Animal-World > Birds > Conures > Half-Moon Conure

Half-Moon Conure

Orange-fronted Conure

Family: Psittacidae Half-Moon Conure Picture"Lucky"Aratinga canicularisPhoto Courtesy: Kristen
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Hello! I just purchased a 5 yr old breeding pair of Half Moon Conures a couple of months ago from another breeder who was getting out of the bird business. They... (more)  Teresa

   A happy little bird, the Half-Moon Conure has a wonderful temperament and is very friendly. They are very popular and fun pets!

   The Half-Moon Conure is a lively, alert, spontaneous little bird. They will bob their head and even dilate their eyes when they are happy to see you, are showing off for you, or are just plain excited!

   Though they can be noisy the Half-Moon Conure has a lower volume to their call. They are considered to be one of the quieter birds in the Aratinga species. They enjoy mimicking a variety of sounds and some, like "Lucky", can even be great talkers.

Dr. Jungle shares what Crystal has to say about "Lucky"!...
 "His name is Lucky and he is two years old. They (Half-Moon Conures) are some of the best talkers as far as the conures go!" ...Crystal McCraine"

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

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

Scientific Name:Aratinga canicularis

Orange-fronted Conure Subspecies (3):

  • Petz' Conure
    Aratinga canicularis canicularis
  • Half-Moon Conure
    Aratinga canicularis eburnirostrum
  • Aratinga canicularis clarae

Distribution:    Though Half-Moon Conure is native to southwestern Mexico, the other two species of Orange-fronted Conure range in western Central America from Sinaloa, Mexico, south to western Costa Rico.

Description:    The Half-Moon Conure has a narrow frontal orange band that extends down to the lores and a forecrown that is blue. They look very much like the other Orange-fronted Conures though a tad bit larger than the Petz' Conure, and they have a brown spot on each side of the base of the lower mandible. They are also similar in appearance to the Peach-fronted Conure but have a macaw-like beak that is horn colored.
   They have a generally green plumage with a greenish-yellow underside and yellow to olive-yellow under the wings and tail. The outer parts of the wings are blue. Like the macaws they have a naked eye ring. Their eye ring is a dull orange-yellow and the iris is pale yellow. Juveniles have a brown iris and the orange frontal band is narrower. Females also have a narrower frontal band.
   Like most conures of this size, they have an average life span of about 30 years and possible longer.

Size - Weight:    These birds get up to 9.5" (24 cm) and 2.6 ozs. (74 g). Generally a little larger than the Petz' Conure which is about 2.5 ozs. (71 g).

Care and feeding:    Half-Moon Conures are not as destructive as many of the others conures, and can easily be housed is a lighter weight cage such as a cockatiel cage. A roomy cage is appreciated unless the bird is to be let out for periods of exercise and play.
   In the wild many of the Orange-fronted Conures eat figs, seeds, nuts, berries, and blossoms, but the Half-Moon Conure has been observed to feed mostly on fruits, so much so that their feathers are often found to be sticky. In captivity these birds will eat an avian pelleted diet as well as a wide variety of fruits. They are not as quick to bathe as most conures. Offer them a bath, or if they are not interested in that give them a misting of warm water with a spray bottle or in the shower or sink about every other week.

   See About Conures: Housing and About Conures: Care and Feeding for more information.

"Lucky" a Half-Moon conureLucky Photo Courtesy: Crystal McCraine
"Half-Moon Conures are some of the best talkers. Lucky is two years old... Crystal McCraine"

Social Behaviors:    All Orange-fronted Conures are social birds and live in fairly large flocks in the wild (up to about 80 birds) for a good part of the year. During mating season however, they pair up and live alone or with a few other pairs. They love to play and will preen each other during resting periods.

Activities:    They love to climb and play. Provide lots of toys. Many birds can spend most of their time on a play pen or parrot perch.

