Red-fronted Conure

The Red-fronted Conure or Parakeet (Aratinga wagleri) is native to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Seasonal migrations, between latitudes as well as from one area to another, occur depending on the availability of food and suitable nesting sites.

It is usually seen in flocks of 20 to 200 birds — on rare occasions, even up to 400 of them can be found at favored feeding locations. They are conspicuous because of their loud calls — particularly whenever larger groups congregate.

Their flight is described as swift and straight with rapid, light wing-beats.

Diet / Feeding:

Their natural diet consists of various types of fruits (including berries), seeds and nuts found in trees. Occasionally they raids fruit plantations and grain fields causing considerable damage.

Captive diet should consist of a balanced diet including a quality seed mix of safflower, hemp, some sunflower (also sprouted), hemp, buckwheat, canary seed and rowan berries; as well as plenty of fruit, vegetables and greenfood. A regular supply of fresh branches with edible flowers and buds should also be available to satisfy their urge to chew as well as for extra nutrition. Mineral and vitamin supplements as needed.

Breeding / Nesting in the Wild

In their natural habitat, breeding season commences in April and goes on until June or July. They usually breed in small colonies and nest on high, inaccessible cliffs.


The beautifully colored red-fronted conure is the second largest of all conure species. They average between 14 to 15 inches in length. Their plumage is predominantly green, with breast feathers being colored lighter green than the body feathers. The face above the ceres, forehead, crown and bend of the wing are red. The undersides of its flight feathers, under-wing coverts and tail feathers are olive-yellow. The iris is yellow-red; the bills are horn-colored and the legs of a brownish coloration.

Red-fronted Conure


Generally speaking, Red-fronted Conures are easily trained and make good companions for those who will make an effort to make sure that their environment is stimulating and that they get the attention they so crave. They need larger cages to accommodate the different toys to keep them entertained when their human companions are not available to play with them. This conure learns to talk quite well.

Although they are not as noisy as other Conure species, they do have the conure high-pitch shriek that may irritate many but the most tolerant bird lovers. However, they usually scream only if startled or very excited.

Breeding/Reproduction in Aviculture:

Breeding in aviculture is rarely achieved as this species is difficult to obtain and are rarely kept. This conure often only breeds after several years.

This is a lively, yet initially shy, conure that can be kept in a colony system, even in the breeding season. It is hardy once acclimatized. This is a fairly loud species, which needs to be kept in mind if neighbors are nearby.

This conure is a hard chewer and a constant supply of fresh branches needs to be provided to satisfy their strong need to chew. They enjoy bathing and daily bathing opportunities need to be available to them.

Their flight should have the following minimum dimensions: 3 x 1 x 2 m (9 x 3 x 6 ft). In a communal aviary, 2 sq. meters or 20 sq. ft of floor space per pair should be calculated. A suitable shelter and a roosting box to protect them from the elements needs to be provided all year round.

The average clutch consists of 3 to 4 eggs. The incubation is about 23 days and the young fledge when they are about 50 days old.

As far as nest box is concerned, their preferences are often guided by what they have been raised in. If this is not known, then offering several logs / nest boxes of varying sizes and types and distributing them throughout the flight will allow the conures to choose what they feel most comfortable with. Once a nest box has been identified, all the others can be removed, cleaned and given to other birds to use.

Try and keep there preferred nest box for their exclusive use. 

Log / Nest-box:

  • Marcy Covault from Feathered Companions Aviary suggests using a deeper box, either a bootbox or a vertical grandfather box (18″ – 24″ deep). Other breeders do well with nesting boxes of the following dimensions: 25 x 25 x 60 cm (10 x 10 x 24 ins). Some conures do accept cockatiel-sized boxes, but using a deeper box will reduce the conures’ tendency to remove the shavings and lay their eggs on the bare wooden base.
  • Diameter of entrance hole: approx. 3 inches ( ~70 – 80 mm)
  • Inspection hole: Can be square or round. Diameter: ~4 inches (100 mm)
  • A Removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
  • Location and height of log / nest-box: Install in a sheltered part of the aviary at about 5 feet (~1.5 – 1.8 meters) height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
  • Angle of log or nest box: 45 degrees through to vertical.  Most boxes are vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Add about 2 inches of decomposed suitable nest box litter to the bottom of the box to help stabilize the eggs and absorb the droppings from the chicks. Options for suitable nesting material are decomposed non-toxic saw dust, corn cob, shredded newspaper, clean straw / dried grass or wood shavings (i.e., Aspen shavings or wood chips). The larger wood chips the better, so the parents don’t feed it to the babies or the chicks accidentally ingest it. Please note that some wood shavings – such as pine, cedar and redwood – give off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic and can cause dermatitis, allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive tract. They should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes.
  • Incubation: Both hen and cock share in incubating the eggs.

Nest inspection is generally not tolerated.  If nest inspection is necessary, wait till both parents have left the nest.  They can be aggressive and protective of the nest area when breeding.

Aratinga Conures


Genus: Scientific: Aratinga … English: Conures … Dutch: Wigstaartparkieten … German: Keilschwanzsittiche … French: Aratinga

Species: Scientific: Aratinga wagleri wagleri aka Psittacara wagleri wagleri … English: Red-fronted Conure … Dutch: Waglers Aratinga, Colombiaanse Aratinga … German: Kolumbiasittich … French: Conure à front rouge

Nominate Species and Sub-Species: wagleri, transilis, frontata, minor


Carriker’s Conures: For additional information, please scroll up.

Genus: Scientific: Aratinga … English: Conures … Dutch: Wigstaartparkieten … German: Keilschwanzsittiche … French: Aratinga

Species: Scientific: Aratinga wagleri minor aka Psittacara wagleri minor … English: Carriker’s Conure … Dutch: Carrikers Aratinga … German: Carrikerssittich … French: Perruche de Carriker

Description: As Scarlet-fronted Conure below except smaller (15 ins or 38 cm long), and with darker and duller plumage; less pronounced notch to upper beak.

Distribution: Central and Southern Peru … CITES II – Endangered

Scarlet-fronted Conure

Peter’s Conures: For additional information, please scroll up.

Genus: Scientific: Aratinga … English: Conures … Dutch: Wigstaartparkieten … German: Keilschwanzsittiche … French: Aratinga

Species: Scientific: Aratinga wagleri transilis aka Psittacara wagleri transilis … English: Peter’s Conure … Dutch: Venezuela Aratinga … German: Venezuelasittich … French: Conure de Venezuela

Description: As Red-fronted Conure featured above, but smaller (13.5 ins or 34 cm long) and generally with darker green and red feathering; red to head not so extensive.

Distribution: Northern Venezuela, Eastern Colombia … CITES II – Endangered

Scarlet-fronted Conures: For additional information, please scroll up.

Genus: Scientific: Aratinga … English: Conures … Dutch: Wigstaartparkieten … German: Keilschwanzsittiche … French: Aratinga

Species: Scientific: Aratinga wagleri frontata aka Psittacara wagleri frontata … English: Scarlet-fronted Conure … Dutch: Peru Aratinga … German: Perusittich … French: Conure de Perou

Description: As Red-fronted Conure featured above, but bigger (15.5 ins or 40 cm long) and red on head extends to eyes; bend and edge of wing as well as thighs red. Immature birds may have ared band to breast; red of forehead and the crown does not extend to the eye.

Distribution: Western Ecuador, Western Peru … CITES II – Endangered

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