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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Lost our Blue crowned Conure (Neo) last night...My husband has had him for 12 yrs. Just out of the blue he got very lethargic, feathers puffed up and appeared to... (more)  Catherine

   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
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Aratinga
  • Species: acuticaudata

Scientific Name: Aratinga acuticaudata


  • 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.

   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.


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.

   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.

  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

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

Photos Courtesy: Lisa Umstead

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

Catherine - 2011-12-01
Lost our Blue crowned Conure (Neo) last night...My husband has had him for 12 yrs. Just out of the blue he got very lethargic, feathers puffed up and appeared to be breathing more rapidly. Has anyone ever experienced their birds getting sick so rapidly? I would like to know what could have happened. Nothing in his environment had changed. Would appreciate any info that might be helpful. Thanks.

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-12-01
    I am so sorry. I know what it is like and I feel bad for you. Parrots usually have a long life span and a conure is no exception. Just like anything though some pass at a younger age. When a parrot gets ill - they hide it real well for awhile. Instinct. So most often by the time a person realizes their parrot is ill - it is too late to get it to the vet. It could be anything from a inborn heart defect to possibly it ate something toxic. You can have a necropsy done by a vet but it costs and the chances of it happening again is pretty rare. Also, the vet may not find a cause. Things happen. I am sorry.
  • Catherine - 2011-12-01
    Charlie, thank you. I appreciate your reply. It will be one of those things we will rack our brains for quite some time. They are beautiful birds and Neo like the other BC's I have read about here are amazing each with their own personalities and endearing to their people. Really appreciate your response. Thank you
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-12-01
    You are so welcome. Yeah, I love the conures - my human has one too. They make wonderful companions.
  • Larry - 2012-03-06
    Our little Nemo passed last night pretty much in the same way. My wife had him for 21 years. He was diagnosed with a kidney problem a few months ago and was daily meds and a special diet. We knew he had health issues, but were shocked how quickly he went from normal to very ill. He blew kisses to my wife and went into the corner of the cage. He seemed like he wanted to be left alone all puffy and breathing heavy. Birds do hide their illnesses well. Enjoy their company. They are great companions.
  • Conscibot Amalia Tsakiri - 2015-03-16
    We just lost our beloved little BCC last Saturday. He was 8 years old, never has been sick, always happy, joyful, talking, dancing, laughing. And one morning, we saw him in a fluffy position, we took him to a specialized veterinarian. She told us that he has serious pneumonia, put him in a nebuliser and thermo-room for 2 days and then, suddenly, he died. And the house is empty and we are still quoestioning ourself and each other, what went wrong?

    It's very like your story...
Bird Lover but mom of only 1 - 2015-02-04
Today drove 4.5 hours to pick up our new BBC. Flew down to a guy's shoulder in his yard (I'm reading lots I'd similar stories). They did not have time for him so he was scared and a bit nippy. But brought him home and within 2 hours, he was chatting away... and laid on his back letting us pet him on his belly! Sleeping now in his new Happy Hut! So far,so good!

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.

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!


  • 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.