Animal-World > Birds > Conures > Blue-crowned Conure

Blue-crowned Conure

Sharp-tailed Conure

Family: Psittacidae Juvenile Blue-crowned Conure or Sharp-tailed ConureAratinga acuticaudataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Thank you for your website. It helped me decide to get my loving BCC named simone. He says hello, makes kissing noises, and mocks a couple of little noises when he... (more)  Amber

   The Blue-crowned Conure, also referred to as the Sharp-tailed Conure is quite a character, as was demonstrated when this little bird became popularized by the movie "Pauli"!

   The Blue-crowned Conure is one of the most magnificent of the Aratinga conures. Not only is it beautiful, but is easily identified with it's attractive blue "crown".

     Though initially somewhat shy, the Blue-crowned conure is very intelligent and will become a very tame, loveable companion. They enjoy playing and can become very lively and active. Though they are generally a quieter bird than most of their Aratinga cousins, they can become rather loud and this should be taken into consideration when obtaining one as pet.

For more information about the care of Conures see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Conure


Geographic Distribution
Aratinga acuticaudata
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Aratinga
  • Species: acuticaudata

Scientific Name: Aratinga acuticaudata

Subspecies:

  • Sharp-tailed Conure
    Aratinga acuticaudata acuticaudata
  • Blue-crowned Conure
    Aratinga acuticaudata haemorrhous
  • Aratinga acuticaudata neumanni

   Generally all three subspecies are referred to as the Blue-crowned Conure, though sometimes the name Sharp-tail Conure is applied specifically to the nominate species Aratinga acuticaudata acuticaudata which displays the most blue; while the name Blue-crowned Conure is used to describe the subspecies Aratinga acuticaudata haemorrhous that has less blue, restricted more to the forehead and the front part of the crown.

Distribution:
   They are native to the central areas of South America from eastern Colombia and northern Venezuela south to Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. They inhabit the more arid regions of tropical zones living in thickets, grasslands, savannahs, and along the edge of forests.

Description:

Blue-crowned Conure juvenile
Photo © Animal-World
   The Blue-crowned Conure is a small member of the parrot family.

The whole head as well as the cheeks and ear coverts are blue, and sometimes there is a tinge of blue on the breast. They have a generally green plumage that is more yellowish underneath. The outer wings are a blue-brown going to a chestnut brown on the secondary outer feathers.
   The tail of the Blue-crowned Conure or "Sharp-tailed Conure" is long and tapered. This picture of a juvenile shows the beautiful maroons on the underside of the tail feathers.
   The central tail on a mature bird is green with the outer feathers being more brownish-red tipped with a golden-olive.
   The upper beak is horn colored with a gray tip and the lower mandible is grayish-black. They have a creamy white eye ring surrounding a yellow eye. The legs are pinkish brown.
   A younger bird will have less blue on its forehead and crown with no blue on its breast.

Size - Weight:
   The Blue-crowned Conure or Sharp-tailed Conure will get up to 11 3/4" (37 cm), and weigh about 6.7 ozs (190g).

Care and feeding:
   A roomy cage is required unless the bird is to be let out for extended periods. Many birds can spend most of their time on a play pen or parrot perch.
   In the wild the Blue-crowned Conure eats berries, fruits, seeds, and nuts. As a pet they will enjoy a variety of sprouts, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and commercial pellets, as well as the same nutritional foods humans eat.
   See About Conures: Housing and About Conures: Care and Feeding for more information.

Social Behaviors:
   They are sociable and live in small groups or sometimes in flocks up to about 100 birds. They love to play, and can be fairly destructive if not watched. They can also be rather loud though not nearly as noisy as some of their Aratinga cousins such as the Nanday, Sun, and Jenday Conures. They make a real fun, playful pet and are very popular.

Breeding/Reproduction:
   In the wild these birds nest in tree hollows. They have been found easy to breed in captivity and so are commonly bred. They are not dimorphic so will need to be sexed either through a DNA sampling, surgically, or through a chromosomal analysis.
   The hen will lay three eggs which are incubated for about 24 days. The young fledge (leave the nest) in about 58 days.
    See About Conures: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.

Potential Problems:    As with most Aratinga species this bird can be noisy, though it is quieter than some of the other poplar birds in this genus such as the Sun Conure, Jenday Conure, and Nanday Conure.
   See About Conures: Potential Problems for information on illnesses.

Availability:
  This bird is generally available. They can usually be found at pet stores and reputable breeders.

Activities:  Loves to climb and play. Provide lots of toys.


