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In issue 297 -
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Red-masked, Red-fronted and Mitred Aratinga Conures


Red-masked, Red-fronted and Mitred Aratinga Conures

by Rosemary Low

There are approximately 20 Aratinga conure species, which come from the neotropics and are mainly green with touches of blue, red, brown or yellow in their plumage.  Seven beautiful and intelligent “Red-heads” make up a sub-group of these Aratinga conures.

The “Red-heads” are distinguished by their scarlet facial markings, strong personalities - evident in captive birds – and their loud voices.  These birds which could be described as “cheeky conures with attitude,” are not among the most expensive of parrots and overall have much to recommend them.  In some ways they are like small macaws, playful, inquisitive and very intelligent, and certainly their medium-size makes them a very appealing and practical alternative to macaws for most bird keepers.

“Red-heads” can even be kept and bred on the colony system, although as in most colonies, results are seldom as good as with pairs housed individually.  UK breeder and friend, Mike Hurley, has kept and bred the Cordilleran Conure for many years and one of his pairs shares their aviary with a pair of peacocks!  You would think they might be intimidated by such huge companions, but this is not the case!  In fact they are such good friends that at night the conures roost under the peacocks’ wings!  What a sight to behold!  Mike, please take a photo!

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