The golden conure is a bird that demands attention…indeed, a more strikingly-colored parrot can hardly be imagined. This, coupled with a playful demeanor and rarity in the wild and captivity, renders it one of the most desirable of all cage birds.
At 15 inches in length and equipped with a massive head and beak, this giant among conures has the bearing of a much larger bird. Many observers have commented upon this, comparing it to the smaller macaws, and taxonomists have removed the golden conure from the genus into which other conures are classified.
The body and tail are golden-yellow, and the primary wing feathers are rich emerald green.
Range and Conservation Status
The golden conure is limited in distribution to upland forests in northeastern Brazil, an area that has seen much environmental degradation in recent decades. It shares its habitat with over 300 bird species, including the harpy eagle and 22 other parrots. Unfortunately, gold mining, logging and the massive Tucurui Dam have resulted in the flooding or development of millions of acres of primary forest, and place the golden conure and other species at risk.
The golden conure is CITES Appendix I listed and protected by the US Endangered Species Act, but environmental threats have proven difficult to curtail. Fortunately, it is reasonably well-established in captivity. Although not common and usually quite expensive, golden conure breeding is well-worth considering if you are interested in both pet-keeping and conservation. A US Fish and Wildlife Service permit is required…please write in for further details if you are considering keeping golden conures.
Golden Conures as Pets
Golden conures are extremely social as regards both people and other conures. They are curious and very playful, and make wonderful, long-lived (to 40 years or more) pets. Despite looking like feathered jewels, they are quite hardy and robust, and tame individuals enjoy nothing more than a good “wrestling match” with their owner’s hand.
In common with many related birds, their voices are quite piercing…please bear that in mind and do not be swept away by their gorgeous colors when deciding if these (or other parrots) are the pets for you.
Breeding in Nature and Captivity
Field reports indicate that golden conures breed colonially, with females sharing feeding responsibilities. While this is so, later observations revealed that breeding groups were composed largely or entirely of related birds. Therefore, unrelated captives may not co-exist at breeding time.
Golden conure chicks have a tendency to gnaw at one another’s tail feathers…other than that captive reproduction is fairly straightforward.
Golden conure care basically follows that of related species…please write in if you have questions or would like further details.
You can read about golden conures in the wild, and a project that is seeking to preserve their habitat, at:
Wow! I’m realy excited about that. I never seen it before. I only kwe something about the normal conures and a litlle bit of a few cockatoos.
I will ad it to my website
Frank Indiviglio here, thanks very much for your interest in our blog.
Golden conures are rare in captivity, but well worth searching for as photos hardly do them justice at all. San Diego Zoo had a pair when I last visited; I believe the Minnesota Zoo and Disney may exhibit them as well. An in depth article on field research and natural behavior has been published in PsittaScene Magazine.
Enjoy, best regards, Frank Indiviglio