"Paulie" is a Blue-crowned Conure or Sharp-tailed Conure
"Paulie"

"Sam" is a Blue-crowned Conure or Sharp-tailed Conure
"Sam"

Photos Courtesy: Lisa Umstead

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Blue-crowned Conure


Amber - 2006-02-11
Thank you for your website. It helped me decide to get my loving BCC named simone. He says hello, makes kissing noises, and mocks a couple of little noises when he hears someone else make them first because hes shy. He is a big part of my life and I dont know what I would do without him.

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Jennie - 2011-03-27
I rescued my Samson when I was 16 years old! He had a girlfriend called Delila but unfortunately she died 10 years later. Samson was on his own! It was a very sad time!

Samson is now 26 years old going on 27. My mum had a lot of pets between Delila passing and Samson didn't get the attention he needed. I was growing up doing teenager stuff! However, when I was home he always got my attention and time, looking back on it now it simply was not enough! Very un-fair! However, my mother passed away too so I took Samson to live with me as my dad is nearly blind and couldn't look after him!

He has come on leaps and bounds since I have had him! He really does not like to be held but likes to hold my finger in his beak and enjoys playing little games with me! He is my little man! I love him so much!

Unfortunately Samson is not well and has been admitted to hospital for over a week now! This was due to a pet-shop selling me bad food! Because of his age his liver could not filter the rubbish food fast enough! How bad do I feel! His liver is swollen, his blood count is down & his calcium needs building up! Why was I so stupid to change his regular food (seed) supply! He is now eating Tidy-mix while he is in hospital but they told me he is not that keen on it but he is eating some of it! I have bought this food for his return. Pet shop food is not the way forward! Mind you.... he is 26 years old and has the right to be a fussy old man, he has earned it! lol!

What really upsets me is that these pet stores are getting away with selling this rubbish! I feel really bad on the point I did so much research on what he could eat instead of what he shouldn't eat! Hopefully, if all goes well he should be home on Wednesday or Thursday. That will be 2 weeks in the hospital! Bless him! How old do Blue Crowns actually live to? I have googled it and it tells me 20 to 30 years old! If this is so.... I must be a very lucky person to still have my little man Samson! However, I do not want him to suffer any pain and I hope that keeping him in the hospital going through tests and giving him drugs is the right thing to do!? It feels right in my gut feeling, however, his age is what I am battling with! He has never in 26 years been ill! I am struggling with making sure I am doing the right thing! Do you have any advice? I would really appreciate it. I really miss him and I want him to come home, his friend Schawlie (an African Grey) really miss's him too, she won't come out of cage or eat her fruit and veg, just a little seed but she is not happy right now!

Sorry.... I went on a bit there! However, I really want to do the right thing by him and it's hard to speak to people that do not understand how wonderful these birds are!

Very much kind regards!

Jennie

  • Clarice Brough - 2011-03-29
    What a tough time for you... and Schawlie. Yeah, he's only 26, you could have him for another decade. I'm so sorry you and your bird had to go through this, and I'm sure I'm just one of many bird owners that feel deeply for you both... we're a unique flock!

    On the food... most pet shops offer you several choices of food, it may be that there was a problem with the food itself. You might want to look to the manufacturer of the food, and let them know what happened. And then of course, like you say, offer him a more premium diet. All the best to you both... and to your African Grey too!
  • Donna Kepner-Wynn - 2012-02-15
    Jennie, just read your note and it's touching. Please update us on your little one! I've gotten foods from Walmarts bird section to mix with pellets from Petsmart. Now I'm wondering!!!
  • boriqueen - 2012-02-18
    God bless him. I pray he's fine and your better. I know how sad it is to have a sick bird because they become so much more then a bird. They are memories and family ~ my coco ~blue crown is very sick right now she won't pass her eggs and I had her since I was 16. I'm 30 it's heart breaking. Your story was beautiful thank you for sharing it. I think you are doing the right thing in trying to save him and made me think about what shes eating alot!!
  • Paulie\'s Mom - 2013-01-08
    Paulie is a three year old and we just got him. We will have to work on the handleing as I was told he loved being handled .. wrong .. but he is a delight .. his food he has been on hasn't been the best but he loves Nutri-Berries .. a great food according to my Vet and it turned out to be his favorite food too .. so .. I suggest Nutri Berries.
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Tiki Bird - 2012-06-07
I have raised my blue crown from a baby. He talks all the time, never shuts up, if you don't talk with him, he will start sayin 'poor tiki, poor poor tiki', he has a huge vocab, pet stores are amazed at his vocab when they hear him. He use to be so sweet, he would step up on my finger, he kissed my mom, my daughter made a tinker toy perch on wheels and would pull him around...that was up until he was about 2, now he is meaner than a hornet, he is entertaining, and he loves your company, but he will not step up, and he bites if you get near him. What causes this? Tiki is about 8 years old.

