The Greater Patagonian Conure



  • Common Name:  Conure - Greater Patagonian

  • Other Common Names:  none listed

  • Scientific Name:  Cyanoliseus patagonus byroni

  • Group:  Conure

  • Origin or Range:  Chile

  • Relative Size:  Larger Than Average 

  • Average Lifespan:  12 years

  • Compatibility:  Average 

  • Category: Parrots

The Greater Patagonian Conure is the largest of all the Conures.  Some learn to talk and they usually bond very well with people, especially if hand-raised.

This Conure is not as widely available as other Conure species in many areas.  The Greater Patagonian is almost unknown in American aviculture.  They are rare in the pet trade, though if you are lucky you might find one in a zoo.  Unknowing dealers may often sell LesserThe Greater Patagonian Conure Patagonian Conures as Greaters.  Make sure you get what you pay for.  Greater Patagonian Conures are very active.  They love to play, climb and chew on toys, making for an entertaining parrot.  Their ability to talk is usually quite good, though they can be very noisy.  Greater Patagonian Conures are known for having sweet dispositions, and many of them will form close bonds with their owners.  In the wild, these birds like to make their nests in the sides of cliffs, earning them the nickname, Cliff Dwelling Parrots.  The Greater Patagonian Conure has been known to live as long as 25 years, but the average lifespan is only 12 years.  With proper care and diet this can be increased.

The Greater Patagonian Conure's plumage is basically a dark olive green.  There is some yellowish tinge on the side of the wings as well as the head.  The breast is gray with some blue highlights.  They can be easily distinguished from the Lesser Patagonian Conure because the Lesser has white on the sides of its upper breast that go almost The Greater Patagonian Conurecompletely around.  The other two varieties of Patagonian Conure have less or little white at all.  There is some red on the abdomen and inner thigh as well as some yellow.  The primary flight feathers are dark blue.  The tail feathers are olive green on the upper side and edged in blue.  The undersides are dark gray.  The Greater Patagonian Conure has white eyes when mature, while the young have brown irises.  The eye is ringed with a bare white area.  An interesting fact about the Greater Patagonian Conure is that it is the only Conure that has feathers covering their nostrils.  The beak is black on the adult and the upper beak is white on the young.  The feet of the Greater Patagonian Conure are flesh colored.  They reach a length of 19 inches, which is larger than the other two Patagonian varieties.  The adults achieve their true coloring at one year of age.

The Greater Patagonian Conures can be found along the coast in central Chile.  They can be seen in bushes, trees, and making nests in the sides of cliffs.  Though their flock numbers were large at one time, they are mostly spotted in smaller groups and usually when eating.  The GreaterThe Greater Patagonian Conure Patagonian Conure is considered endangered in the wild, and that is due in part to the immature bird being sought for food, the adults were frequently shot for this reason.  Additionally habit destruction and shooting by farmers who consider them to be pests has led to a decrease in their numbers.  Today new laws have been passed in Chile and they are protected.  Imported Greater Patagonian Conures have a reputation as carriers of the Pacheco's virus, but there is a vaccine that prevents this disease.

As with most parrots, always offer Greater Patagonian Conures fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as foods such as beans and cooked eggs in addition to their regular diet.  Fresh water daily is necessary, as is removing fresh food quickly so it does not spoil.  The Greater Patagonian Conure only needs a vitamin supplement if on a strictly seed diet.  The size of the cage should be sufficient to accommodate their wings and room to play.  Usually, a 24 inches by 24 inches by 36 inches cage will do, but larger is always better.  A variety of perches are good exercise for the Greater Patagonian's feet, and make sure the food dishes The Greater Patagonian Conureare not directly below a perch, so that food and water are not soiled.  Toys are necessary, since Conures are avid chewers.  In addition they should be provided with a dish for bathing and if this is not possible they should be sprayed with water regularly.  Conures are prone to a vitamin K deficiency and a bleeding disorder, but with the proper nutrition, both of these can be avoided.  Conures are also good flyers, and require more clipping, but never too much, so the bird will fly gently to the floor.

The breeding season for the Greater Patagonian Conure begins in December but will sometimes begin as late as March.  In captivity they should be given a vertical nest box that measures 14x14x24 inches.  They usually have three eggs in a clutch, with an incubation lasting 24 to 25 days.  The babies will fledge in about eight weeks.  The males do help the females take care of the babies, and have been seen feeding the chicks in the nest.


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Copyright 2004 [Southeast Texas Avian Rescue, Inc.]. All rights reserved. Revised: 12/10/11