Blaze-winged Conures or Parakeets

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The Blaze-winged Conure or Parakeet (Pyrrhura devillei) has previously been considered a subspecies of the Maroon-bellied Conure based on apparent hybrids from Paraguay, but most authorities now consider them separate species based on the fact that they generally maintain their integrity.


Distribution / Range

The Blaze-winged Conure is Parrot found in wooded habitats in the Pantanal-region of Brazil (South-western Mato Grosso) and Northern Paraguay. (Formerly Bolivia, but due to shifting borders, this species is now said to occur in Paraguay.) Their habitat includes all types of country with trees to 1,300 m (4,300 ft), especially Atlantic coastal forest and open grassland with araucaria forest, as well as cultivated areas, plantations and city parks.

Outside the breeding season, they are usually seen in flocks of 10 to 15 birds - although on occasion very big gatherings of several hundred birds are seen roosting and feeding tree. They are difficult to detect in trees as their plumage provides excellent camouflage and they are most commonly heard rather than seen. They are sociable and not shy. They are frequently seen grooming each other. Their flight is described as swift and slightly erratic.


Description

The Blaze-winged Conure looks similar to the Maroon-bellied Conure, but the Blaze-winged Parakeet has a browner forehead and bright red "shoulders". The underwing coverts (feathers) are banded red and yellow.

They average 24 cm (9.5 ins) in length, including their long tails.


Diet / Feeding

Their natural diet consists of seeds, flowers, fruits, berries and nuts. They are also considered local pests as they regularly raid maize fields and orchards, occasionally causing considerable damage.

Captive diet: They should be provided with a quality seed mix consisting of safflower, oats, some sunflower (also sprouted), hemp, buckwheat, millet, canary seed and rowan berries; millet spray. Their daily diet should also consist of plenty of fruit, vegetables and greenfood. A regular supply of branches with flowers and buds provides additional nutrition in addition to satisfying their need for chewing. A mineral and vitamin supplement, if their dietary needs cannot be met.


Personality:

These beautiful little parrots are very rare in captivity, but their pet potential is excellent. They are lively conures that soon become confiding. They enjoy bathing often and are not hard chewers. They are mostly quiet and only get noisy when excited. They can get aggressive towards other birds. These conures are playful and inquisitive; and they are generally hardy.


Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros and Cons, Care Requirements)


Breeding/Reproduction:

Blaze-winged conures are fairly easy to breed. It's best to isolate pairs during breeding, although communal aviary with peaceful bigger birds is also possible. Blaze-winged Conures may get aggressive towards birds of their own size, or smaller birds.

Blaze-winged Conures breed all year, with two breedings a year possible. The average clutch consists of 5 eggs, which are incubated for about 23 days. The fledging period is about 50 days. The young mature at 12 months.

These active conures need a spacious aviary of the following recommended minimum dimensions: 2 x 1 x 2 m (6 x 3 x 6 ft) with a shelter to protect them from frost and rain.

Below are the dimensions of nesting boxes usually used for these conures. However, the dimensions can vary widely, as they are influenced by the owner's and the birds' preferences.  The preferences of the breeding birds can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared. 

Log / Nest-box:

    • Marcy Covault from Feathered Companions Aviary suggests using a deeper box, either a bootbox or a vertical grandfather box (18" - 24" deep). A nest box of the following dimensions has also been successfully used for these conures: 20 x 20 x 70 cm ( 8 x 8 x 30 ins). Some conures do accept cockatiel-sized boxes, but using a deeper box will reduce the conures' tendency to remove the shavings and lay their eggs on the bare wooden base.

    • Diameter of entrance hole: approx. 3 inches ( ~70 - 80 mm)

    • Inspection hole: Can be square or round. Diameter: ~4 inches (100 mm)

    • A Removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.

    • Location and height of log / nest-box: Install in a sheltered part of the aviary at about 5 feet (~1.5 - 1.8 meters) height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.

    • Angle of log or nest box: 45 degrees through to vertical.  Most boxes are vertical.

    • Nesting log / nest-box material: Add about 2 inches of decomposed suitable nest box litter to the bottom of the box to help stabilize the eggs and absorb the droppings from the chicks.

      Options for suitable nesting material are decomposed non-toxic saw dust, corn cob, shredded newspaper, clean straw / dried grass or wood shavings (i.e., Aspen shavings or wood chips). The larger wood chips the better, so the parents don't feed it to the babies or the chicks accidentally ingest it.

      Please note that some wood shavings - such as pine, cedar and redwood - give off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic and can cause dermatitis, allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive tract. They should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes.

    • Incubation: Both hen and cock share in incubating the eggs.

Nest inspections are generally not tolerated.  If nest inspection is necessary, wait until both parents have left the nest.  They can be aggressive and protective of the nest area when breeding.

Additional Bird Breeder Resources.


Taxonomy / Other Names

Genus: Scientific: Pyrrhura ... English: Red-tailed Conures ... Dutch: Roodstaartparkieten ... German: Rotschwanzsittiche ... French: Perruche à queue rouge

Species: Scientific: Pyrrhura devillei formerly Pyrrhura frontalis devillei ... English: Blaze-winged Conure, Deville's Conure ... Dutch: Deville's Parkiet ... German: Bolivien Rotschwanzsittich, Devillesittich ... French: Perruche Deville ... CITES II - Endangered

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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