Breeding/Reproduction:    In their natural environment these birds nest in termite mounds, digging out a long upward climbing entry that then makes a sharp turn into a cavity dug out in the middle of the mound. They have been observed to use the natural hollow of a tree when termite mounds are not available, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Captive breeding is a bit more difficult than with other conures because of their preferred natural nesting place, but they are being successfully bred.
   Though these birds will need to be either DNA or surgically sexed for a certain determination, the females will generally have a narrower frontal band.
   The hen lays three to five eggs, one every other day, which are then incubated for about 30 days. The female broods the eggs and does the Initial feeding when the hatchlings are first born. The male then gradually takes over the feeding. The young fledge (leave the nest) after about six weeks. A nest box size should be 13" x 10" x 10" with an entrance hole about 3.25" in diameter.

Potential Problems:    As with many Aratinga species, Half-Moon Conures can be noisy but are generally considered a quieter conure. Not nearly as noisy as most of the Aratinga species are.
   See About Conures: Potential Problems for information on illnesses.

Availability:   The Half-Moon Conure is very popular and available from time to time. Your best bet is to find one at a pet store or a reputable breeder.

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Half-Moon Conure

Teresa - 2013-01-17
Hello! I just purchased a 5 yr old breeding pair of Half Moon Conures a couple of months ago from another breeder who was getting out of the bird business. They settled into their new environment very quickly. They have been mating like crazy and now she has been laying eggs for the past week. She has laid 3 eggs so far and I don't think she is finished yet. In the past she has laid up to 5 eggs and they have usually had 4 babies in a clutch. The previous owner said that they are very good parents. I will be pulling the babies after two weeks to continue hand feeding them. I will be selling the babies for $300.00 If you are interested, you can respond to this ad. I live in Montana and I will ship if necessary. All shipping expenses will be up to you. Thank you and have a great day everyone!

  • Santa - 2013-04-03
    Hi my name is santa and my mom is interested in purchasing one of your baby half moon parrots. We live here in Los angeles and we are wondering how we can purchase a parrot from you. We are not sure how we would be able to get the bird by shipping. We are good people.
  • Teresa - 2013-04-06
    Hello! I have some hand fed babies that will be ready in about a week. I have been in the process of weaning them and I want to make sure they are eating well on their own. You can check with the airlines to see what the shipping cost would be from Bozeman, Montana to your airport. Thank you for your interest! I look forward to hearing from you.
  • joanne - 2013-04-29
    Hi! I'm also interested in a half moon baby. But probably a baby from your next batch. When will you be having your next set of babies? Do u have a website? Email? My airport is San Francisco. I'm in the bay area. Thankyou!
  • Joanne Klaus - 2014-02-12
    Hi Teresa: Do you still have and breed Half-Moon Conures? I'd love to buy a female, or one you believe to be female, as sexing is risky, I realize. There arent many available and they're such gems! I live in Sioux City, Iowa. Please email: or call/text 712-253-7750 Thank-you, Joanne
  • Courtney - 2014-03-28
    I have been looking for a half moon for a long time. Are you still breeding? Please contact me with more information.
  • Lourdes - 2014-09-15
    Please let me know if you have any half moon babies available. If you don't at present, pls tell me when you expect some. I have been looking for these babies for a long time now. Pls respond as soon as you can.thanks,
Toni - 2006-10-09
We adopted Joshua at 3 months - and little did we know what a ball of fire we got! He's now 3 1/2 years old and talks no-stop; people will ask how many words he knows, and I just say as many as he wants! When not at home we let him and our little Shih-Tzu, Dixie watch cartoons; so now he's picking up some of their words, the latest being "Okey, dokey, dokey," & we are are saying it too! Bad enough when your pets imitate you, but worse when you find yourself imitating them! We had Dixie for 3 years prior to getting Joshua, she was not thrilled when he came in, but, for him, it was instant love. He loves that little dog and throws her carrots and green beans all day...he tells her to go "Pee Pee" and then says "Good Girl" afterwards! When she comes in he asks if she wants a "Cookie or a Carrot." She in turn, tolerates him now, after all, Joshua is a good food source!
PROS for having a Half Moon: Intelligent, will reward you 10-fold if you take care of them. They are family friendly with us, love me the most and my husband second,(of course, after Dixie!). Beautiful little birds. Loves to ride on my shoulder all day. Will stay on perch without wondering. Definite talkers! And looove you so...
CONS - if spoiled, they will call (or yell) for you by name until you pay attention. Can be loud, & nippy. One thing we hate is that while Joshua lets us kiss him, play bite, and steps up, he won't let us touch his body with fingers or be picked up. Having spoken with several other Half Moon folks, found out that they have the same problem. Don't know if it's breed characteristic, or just coincidence. After 3 years of trying, he now lets us touch his back (if we do it quick!).
All in all, they are definite keepers and worth a little noise & nip for all of the love you get.

