The Red-throated Parakeet, also known as Red-throated or Orange-throated Conure (Aratinga holochlora rubritorquis) is a sub-species of the Green Conure (Aratinga holochlora). Although relatively common within its natural range, this conure is quite rare in captivity.
Distribution / Range
It is found in El Salvador, Highlands Eastern Guatemala, Honduras, and Northern Nicaragua; where it inhabits subtropical or tropical dry forests and moist montanes.
The Red-throated Conure averages 28 cm or 9 – 11 inches in length, including its long tail. Its average weight is 130 g or 4 – 5 oz.
This conure looks like the nominate “Green Conure” (Aratinga holochlora) with a mostly green plumage, except its distinctive orange-red throat and foreneck, and scattered orange/yellow feathers on lower cheeks and the sides of neck. The underparts are yellow. There is a blue tinge to the primary wing coverts and outer webs of the flight feathers. They have yellow/green underwing coverts and the undersides of the flight feathers are dull yellow. The bill is horn-colored. They have bare, brown-grey eye rings and orange eyes.
Males and females look alike.
Juveniles: Like adults, except they lack the orange-red markings on the throat, cheeks and sides of neck that can be seen in the adult. They have brown eyes.
Calls / Vocalizations
Its calls are more high-pitched than those of the Pacific Parakeet or Nicaraguan Green Conure. In flight, they make loud, screaming noise. When perched they emit more varied and persistent notes. Captive Red-throated Conures can get very noisy.
Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros and Cons, Care Requirements)
These conures feed on seeds, various fruits, and corn. They are, at times, considered a crop pest.
Captive birds should be fed a healthy and balanced diet consisting of a high quality dry food mix of sunflower, safflower, paddy rice, wheat, oats, groats, canary grass seed and various millets; dried shrimp; as well as various fruit and vegetables (particularly carrots and apples) as well as half-ripe maize; rose-hips; rowanberries and greenfood should be provided. During the breeding season, wholegrain bread and biscuit for feeding the young will be helpful to the parents. Provide a vitamin / mineral supplement as needed.
Breeding / Reproduction:
The breeding season between February and May. They typically nest in woodpecker holes, other tree cavities, arboreal termite mounds or crevices in ruined or old buildings. Each egg measures 29.9 x 24.7 mm (1.17 x 0.97 ins).
Captive breeding occasionally achieved. It’s best to isolate pairs for breeding. The average clutch consists of 3 to 5 eggs which are incubated for about 23 days. The young fledge when they are about 50 days old. A diagonal nestbox 25 x 40 x 30 cm (10 x 16 x 12 ins) with an entrance hole 7 cm (3 ins) wide seems to work fine for this species. It’s best to position the nest box in a dark corner. It may take years before breeding activities commence.
This is generally a noisy conure and a hard chewer and requires a regular supply of fresh wood to satisfy its strong urge to chew. It enjoys bathing and should be provided a shallow bathing dish. This species is generally shy and are slow to grow confiding with their keeper. They are robust and hardy once acclimatized and, outside the breeding season, tolerates other species of similar size.
It needs a spacious flight: 3 x 1 x 2 m (9 x 3 x 6 ft) with adjoining shelter. As this is a heavy chewer, metal construction is necessary. It needs to protected from any frost and a roosting box should be available all year around.
Ideally – provided the flight is spacious enough – offer a variety of nest boxes / logs of varying types and sizes and distribute them in different areas of the flight. This way the pair can choose the nestbox and the location they like best. Once they have identified their preferred box, the others can be removed, cleaned and given to other birds for their use.
Taxonomy / Other Names:
Genus: Scientific: Aratinga … English: Conures … Dutch: Wigstaartparkieten … German: Keilschwanzsittiche … French: Aratinga
Species: Scientific: Aratinga holochlora rubritorquis aka Psittacara holochlora rubritorquis … English: Red-throated Conure, Red-collared Conure … Dutch: Roodkeel Aratinga … German: Guatemalasittich … French: Perruche du Mexique Sclater … CITES II – Endangered