The Slender-billed Parakeet, Conure À Long Bec, Perruche À Bec Gracille, or Cotorra Choroy (Enicognathus leptorhynchus) is one of only two species in the Enicognatus genus. Although both birds in the genus are available in aviculture, neither is especially common in captivity. The Slender-billed Conure is endemic to Chile where it favors temperate forests.
In their natural habitat, the breeding season is around November to December. The average clutch consists of two to five eggs that are incubated for 26 days.
Slender-billed Conures average 15-16 inches in length.
The general plumage is generally olive green. Their forehead, crown and neck feathers are edged with brownish black. The feathered lores (the regions between the eyes and bill on the side of a bird's head) and cere are crimson red. The center of abdomen is a maroon reddish color and the tail is brownish red with a tinge of green.
They have a dark grey bill. The upper beak is prolonged and slightly curved.
The irises are orange and the eyes are circled by a small grey periophthalmic ring.
The legs are grey.
Diet / Feeding:
Natural Diet: Their natural diet consists of seeds, nuts, small fruit (i.e. berries), leaf buds, acorns and bulbous roots. Even though this conure will feed on various seeds, including grass and bamboo seeds, their favored food appears to be seeds of the Araucaria Araucana (also known as the Monkey Puzzle Tree). Swarms of these conures can be found in Araucaria forests when the seeds are ripe. In farmland areas, these conures cause considerable damage to crops whilst feeding on the ripened grain.
Captive Diet: A variety of seeds, fruits and vegetables should be provided, in addition to a good quality dry food mix. The general feeding ratio is f 25% seed, 10% pelleted (good quality pellets without harmful chemicals), 65% fresh vegetables and fruits and wheat bread. During the breeding season, additional buckwheat, safflowers and sunflower seeds should be provided.
As these conures like to forage on the ground, breeders often sprinkle seeds on the cage bottom or the aviary floor.
The Slender-billed Conures are categorized as a medium noisy to noisy parrot. They are inquisitive, playful and animated, and are also good talkers. They are social birds that like to be part of the family or flock.
Conures as Pets (Suitability, Personality, Pros and Cons, Care Requirements)
Breeding / Reproduction:
Breeding the Slender-billed Conure is not considered difficult. A nesting box of the following dimensions suits them well: 25 x 50 x 30 mm (10 x 20 x 12 ins) with an entrance hole of 8 cm (3 ins). They usually start breeding in April. The clutch averages 3 to 4 eggs, but can have as many as 8. The hen incubates the eggs for about 26 days. The fledging period is 7 to 8 weeks.
Below are the dimensions of logs / 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.
Ideally, it is best to offer a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes; and place them in differnt locations in the flight. This will allow the parent birds to choose their favorite. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Once their favorite box has been identified, it is best to keep that one for their exclusive use. All other nest boxes / logs can then be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
With this particular species, it's important not to disturb the nesting hen as they need to feel secure inside their nest box. If you suspect that eggs have been laid, do not open the nest box to check as this may cause the hen to accidentally break the eggs. She may stop incubating altogether, or at least long enough to kill the growing chick.
It is recommended to allow the chick to remain with their parents for about four weeks. At that time you can pull some of the chicks for handfeeding. It is best to allow the parents to fully raise at least one. Parent-raised birds are likely to become better breeders as they had the benefit of watching their parents fulfill their parental duties. Parent-raised birds would be of special benefit and interest to the aviculturist.
Genus: Scientific: Enicognathus ... English: Slender-billed Conures ... Dutch: Langsnavelparkieten ... German: Smaragdsittiche ... French: Perroquet emeraude
Species: Scientific: Enicognathus leptorhynchus ... English: Slender-billed Conure ... Dutch: Langsnavelparkiet ... German: Langschnabelsittich ... French: Perruche à longue bec ... CITES II - Endangered
Distribution: Central Chile
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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