Animal Stories - Red-masked Conure

Animal-World Information about: Red-masked Conure

   "Lola is such a happy little bird! She is a DNA sexed female Cherry-headed Conure and she eats Zupreem Pellets. She doesn't talk but is very playful!"..Diane
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alice - 2014-03-25
I do have a cherry headed conure as well and I got him as a gift 30 years ago and the personalities they have are amazing. My pal is named Charlie the bird. But at times he will tell you he is Chuck or sometimes Charles, we have no idea where those names came from. But will only respond when you agree with him. He also calls the cat or dogs over with the promise of a peanut only to be rewarded with a nip and a laugh.

rachel - 2013-06-27
i have recently gotten a Red mask conure that belonged to my uncle who has passed on. he is very mean. i am trying to figure out a way to get him to tame down. he would never allow anyone to touch him other than my late uncle. can anyone give me any ideals on how to help him with his anxiety issue, and how to make his and my social life better. i really would like to gain a relationship with him. i was able to get him to eat a peanut out of my hand and hold him with a towel, but he seems very angry and wants to bite... reminder my uncle just recently passed on, within the last 2 weeks. thanks

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-06-27
    It's a great thing for you to do, adopting this bird. You didn't say how old he is, but I get the impression your uncle had him a  long time. Birds are very smart and have excellent memories, and like people they will use the socialization mechanisms they know... in his case only allowing the uncle to touch him.

    Moving him into a new enviroment, with a new keeper is disruptive, but to your advantage. It takes a parrot about 30 days to get accustom to their new home. During this time they learn how to cope in the new environment, and they learn what is the norm with the people and place. However, after that initial month or so, they often attempt to resort back to their earlier learned behaviors from their previous environment.

    You have the opportunity right now to establish the norm in the new home. Although it sounds like he may be trying his earlier coping mechanisms on you, keep sharing the peanuts, and shower the bird with praise and affection repeatedly. Do this multiple times a day. You want to influence the bird's behavior in a positive way as much as you can right now. When he tries his old coping methods, don't reward those behaviors.

    As parrots are so smart, and with great memories, it can take a lot of patience and a lot of time to develop good socialization. But continue with the peanut sharing (and other treats), affection, and praise for the behaviors you  want. Once this smart bird becomes comfortable with you and decides to try your methods out, he can become a great pet. Patience and love:)
  • Les - 2013-09-24
    Birds are a lot like us, they grieve the loss of their owner, if they do not see that the person they're bonded to they believe they were abandoned by them. We recently rescued a cherry head that is 36. Her owner passed, the son not knowing tried to take care of her. She plucked herself off even her tail feathers, tummy, back and a lot of her wing feathers. The son tried, he even took her to a vet over 15 times in 4 months. She kept declining in health, so he opted to put her down. They instead took her to the local bird refuge. After spending time and patience she responded to me. She is cuddled up to me right now. My suggestion is take tiny steps to gain his trust. Do not use fast motions, never yell this loses trust with a bird. We have found our little girl is blind in one eye so we have to not come from that side it frightens her. We adopted another bird that was a bad biter. We changed her cage from a black to a light gray and she stopped biting. We have one that was sad until we changed where he was in the room, he does not like being in a corner. Somtimes a color of a blanket will set them off, we have a bird that hates pink. Some do not like towels and prefer blankets. I am working with a 45 year old that would never leave his cage, now he is on his cage and I can hold him with a blanket, preen his pin feathers, and rub his cheek and head. There was a lot of no bites said to get there. But say it in a nice low calm voice. I am the first person to hold him in 12 years. No one knows if he was held before that time. Have patience and you may be rewarded with a cuddle bunny.
  • Leah - 2013-10-29
    I have acquired a cherry masked 4-5 year old who lost his human mom a few months ago, he was very aggressive when he first arrived. (He came in with 3 other birds, and I have 4 of my own - so constant attention was not an option) but I spent 15 minute's about every 3 hours with setting his cage on the floor and sitting in front of it just talking to him with the door open - he came out the first time, but quickly went back in - so we took a break and the next time I sat slightly further from the cage and didn't try to approach him when he came out, I just talked to him. On the 3rd try I sat close enough that he perched on the door and walked over to my shoulder, stepped up and nuzzled close to my neck - now I can touch with my hand and this has been 3 weeks. He came with a Sun conure that this technique did not work with though - but patience and calm voices are a must and if you can get the bird down lower than yourself or on an equal level you will have an advantage (most see height as dominance) Love my parrots - it's a shame that I can't keep them all! Best of luck
  • Karan Patel - 2013-12-25
    I rescued my red masked and he is very aggressive some time so I have this thick gardening glove that I hold my hand out to him and he jumps on to my hand and crawls onto my shoulder and then give him a treat and tell him how good he is give him kisses and be friendly and they will get use to it.
  • Susan - 2014-01-15
    Wow - that's great that you have given this bird a new, loving home. I have a Cherry-Head and he is very loving, has a very extensive vocab, he talks all the time, but at times he does bite, especially when he doesn't know you. He used to bite my mom hard all the time, I always had the bandaids ready, but after a few months he got used to her and now kisses her all the time. I don't think we would laugh half as much if I didn't have this bird, he is such a ham, and has brought so much joy into our home! But parrots are a huge responsibility and require a lot of attention. The only time my bird is out of his huge cage is when we go out or when he goes to sleep.
pat - 2013-11-15
we have had our red capped conure over 25 yrs and yes -I did call a rescue center about 10 yrs ago and it is true, you are responsible for your bird till death do you part-you or the bird. do not make a hasty decision on getting a 'sweet adorable little bird' unless you intend on being there for them--raising children and grandkids are easier and will be quiet when asked

