perruche queue marron pasific … CITES II – Endangered

          Distribution: Pacific slopes of the Andes in Narino, South-western Colombia


          Souancé’s Black-tailed Conures:

          Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura … English: Red-tailed Conures … Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten … German: Rotschwanzsittiche … French: Perruche à queue rouge

          Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura melanura souancei … English: Souancé’s Black-tailed Conure … Dutch: Souancé Zwartstaartparkiet … German: Souancé Schwarzschwanzsittich … French: Perruche queue marron Verreaux … CITES II – Endangered

          Distribution: East of the Andes, Colombia, Eastern Ecuador, Northern Peru

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