Animal-World > Birds > Conures > Patagonian Conure

Patagonian Conure

Greater Patagonian Conure, Burrowing Parrot, Bank-burrowing Parrot

Family: Psittacidae "Mollie" a Patagonian Conure"Mollie"Cyanoliseus patagonusPhoto Courtesy Lisa Umstead
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My patagonian conure has for the last four weeks had a lame left wing which seems to only get worse It is not broken but hr just lets it hang and does not use it... (more)  Pauline Bras

   The Greater Patagonian Conure is sometimes known as the Burrowing Parrot or the Bank-burrowing Parrot. This is because they have been known to 'burrow' up to 6 FEET into the side of a cliff or a bank just to build their nest!

   This genus consists of only the one species, of which there are three subspecies. Both the Patagonian Conure and the subspecies, the Greater Patagonian Conure are becoming common in captivity as they are growing in popularity.

   Besides 'big feet' and the ability to 'burrow' the Patagonian Conures have some other very distinctive features. They are some of the largest conures, they tend to look more similar to macaws than to other conure species, and they have an unusual brown coloring.

   These birds are very social and love companionship, their natural behavior is to live in very large groups and to nest closely to one another. They make a very fine and affectionate pet. Being quite intelligent, they are good talkers. However they do have a harsh voice and can get rather loud. This along with being very sociable makes them an ideal aviary bird.

What's in the name?
"big feet" in Spanish

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

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

Scientific Name: Cyanoliseus patagonus


  • Patagonian Conure
    Cyanoliseus patagonus patagonus
  • Greater Patagonian Conure
    Cyanoliseus patagonus byroni
  • Cyanoliseus patagonus andinus

   The Patagonian Conures originally got their name from Patagonian, an area that is now included as part of Chile and Argentina. They are native to central Chili and the northern and central parts Argentina. They inhabit open country and especially like areas around water. They have also been noted to be very destructive to crops.
   In Chili these birds had been greatly depleted, largely through collecting of the young by natives to be eaten as delicacies, especially during the feast of Saint Andrew. Today they are better safe-guarded as Chili granted them legal protection in 1967.

   The Patagonian Conure is a very large conure with the Greater Patagonian Conure being even larger still, about 2 inches longer. The head, neck, and upper back are olive-brown with some tinges of green, while the Lower back, rump, upper tail, and underparts are more yellowish with an olive tinge. The thighs and the center of the abdomen are an orangish-red. The throat and breast are grayish-brown and there are white markings on each side of the upper breast. These white markings are much more pronounced on the Greater Patagonian Conure than the nominate species as well as their having brighter and more intense yellows on the underparts. The wings are olive with the outer feathers being blue moving down to a bluish green on the outer secondary feathers. The tail is an olive-green tinged with blue on the tip and brown underneath. They have a white eye ring surrounding a yellow eye. The beak is gray and the legs are a flesh pink.
   A younger bird will have a pale gray eye ring and the beak is almost a horn color.

Size - Weight:
   The Patagonian Conure will get up to about 17 3/4" (45 cm) and the Greater Patagonian Conure will get up to about 19" (48 cm)

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 Patagonian Conure eats seeds, berries, fruits, and probably vegetable matter. As a pet they will enjoy a variety of sprouts, seeds, 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 very sociable and have been recorded to live in very large flocks. Today they are not as abundant and are being seen in smaller flocks.
   They enjoy being near to each other and even nest in close proximity to one another. Their social behaviors make them wonderful pets and they are very intelligent and good talkers. However because they do have such a loud harsh call, they are also considered to be excellent aviary birds.

   In the wild these birds nest in burrows dug out in cliffs or banks. Sometimes this burrows are up to six feet deep. The hen will lay three to four eggs which are incubated for about 24 to 26 days. The young fledge (leave the nest) in about 80 days.
    See About Conures: Breeding/Reproduction for more information on breeding.

Potential Problems:    This bird has a loud harsh call and can be noisy.
   See About Conures: Potential Problems for information on illnesses.

  This bird is becoming more available as it is increasing in popularity.

