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 Lesser 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
completely 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 Greater 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.