I love birds. I did a lot of research before buying my first
bird, â€œKiwiâ€, a Yellow Naped Amazon. I decided I wanted a
second bird and began looking at the Aratinga Conures, in particular
the Sun Conures. I had seen a few at bird shows and was
intrigued by their personalities and their beautiful bright color.
The more I read and investigated, the more I learned about Pyrrhura
Conures. Cruising through the internet, I came across the
Pyrrhura Breeders Association, and decided to join with the intent to
continue to research my second bird. One day when I was in a pet
shop, I made fast friends with a Black Capped Conure who begged to
have his head scratched. He had the most beautiful, distinct
feathers, and such a sweet personality. That sort of made up my
mind. By the time I got around to approaching my husband about
the potential new addition, the Black Capped Conure was gone.
I went back to the PBA website and began searching through the photos
and descriptions of the various species, and landed on the Painted
Conures. I decided that was what I wanted.
This next part is not clear to me. I recall perusing the PBA
classifieds, and sending an e-mail about a year ago to inquire about
Painted Conure breeders in Arizona. I received a reply
from Judi Robben, who said she had a clutch of three babies hatched on
February 26, 2001 she was hand raising and getting ready to
sell. She thought she had one promised, but two were still
available. Through e-mails back and forth, we established that I
was interested in a pet, and not interested in becoming a breeder.
Judi picked out a male, and last May the little guy flew all by
himself on a plane from Kansas to Arizona.
I remember the first time I saw â€œSkeeterâ€. I went to a
special cargo portion of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and one of the
security people walked me over to an elevator which he unlocked.
The doors opened, and there on the floor of this huge elevator was a
small blue pet carrier with this tiny bird clinging to the front of
the cage. I picked up the carrier, the guard and I matched up
the tickets, and my new best friend and I were on our way.
At home, I put the carrier down and my little painted friend was
munching away on the bits of orange and apple and sprouts that had
traveled with him on the plane. He was totally calm and not at
all bothered by his ordeal. I took him out, put him on the
dining room table, and he and I began getting acquainted.
That was eight months ago. Since that time, Skeeter has
learned to say his name when he wants attention. He loves to sit
with my husband and preen his mustache. When you walk by his
cage, he makes â€œkissingâ€ noises. He is very social, and
loves attention. Sometimes at night when we are sitting watching
television, Skeeter will sit on my shoulder and hide under my hair.
He is not afraid of the dog or the cats, and would like to get to know
the Amazon, although Kiwi has other ideas. Kiwi still looks at
Skeeter like he is a snack, so I never take my eyes off them if they
are both out of the cage.
When Judi shipped Skeeter here, she told me she had to trim his flight
feathers because he kept trying to fly. No kidding! His
flight feathers have grown back and he will stay with me only if my
husband is out of the room. The minute my husband returns, off
he goes buzzing his way over to Norm. It is comical to watch him
hover like a small helicopter. In the beginning he had some
difficulty with landings, but his control has gotten much better.
Iâ€™m going to have to get his flight feathers trimmed again for his
own safety, although I almost hate to do it because he enjoys flying
so much, and because I hate to see those beautiful blue feathers cut
During the holidays, Skeeter took off and flew toward the person
in my husbandâ€™s favorite chair who happened to be my brother,
instead. Iâ€™m not certain who was more surprised, but they both
enjoyed the encounter. Prior to that, my brother wasnâ€™t
certain he liked birds. Skeeter converted him.
When he first arrived, Skeeter spent a lot of time trying to remove
the band from his leg. He eventually gave up. Now he just
tries to take the wedding rings off myself and my husband. I guess he
thinks none of us should be â€œbanded!â€
My favorite time of day is bath time. I have heard people
mention that if Amazons werenâ€™t parrots, theyâ€™d be ducks.
Kiwi could care less if he ever gets a bath, and generally acts
annoyed when I put him in the shower or spray him with a spray bottle.
Skeeter, on the other hand, is the cleanest creature I have ever met.
Between 2 and 3 PM every day, Skeeter goes over to his water bowl and
backs his tail feathers and the lower half of his body into the bowl.
Then he hops over to his rope covered spiral perch and does
somersaults while flapping his wings wildly. Then, back to the
bowl, and back to the perch. Meanwhile, water is flying
everywhere, and his next door neighbor the Amazon moves as far away as
possible. Sometimes, Skeeter even hangs upside down and sticks
his head into the bowl. He cracks me up when he does this.
And all the while he is having the time of his life. Itâ€™s more
like play time than bath time.
Skeeter has bells and other toys and multiple perches hanging in his
cage. The bells are his favorites, but he likes to climb around
from perch to perch. He also has a â€œSnuggle Buddyâ€ that he
hides behind to sleep.
This is my first Conure, and first Pyrrhura Conure at that. I
donâ€™t know if the rest of the species are similar in personality,
but if they are I would highly recommend them as pets. These
little guys pack a lot of â€œbig birdâ€ into a small sized
body, they are not messy (other than the bath time water, which
evaporates quickly) and would be great for kids and older people.
My experience with Skeeter has made me consider getting another some
day. These are truly amazing â€œlittleâ€ birds!
Claudia Slone, Arizona
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