Heather - 2013-02-01
Can I keep a female cherry headed conure and a male indian ring neck in the same cage? Will they bond, or will they fight?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-02-01
    It's probably not an ideal situation. However, if you keep their cages next to each other for a while and they seem to be friendly then you could try introducing them. If they don't fight right away you could try to keep them together. Just watch for any signs of aggressiveness.
elisea - 2010-03-03
How do you know if it's a girl or boy?

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  • Anonymous - 2012-12-22
    Hello there! I wrote about my red-masked conure last year. I volunteer at the local bird santuary here in Indiana. I love Pete to pieces. He is like sunshine in the mornirng, although some 'She' turns pretty mean and want to attack everybody in the household. His botton started to get huge and red, I was fearful that 'She' was going to die and was searching for answers. She enjoy being on the empty pizza boxes, finally I remove the boxes thinking it was irritating her botton. Last night when I got home she laid 2 non fertile eggs. Her name now is not Peter, now she is Pretty Priscilla. By the way is very detrimental to their health to lay eggs, my uncle John she needs calcium shells and other nutrients. Some people can tell just by examining their physical features by looking at the eyes or the color of their beaks, plumage,etc. If you take you red headed conure to an expert avian he will look into their excreting and they find out if is a male or female by looking into their reproductive organs. That all I now! Like I said when I adopted Pete he was a boy, now I know she is 'lovely Priscilla'
irma reyeros - 2011-06-01
I found a cherry head conure, he fell from his moms nest. I nursed it back to a healthy parrot. However, I never wanted to trim her wings because I always thought if he flew away hell find many of his brothers and sisters in the area where I found him. But... I have been so sad because I kept him for a year and he was such an amazing bird. Very lovable, affectionate and good companion. I just did not think it was fare for me to keep him in captivity.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-01
    All a person can do is make the best decisions they can on the days they make them. I am glad you got to enjoy her for awhile and saved her life.
caren - 2011-08-16
My redheaded conure was abused before I got it. It's plucking it's plucking it's feathers out. How do I get it to stop plucking.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-16
    WOW that is not fun and real rough to deal with. So much information and so many articles have been written - it can make a person nuts. In summary, most agree that birds pluck because they get stressed or bored. How to get out of the circle is the problem. First, try bathing with an aloe bird rinse - as the aloe seems to soothe the itching. Second, there are things like foragining toys or straw toys that they can easily tear apart and that seems to help. Letting them tear down paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, seems to help. Those toys where you put a roll of paper (cash register roll) and they pull it off and chew it up seems to help. Leaving them with movies like surfs up, cartoons with music seems to help.

    Giving them lots of attention, cuddle, talking any sort of stimulation seems to help. There is also those plastic collars which prevent them from chewing but conures really don't like them. I would try the toys, attention, bathing, aloe and even pieces of paper for them to chew up before I would try the collar and I don't know that I would try a collar on a conure.

    It isn't your fault. It isn't something you do. It is something where in the wild they would be busy 100% of the time just getting enough to eat. In captivity without stimulation, flocks and just attmpting to survive, some have a tendency to pluck. You have abuse and it is hard to turn around so just be patient and remember it looks like YUK to you but he thinks he is pretty. Now is a good time to start with toys, paper, bathing etc cuz molting. Some also just pluck during molting cuz the new feathers coming in itch them or prickle them. Conures usually love bathing and I pout mine in the kitchen sink with the sprinkerl on - he loves it. Makes a mess but he loves it.
Elaine - 2010-06-04
What is the price for a red conure?

