The Dusky Conure goes by several different names including Weddell’s Conure, Dusky Headed Conure, and Dusky Headed Parakeet. This bird is a species of parrot that often gets classified as a conure or parakeet, and they come from the Aratinga genus, belonging to the Psittacidae family of birds. They are native throughout many countries in the north-western parts of South America. including Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. These birds like environments such as floodplain forest and the edge of forests, making them more adaptable than birds which just need fully forested areas. They are quite common in the wild and are not a threatened species of bird, plus they will often be found in aviculture in South America. The average size for these birds is 28 cm and their weight is 100 grams.
|Names||Dusky Conure, Weddell’s Conure, Dusky Headed Conure, Dusky Headed Parakeet|
|Scientific name||Aratinga weddellii|
|Colors||Mostly green with bits of grey|
|Size||Around 28 cm (11 inches)|
|Weight||Approximately 100 grams (3.5 oz)|
|Lifespan||20 to 30 years|
|Price||$500 to $800|
|Conservation Status (IUCN)||Least Concern|
|Distribution||Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru|
|Habitat||Lowland forest, flooded forest|
|Food||Insects, flowers, fruits, berries, seeds|
|Personality||Energetic, friendly, social|
|Noise levels||Medium to low|
These birds tend to have a fair amount of energy, they are quite friendly, playful and fun-loving. They are flock animals and so like to be social and when looking after one you will also need to provide them with a lot of attention, otherwise, they will become lonely. They are best kept as pet birds that are members of a small flock, so they can interact with other birds when you’re not there. Their beaks can bend small wires and shred items, so whilst they are playful and should be ok with small children, still keep an eye on them when this is happening.
Like other types of conures, a Dusky is fairly intelligent and can be trained to perform a few activities. However, their local range is limited and so you won’t be able to train them to say too many things.
Dusky conures live in hot and humid temperatures of the Amazon rainforest and so you should attempt to replicate this environment when looking after them. This means that you should keep your birds in a temperature range of 21 to 29 degrees celsius, with around 25 degrees being the average point.
Dusky’s also need to be exercised and taken out of their cages each day so they can stretch their wings. Just like walking a dog, you should give them a fair amount of attention and play during this time.
These birds should be housed in cages that provide enough room for them to stretch their wings, but also plenty of space for toys, foraging opportunities, perches and more. See our full guide to (conure cages) to see the best option available.
Hygiene wise, they should be provided with clean water each day a bathing area is also a good idea. Perches of different sizes will promote good foot health and nest boxes should also be used if you want the birds to breed.
Their diet consists of nuts, fruits, seeds, and insects. In the wild, they are also been known to eat clay for its minerals. In captivity, a good pellet based diet will cover most needs and can be supplemented with a few fruits and vegetables.
The chest, front, back and most of the tail feathers of the Dusky Conure are made of up bright green colors, with the under feather tending to be a bit brighter yellowy green color. However, the end tail feathers are dark blue. The feathers around the face are a ‘dusky’ or greyish color and there are also white or yellowish eyes and reddish colors around the beak. It is difficult to tell the differences between the male and female species of these birds and so DNA testing might be required. To see this bird in action look at the video below:
Dusky Conures tend to make shrieks to one another which keeps them in contact with other members of their flock. Whist these can be loud, they don’t tend to do them too frequently and Dusky Conures are quieter than other types of conure. Other sounds they like to make include fight calls and short songs. They can be trained to say a few short words but they are not particularly good at it. Sounds of the Dusky Conure can be heard by clicking on one of the links below:
A Dusky Conure is likely to live a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. However, there are some reports of well looked after birds living up to 40 years in captivity.
The prices for a Dusky Conure range from $500 to $800. Healthy, bright-feathered, young and well behaved conures will command higher prices than older birds that have blemishes on their plumage. Also think about all of the equipment that you’ll need to buy when getting these birds such as the cages, toys, perches, foods, medical check-ups and more.
Breeding these birds is fairly easy and they will lay clutches of around 3 eggs, taking 3 and a half weeks to incubate and upon hatching they will fledge 2 months later. In the wild this is likely to be from June to September, though it can vary country to country.
A common health problem for these birds is feather plucking, which can have a range of causes, but is often happens when the bird becomes, lonely, bored or lacks attention.
Overall, the Dusky Conure is for someone that likes the personalities of other species of bird but wants a creature that is a bit quieter. They may not be as brightly colored as other species of conure, but they are still as playful, friendly and social. If you have the money, time, energy and space to look after a Dusky Conure then this may be the right bird for you.