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

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Patagonian Conure

Pauline Bras - 2014-08-17
My patagonian conure has for the last four weeks had a lame left wing which seems to only get worse It is not broken but hr just lets it hang and does not use it at all please help any suggestions what could have caused this he did not hurt himself

    Lawrence - 2011-07-09
    I am a newbie in the bird world and have a singular parakeet that I dearly love and I am positive the feeling is mutual.It does my heart well to see so many people who love their birds as well. I too have cats and one has adopted Sammy and sleeps under his huge cage.The other cat looks at Sammy as a sandwich so I don't dare to let him roam free. I bought him a huge flight cage and filled with toys that I rotate. His cage is cleaned daily and we spend about three hours a day at the minimum interacting. We sing together but he doesn't talk but nevertheless he loves to sing duets. You folks made my day.

    • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-09
      Somec cats are just fine with birds and some aren't. Usually the bigger birds bob the cat in the nose and the at just stays away but you have a little guy. I am glad you love him. I love birds.
    Gustavo - 2005-08-30
    Indeed, "patagonia" means big foot. it

    • renee - 2011-01-15
      Hi I lost my jenday conure, and I live alone was just me and angel, 25 yrs then one day I found her on bottom of cage wrapped her in blanket ran to vet beg help me I'll pay payments, I live on disability, but I took good care of angel, well a lady offered me this patagonian conure, she told me she is a cockatoo person, she had this breed for 8 mos says she was told it was 5yrs old and the lady kept on her shoulder and did everything with her, she is cage bound, I have to get towel and hide cage to spend time with her, she has bitten me till I was bleeding, but I am still working on trying to get a bond, lady changed her name she had for 5 yrs she has called her another name, her name was molly so I am calling her molly and she seems to know that name, since she has spent 8 mos in cage with not much attention can this bird be returned after this treatment she has been through, if anyone could let me know I fed zupreen pletts, but she has been on seeds, not used to this breed of conure and not much infor on web either, please give me any ideas, do they not like too sit on your shoulder very long I had to make my jenday get in cage to eat and drink water, lost my bird 2006, thanks renee
    • Robin - 2013-12-23
      About your Jenday Concure: I had a conure that was 4 yrs old when I got her. I tried for over a year to make nice with her. I did learn one thing they can be cage aggressive. So try letting the bird out and let it fly somewhere then try picking it up. Mine would do that and ride on my shoulders while I cleaned the house. But she would bite me coming and going sometimes. I finally just could not deal with her behavior and ended up selling her to a woman who already had a conure and wanted a play mate for hers. She also let hers out of the cage for 8 hours a day, something I could not do. My bird is now very happy and thriving in her home. ( Not saying you should get rid of yours) But I am just trying to let you know they are very cage aggressive birds. Also if she was sitting on my Cockatiels cages and I couldn't get her on my finger to put her back. I would slowly move something (like the remote to the TV), I would come slowly behind her while I had my finger up for her to step up in and she would with out biting me. I talked to a woman who told me that once a conure has bad behavior it is so hard to change them. I am not sure if that is true or not but I know I tried with mine and got no where. She just wasn't happy and I could tell. But I get pictures of her and she is very happy now.
    shirley howard - 2012-09-12

    • Dawn - 2012-09-12
      It could be stress induced, dietary or breeding behavior. Take Harley to an Avian vet to rule out illness or Pbfd.
    • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-12
      Conures have a tendecny to pluck if they get bored or understress or something changes big time in the home.  I'd try some new toys, give him some paper towel to tear up or better yet - get some cash register paper rolls at staples and just put them on a dog chain - they love to pull the papper and tear it to shreds.  Beter than their feathers.  Stpritz with aloe bird bath and think - this time of year they are motling - big molt of the year.  So more things to plat with, more attention if you can, somethng to tear apart - even a fruit tree branch, leave cartons or buy a couple of movies with music and cartoons for him to watch - RIO is good. Surfs up, they do watch them.  So more entertainment -  try vet but i really doubt beak and feather cuz you have had him to long unless he has been exposed - and how- doesn't work - but possible thyroid. 
    Tony Bilsborough - 2012-02-18
    We have just purchaes a patagonian conure parott. He has a ring on this being JRBB 303 does anyone know what this means? How do you age a parott also? Thanks Tony

    • Charlie Roche - 2012-02-18
      The ring is the breeders band identification. The breeder is JRBB or JRBB aviary and the number 303 usually stands for the baby number so the 303 rd baby born there (or close to it). It is how breeders keep track of babies, parents etc. How you tell the age - minus certain phases like 2 months, 3 months, possibly a year, middle age and old age - beats me. I never thought of it cuz I always knew how old mine were.

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