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  • Ken Thomas - 2010-08-24
    I gave $100 for mine and that included the cage and several toys.
  • Echo VanderWal, Shelton & Mason Co. Parrot Rescue (SMCPR) - 2010-10-14
    The price for a Cherry-Masked Conure varies greatly depending on whether you are looking to purchase at a pet store, direct from the breeder, or adopting a bird that needs rehoming or from a rescue/shelter. Price can vary from free to $ 300 or more. Hope that helps! Personally, I would recommend providing a new home for one needing to be rehomed (either through owner or a rescue/shelter). However, please be sure to do your research and make sure this is the sub-species that you are sure will fit correctly into your lifestyle.
  • fanny perez - 2012-03-23
    I paid 100.00 for my Kiki'. That's his name..we love him very much...
Sally - 2011-03-29
I have a wonderful red-headed whom we guesstimate at around 20-22 years. He is playful, healthy, eats & drinks well and in all regards seems well. With in the last 24 hours his bill appears to be changing colors - or developing 'blotches' of dark color. A musky color, mostly on his upper mandibill. Does anyone know if thier beaks change color as they grow older? I have spoken to our vet and done research, but know one seems to know the answer. Please comment if you can shed some light on this. I am concerned that it signifies some otherwise hidden issue in health. Thank you !

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  • Clarice Brough - 2011-03-29
    That is very strange, especially because its changed in such a short period of time. I would definitely keep an eye on him; watch his behaviors, appetite, and droppings for anything unusual. Birds can go downhill very fast, so if something is wrong... you should see abnormalities quickly, and be able to get him to a vet.

    But maybe he just got a hold of something that stained his beak...

    All the best!
  • Stuart - 2011-03-30
    Sally I've never heard of a fungus infection on a pet bird but the musky odor seems too fit. We have a cherry head named Peedy who came to us 4 years ago at age 13 (we were told they can live too be 80 years old). Peedy was being given to the nursing home/rehab center my wife is the Activities Director of. He was so vicious that we took him immediately as the residents tend too put their fingers in the cage. He has since bonded with my wife Judi who got him too come out of his cage. Judi got Peedy to learn to fly and eat fruit and drink juice out of her glass. He told me in the beginning SHUT UP,BE QUIET,GO AWAY NOW! and attacked me at every chance. Obviously, he was abused by a male. Now when the phone rings he says hello how are you? and will talk to anyone on the phone saying hello big boy,hello Peedy, I'm a bad boy. He has since gotten used to me and sits on my leg. He quacks like a duck and laughs when we laugh. Peedy is Judi's favorite along with Tweedy, a Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure. I have the 11 Cockatiels of whom I'm the head of the flock. Hope you solve the problem and let me know if it is a fungus infection. God Bless.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-03-30
    I have had a couple of birds who did have a fungal infection. They were babies and acquired a bacterial infection. I took them to the vet and the birds were given an antibiotic and it did throw them into a fungal infection. I took them back to the vet and a gram stain was done and they did have a fungal infection and the vet gave me a perscription for Nystatin (an anti-fungal). I was also told that food can get embedded in the upper mandible and cleaning with a Q-tip and water would help. Watch the droppings and try cleaning with a Q-tip if possible. You might wish to recheck with your vet regarding an anti fungal.
Ana - 2011-08-22
Hello! I'm writing you from Indiana. I take care of 13 tropical parrots
at the local Parrot Rescue Santuary. There I met Peter a cherry head
conure. He is so much fun to be around; the owner of the foster aviary
told me that Peter only liked men, but I tell you that's not the case here.
He gets really happy when he sees me come into the aviary, kisses me
and laughs out loud. When I open his cage he flyes toward me and sits
on my shoulder always content and playful with me. He likes me so much
that the lady offered for me to have it some day. I'm extremely happy that I
was able to meet such a beautiful little creature. He is definately a
pleasure to be around. Regards.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-08-23
    A conure - and I love the red masked - are great birds to have. Velcro, cuddly, silly, comical, lovable, smart etc. No negatives there. Maybe the man thought that as the bird maybe didn't like his girlfriend or girl child. Many birds do have a preference for male vs female (my opinion) but conures (my opinion) will enjoy whatever human they are around that gives them attention, love and stimulation. You are lucky enjoy