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The Green Cheek Conure as a Pet

By Edited Feb 19, 2014 4 5

I’ve owned birds for a long time.  I started off with a simple set of Zebra Finches and, when they started breeding, I soon knew that I would want a bird (or birds) around me forever. 

My favorite bird, of all time, might be the Green Cheek Conure that I owned briefly before having to give her up when my family and I moved to Hawaii.  I named her “Cheeky” and if you think she wasn’t that special then let me tell you…three weeks after meeting her my wife cried like a baby when we dropped her off at a friend’s house and said “goodbye” for the last time.  

Green Cheek Conure Details

Common Names:

I have usually (95% of the time) always seen this breed and type being called the “Green

Green Cheek Conure Diet
Cheek”, but from time to time you will see or hear them called by others names such as:  “Green Cheeked Parakeet” and “Yellow Sided Conure”.                

Scientific Stuff:

The scientific name of this bird is Pyrrhura Molinae.  I hate using scientific terms when talking about a pet bird.  People who are looking for a pet bird usually don’t care about the scientific name but if there is some kid doing a little research for a science project, then there you have it.


 The Green Cheek Conure has its origins in the forests of South America in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. 


I like to compare Green Cheek Conures size to that of a Cockatiel for people who are familiar with birds.  For those that are not familiar, then these birds are about 10 to 11 inches long from top of the head to the tip of the longest tail feather.

Lifespan (Average):

 About 27 to 32 years.


They are a “dainty” bird, in my opinion.  I have owned cockatiels and Quaker parrots as well and they were always more “husky” than most of the Green Cheek Conures I have seen.  They are petite and gentle.  Even their brothers, the Nanday and Sun Conure, are a little bit thicker and more “type-A” in personality.

Green Cheeks are like circus people.  They can be clowns and/or acrobats…and usually both.  They will hang upside down in their cages playing with a certain toy.  They will flip over on your chest and try to grasp at with their feet to get your attention to play.

They can be noisy but, in my experience, not as loud as Nandays and Suns as long as these birds are getting the proper amount of attention. 

Green Cheeks are a joy.  They are attentive, playful, curious, and they thrive on spending time with their owners, family members and even other family pets.  Socializing is a huge part of the overall temperament of these birds.  They thrive in groups and with attention. 

They are popular as pets but if you asked a Green Cheek Conure their status I think their feelings would be hurt if you referred to him or her as a “pet”.  In their eyes, they are a contributing member of their “flock/family” and deserve the love and respect that other members get! 

Food and Diet:

Bird diets in the wild differ greatly from the common (and uninformed) diet that many bird owners feed to their pet birds.  In the wild, Green Cheeks will eat vegetables, some seed, fruits and insects.  It is important to ensure that your pet Green Cheek receives the same nutrients.

Feed them an assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits (never avocado or onion).  You can find a highly effective and nutritious pellet mix at any pet store as well as a fortified seed mix.  A mixture of all of these will ensure that your pet Green Cheek is thriving, healthy and happy.

Plumage (colors):

Red/Orange in the chest area, yellow on their sides, red in the tail feathers, a rich beautiful blue in their flight feathers and green on outer wings, back and chest.  Green Cheek Conures have striking eyes.  Those little black droplets, surrounded by a dazzling white brings these birds added animation and beauty.  Truly, my favorite part about my conure was her eyes. 

There talons and beaks are dark gray to black. 

Activity and Exercise Needs:

Birds in the wild are constantly on the move and alert, flying distances that most humans don’t drive in a day.  Being domesticated, it is near impossible to copy that activity level with your pet conure.  Birds in the wild have to move and search for food, mates and shelter. 

Make sure that you can provide 2 to 3 hours a day for your bird to play and exercise under your watchful eye.  Pay attention!  Green Cheek’s clownish and curious personality can sometimes get them into a lot of trouble that may be doing just to impress you, mimick you or get your attention.

Watch out for ceiling fans, stove tops and toilet bowls.!

Rating as a Pet:

Honestly, I don’t think everyone is cut out to handle a bird like a Green Cheek Conure.  They require attention, activity, social activities, a proper diet, clean cages, bathing options and to be treated like a member of a family. 

If you’re not ready for that then please, don’t buy or adopt one of these birds.  If you can handle that then I can almost promise you (as long as you got your bird from a reputable breeder and continue to care for it with love and care) that you will have a long lasting, fun friendship with your pet Green Cheek Conure.  I miss mine every day.

Green Cheeks are not “talkers”.  Some will learn a word or three.  Others may be able to mimic some sounds.  The intelligence in these birds is the way they look at you and study what you’re doing.  They way they get your attention and initiate the play time they want by kissing, flipping on their backs, “pawing” at you, rubbing their beaks on your check, constantly move and how easily they make friends.

Please, if you are ready for this kind of pet then you will never be happier.  If you’re not ready then don’t go and get one.  Buy a goldfish or a parakeet.


Green Cheek Conure
Credit: Pamperedpeeps.com

Helpful Information and Products

The Playful and Social Green Cheek Conure!

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Mar 10, 2014 10:42pm
My mum and dad had a large aviary of birds and loved them all. They had large parrots- Indian ringnecks, king parrots, grass parrots, and a variety of finches. Each and everyone of them had their own little antics they kept them interested.
One particular finch spent each day picking up little pieces of wood (from mulch on floor) and carrying it behind an open door. He built this pile up over 12inches high. We often wondered why he put so much effort into this as it was not for a nest. Birds are so beautiful. Great article on this little bird. I can understand how you miss them as they did the same sold birds to travel and now just have their photos to remember them by.
Mar 11, 2014 5:55pm
Nice article! The green cheek conure sounds like a fun and loving bird. I've been a cockatiel owner for over 20 years and love birds.
Mar 11, 2014 9:17pm
@shar-on: I loved my birds. I've had finches, a quaker parrot and the green cheek. I have really fond memories of them all.

@dlpoisson: I can't get enough of birds! My kids make fun of me sometimes because we'll be walking and I'll just start staring at a tree and they're like "WTH dad?" and I'll be like, "I heard a bird".
Mar 12, 2014 6:38am
Their eyes really are striking. Although I've never had a bird, I appreciate your candor about how much care they require. For me, 2 - 3 hours per day is more than I could provide (I do have a cat, however). Love their colors (and they appear to have wonderful personalities).
Mar 17, 2014 6:16pm
Rose...yeah, by far my favorite bird in size and personality. They're cuddlers and full spunk. When I say attention, I mean taking them out to play for spurts of perhaps 20 minutes at a time and the rest of the time being in the room with them. They're social, "flocking" animals so they need that really bad. You don't have to have them on your shoulder or out of the cage for three hours...though, they'll want to be! Thanks for reading.
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