  • LYNND - 2011-12-09
    Most birds instinctively resist having their feathers and bodies handled too much. They aren't like cats and dogs in this way. It's rare for a bird to want to be handled, other than sitting on a finger. In my observation, it is usually the bigger parrots, like Cockatoos, that like to be petted or scratched on the head (rarely on the back or wings, however). If a bird is going to enjoy being handled, it is usually because it is hand fed and super trusting of the one or two people who are permitted to do so.
  • Patricia - 2013-09-11
    Hi. I had a half moon for 13.5 years. (She recently passed away 4 days ago and I miss her terribly.) She let me hold her all the time, flip her over and rub her stomach, kiss her, etc. She did not like to be held in a wash cloth like my other Green Cheeked Conure. The Green Cheek liked to sleep in a hut. The half moon did not. My half moon had a personality plus. She danced, yelled, talked, etc. She will be missed.
Tammie - 2006-10-08
I have a wonderful Half-Moon conure named Frankie. He is incredibly intelligent, happy, outgoing and a great talker. He is not yet 6 months old and says the following phrases, already:
Hello Frankie
Pretty Bird
Such a Pretty Bird
Good Boy
Step Up
Ouch (which he learned to say when he would nip my finger)
He whistles the "cat call" sound and is beginning to whistle the Andy Griffith Show song!

He's a great little bird, allows me to scratch his cheeks and head and loves attention. I'd recommend this species to anyone who is interested in a pet bird.

Anonymous - 2014-06-17
Pepino loves to be touched! He is a 1 yr old halfmoon conure, demands to be constantly attended to. Can sit on a shoulder all day long, grooms and lets you kiss, and caress his feathers, wings head and under beak. He's a lovely guy (don't know sex so just guessing), loves my husband. And loves to sleep on our chest or in his fur house. Does not say much just 'Pepino' and kissy sounds.

  • Joanne - 2014-06-25
    Do you or does anyone know a reputable breeder who has Half Moons for sale? I'd love to have one!
penny - 2012-04-18
I have a half moon for 23 yrs. she is very active and can talk all day loves to call me. She is my alarm clock at 5am she gets me up for work and then lets me know to clean her cage. Clean cage one hundred times until its done. She no longer sleeps on her perch but loves to sleep under bounty paper towel. I don't know how long they live but she has outlived 2 dogs.

thomas sanchez - 2013-05-03
I have two yellow crowned parrots. They had a clutch of three eggs And My question is do I lettThe parrots feed their young or should I hand feed them? Also if so should I change their diet to a better quality food or are the pellets and mix good enough? She's a very good mother as far as staying on the eggs all day so seems to be successful. Please help with any information please and thank you.

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-05-03
    I would first let the parents feed them. If it appears that they are not feeding them or caring for them, then there might be indication for you to step in. Otherwise you can let the parents do it. However, if you want to hand feed, make sure you know the correct techniques, as handfeeding can be difficult!

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