Green Cheek Conures are for sure one of the most famous parrots kept as pets. There are many reasons to explain it. Playful with attractive colors, along with a loving personality they are often family sweethearts.
Another trait responsible for its popularity is a wide set of phenotypes. Green Cheek Conures are a big family parrot. There are many mutations available with new ones emerging every so often
Along with looks, their characters are also changing as breeders cross different species. The diversity of this family means you can choose from a variety of colors, shapes, and characteristics and find the parrot that’s right just for you.
Why do mutations happen?
Genetics is a science booming in the world nowadays. Ever since the genome is discovered, people have been fascinated with the reach of science, the potential of nature. Just as in humans, understanding genetics in birds has a crucial role in species development.
Many say that the increased longevity of parrots is due to the mutations occurring both in the wild but in captivity. We inherit one gene segment from both of the parents. On the segments’ nature, whether it is recessive or dominant, depends what characteristics the organism will display. That’s why we may see some of the trits express a couple of generations later.
Imagine our genetic information as a huge database. What you see depends on what commands you give. It’s important to realize that in nature, everything is tied, records renewed, fascinating every time. Color mutations happen on color genes. They are the ones targeted the most often, as the breeders try to pair birds of different colors and origins.
This is a recessive mutation that reduces melanin. The red color varies depending on the breeding. They would mostly have some pigment in feet. Dilute’s have orange-red breast, silver crown, lime-colored back, and dark blue beak.
They have interesting cream color feathers and dark eyes. It’s important to say that Dilutes are not hybrids. Unique characteristics come from the recessive allele in birds genes. They are normal and present, but just not often expressed. That’s why we don’t see Dilute species that often, but they are a clean Green Cheek Conure subspecies.
Another interesting trait of Dilutes is the ability to make Suncheek mutations. The mutation was developed in the United States and later brought into Canada.
With orange and golden-yellow chest, pastel crown, and pastel lime back they have such a unique color combination. They have a platinum blue flight feathers and yellow wings, along with white feet and beak. Suncheeks bring their own light in the room, sparking some positive vibration.
Pineapple Green Cheek Conures express a combination of cinnamon and yellow sided mutations. It has a light-colored head as of the Cinnamon and yellow sides coming from the Yellow sided genes. They have lime green feathers on the beak. On the breeding process, it depends how much red color they are going to display.
Yellow sided Green Cheek Conure is a sex-linked mutation responsible for the spread of the yellow and red pigmentation. The intensity of colors depends on breeding. If done selectively, it can achieve a pretty vivid red color, with a tale color ranges from maroon to light red. Yellow-sided has dark beak and feet. As the generations are emerging, plumage lightens and beaks are getting lighter. The chest is light yellow
Photo Credit: Toumoto CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
Turquoise is a recessive mutation that causes reduced psittacine pigment, resulting in less yellow and red. It is large in size. With, blue-green and green plumage it has a charming look, rather royal. Their chest and tail are gray-colored. It’s found in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay. They inhabit wood and forests. Turquoise is present in Turquoise Cinnamon mutation, Turquois Yellow-Sided, Turquoise Pineapple mutation.
Mint is a visual recessive of Turquoise and American Dilute. It has a pastel color plumage with a silver head and platinum color tail, dark eyes, feet, and beak.
Cinnamon is a sex-linked mutation that stops the oxidation of melanin. The conversion of brown pigment into black is inhibited. That’s why they cannot produce any shade of black or gray color. The is plumage light green. The tale is lighter maroon. Eyes are red-brown, which makes breeders very proud. The eye color is getting darker as they age. All Cinnamons have them, but it’s not a distinguishing trait.
Original Green Cheek Conure facts
Known as Molina’s conure, Green Cheek Conures are native to forests of South America. Northwestern Argentina, Western Paraguay, Northeastern Bolivia, and Brazil, are home to this striking species.
Their natural habitat is in woods, on altitudes as high as 3000 meters. They tend to live around in flocks, in the treetops. Groups can have even more than 20 members if there’s enough food to support them. Trees they choose are usually higher since they are safer from predators.
With 10 inches in length and 5.5 inches in the wingspan, they are considered small. They are also monomorphic, meaning there is no physical difference between males and females. Juvenile ones have duller plumage and are less maroonish on the chest than the more mature birds.
As the name suggests, their cheeks are green. They have white rings around their eyes. The Green Cheek Conure bill is gray in color. This look is considered to be a normal mutation.
It is considered a New World Parrot. The name comes from the fact that these species have become known to the world from Columbus’s journal, as they are native to the USA and Caribbean.
How much does the Green Cheek Conure cost?
Before making a decision, make sure to consider the costs. Green Cheek Conures typically cost somewhere between $250 and $500. However, this is the price of the bird only. The additional expenses include cage, equipment, food, and medical care. Here is a brief overview, the example prices of some of your Conure’s necessities.
It’s important to say that except for a cage, the other expenses are estimated at the annual level. As for the vet check-ups, the amount presented is a regular price. Unexpected circumstances may bring additional expenses, even make your bill skyrocket. That’s another reason for making a health care priority, trying to prevent your bird from any problems.
Read more about how much each of Green Cheek Mutations costs here.
How the owner affects Green Cheek Conure’s behavior?
Conures reach their inquisitive state, full personality expression, once they are loved and nurtured. Before, they tend to be somewhat shy. In the wild, they are flocking. That’s why attention is necessary for their happiness. Owners become their new flock, friends they rely on. Don’t be surprised if you find them dancing around. Green Cheeks are famous as attention seekers that would do anything to get noticed.
How to understand your Green Cheek Conure’s needs?
If your bird avoids food, seems distant, apathetic, or unusually quiet, you should take them to the vet, as this kind of behavior is a sign of the health issue. In this case, if you keep more than one parrot, try to separate them, at least until you go for a check-up. Just as humans, they may get ill from being around their sick companions sometimes.
If they are picking the feathers, I have bad news. Your parrot is bored. Put some effort into entertaining them. Hiding traits around the cage work well here.
Green Cheek Conures Diseases and Injuries
Being clumsy and lively, Green Cheek Conures are accident-prone. They tend to fall, so wings and legs are in the target of injuries. Consider getting them window stickers. Inquisitive, enjoying the flight, they tend to bump into windows, which may seriously hurt them. Conures are also not picky when offered something resembling food. That’s why they should never be given plastic toys.
Beak and Feather diseases are common. Vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite are common symptoms alarming you to the vet appointment before the condition becomes fatal.
Green Cheek Conure family is large in mutations and in subspecies categories. Here are the six of them:
- P. m. Molinae
- P. m. Phoenicura
- P. m. Hypoxantha
- P. m. Australis (the most common of the six)
- P. m. Restricta
- P. m. Flavoptera
Colorful, diverse, and friendly, Green Cheek Conures are one of the species that is not endangered, unlike the other parrot groups. They tend to live much shorter in the wild than in captivity. So, choose your preferred mutation and love them. You will not only extend their life but make their time on Earth the pleasure. Animals appreciate your care and in return, they show you the real joy and make you a better person.