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-07
    What causes it - I am not sure but I called it the terrible two's.  It seems my parrots went through the infant and cudly stage and then the terrible two's.  However, I got to cuddly threes with pretty much all of them.  Someone has to be boss and I think it is your Tiki.  He can be RETRAINED (if that is really a word) but somehow, he got out of control (which most do) in the terrible two's but a person usually gets the control back in a couple of months.  He can not bite the back of your hand if you make a fist and hold it tight with the back of your hand going toward his beak.  Nothing for him to bite.  You can say 'UP' and if he doesn't just grab his feet fast and he will get up.  If you twist your hand slightly, he can't keep balance and bite also.  You can enjoy him as he is or you can look for 'how do I train my parrot' classes or books.  Up to you....  Either way he sounds fun and entertaining.  To start, I would sure make sure he is not on his cage and on a neutral perch not by his cage. Realize that until around 20 years ago, most pet birds were wild caught and trained.  Tiki is just being boss - it is up to you if you wish to change it.  But he has to be removed from his cage to neutral teritory and learn. Have fun. 
  • Tiki Bird - 2012-06-18
    Now that you've mentioned removing him from his cage, I forgot to mention he is nicer when I remove him, but doing so is something. I have to wrap my hand in a towel (so he doesn't bite) and put my hand in his cage. He will not let me physically remove him, he flies to the ground. When he is on the ground, he is sweet, he picks his foot up for me to pick him up. I can pet his back, and sometimes carefully stroke his tummy, but don't get to comfortable with him, because he will nail you. When he was old enough for a cage, I bought a cheap cage from a pet store (it's about 4 ft high X 2ft wide X 2 ft deep). Several years ago, we bought him a nice cage that would cost about $500. He HATES it, he sulks, won't talk, won't eat, won't bath, won't play with toys, won't go out of it. It is really nice, the top opens up with perches on top with food and water bowls (it's about 6-1/2 ft tall X 4 ft wide X 4 ft deep). We finally had to put him back in his old cage, and he is happy as a lark. I guess the other cage is for the birds. Now, we are trying to find someone to buy the big cage, because he wants nothing to do with it.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-18
    Parrots have really distinct personalities and likes and dislikes.  They are territorial and frequently become very protective of their cage.  Usually, if they are removed from that territory - they are a whole lot calmer.  I have never heard anyone have a problem with a conure coming OUT of a cage.  They will do everything to not GO IN their cage.  They prefer peoples shoulders, their heads, laps.  A person has difficulty geting them off --

    Think about what your little guy is doing when he gets feisty.  Is he thinking you might be trying to put him back in his cage?  Can you just leave his cage door open and he can go in and out (when you are home) as he pleases?  Conures really WANT to be with their family and will get difficult if they believe you are going to reutrn him to their cage.  Anyway, try and figure out what he is getting mad/upset/feisty about and then maybe you can change the behavior.  Foot toys, flip him upside down and 'time out'



    I don't get the new cage thing but if you want you can put the new cage next to the old cage with the toys etc in the new cage.  Then put the food in the new cage and leave the doors open - he will go to the new cage gradually (especially if you don't look) but familiarity of old toys etc - Also, what was the location of the new cage.  Farthur away from family.  Conures are extremely flock oriented - they want their family and need to be by them and see them  They do not behave well on their own and that's when they will make noise. 



    Kitchen mit or anything - if you tried to get him out that way - he is going to be scared - think KING KONG coming after you in your bedrrom - so leave the door open and let him come out.  Can he fly down from his cage or fly to you?  Try and concentrate on his behaviors and ask yourself why he is doing it? 
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Michelle Greene - 2012-04-28
Hi I got a blue crowned conure. I don't know how old he is but by the looks of his feathers he seems a few years old. He wont let me go near him. He'll play peek a boo with me if I'm sitting in the sittingroom. My friend caught him in a tree outside and no one in the area owns one so its a mystery where he came from. Can they talk? I've had him 3 years now. I leave the cage open all the time and everyone in the house talks to him as well he squakes a lot. I try to make him feel as comfortable as I can. How can I find out if it's a boy or a girl? I called him Paulie

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-28
    The only for sure 100% way is to DNA sex the little one. You can puchase a DNA sexing kit run in ads from the back of Bird Talk Magazine or you can have your vet do it. However with about 90% accuracy you can tell by the shape of the head. The males head is flatter and there is a sorta ridge/slant at what would be in the back of the head right before it slopes down to the neck. The females head is a smooth curve from above the eyes, over the top of the head and down to the back of the neck. You can actually feel the heavier SLOPE of the males head. Look at the link attached as they are two male conures and you can see th ehead is flat and the defined slop at the back of the head Two Male Conures
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