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Old 03-23-2017, 08:49 PM
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Noise levels by and within genus

I was looking at a rather shady site which made some claims about conures I'm skeptical of, notably that peach-fronted and dusky-headed conures are quiet. As I noted in another thread, the revision of conure taxonomy based on genetics places all of the conures with the strongest reputations for noisiness (suns, jendays, and nandays) in one genus, the rump Aratinga. (Most other Aratinga species were moved to three new genera.) The Pyrhurra conures all have a reputation for quietness and that genus is unchanged, though I wouldn't be surprised if it were split in the future.

Based on my experience with a sun conure and a green-cheeked conure, I can say that the sun conure was both loud in volume and liked to call frequently when not on my shoulder and rarely when on it. (Oddly, he never hurt my ear when by calling from my shoulder, while my much-quieter quaker's call does.) The green-cheek, meanwhile, is quiet in terms of the volume of his call, and makes noise only when the quaker does when he's not on my shoulder/finger, and never calls back when he's on me. I know someone with a green-cheek who swears hers is loud, but I get the impression that she just calls more frequently than mine does, rather than being genuinely louder. This makes me think that "noise level" on its own really isn't a useful metric.

Instead, when talking about noise levels I think it might be helpful to organize things as I did below. I don't have enough experience with other species of conure, or really others of the same species (though I've noticed that sun conures I've seen in zoos are pretty quiet, possibly because they can see all their flock at all times), but based on what I've heard or seen, this is my impression:

Aratinga spp. (Sun conure group, nanday, dusky-headed)
Call volume: high
Flock calling frequency: high
Shoulder calling frequency: low
Divergent species: Dusky-head may be quieter than rest of group? (It's the most genetically distinct species in the group, but I'm still skeptical that it's quiet.)

Eupsittula spp. (Orange-front, brown-throat, and similar)
Call volume: moderate
Flock calling frequency: moderate? (Pet birds I saw in Mexico were quiet.)
Shoulder calling frequency: ???
Divergent species: Brown throats? (This same website which claimed peach-fronts were quiet claimed orange-fronts are moderately loud and brown-throats were very loud.)

Psittacara spp. (Cherry-head and similar)
Call volume: moderate
Flock calling frequency: high (both this and volume based on the Telegraph Hill population, not pets)
Shoulder calling frequency: ???
Divergent species: ???

Thectocercus acuticaudatus (blue-crowned)
Call volume: moderate?
Flock calling frequency: moderate?
Shoulder calling frequency: ???

Pyrhurra spp. (green-cheek and similar)
Call volume: low to low-moderate
Flock calling frequency: highly variable? (Or is my acquaintance's bird an outlier? I usually hear that green-cheeks are quiet, but that may be referring to volume.)
Shoulder calling frequency: low to none?
Divergent species: ???

Cyanoliseus patagonus (Patagonian)
Call volume: moderate?
Flock calling frequency: moderate? (based on GilaGaleria's videos)
Shoulder calling frequency: ???

I'm not bothering to guess at the golden conure or the Enicognathus spp. conures, because I have no experience with them even in zoos, and have never met anyone who's had either. (Plus, I think the golden conure will eventually be considered a macaw anyways.) I thought about adding shrillness as a metric, but that seems to be very subjective (unlike call volume or frequency, which we could actually measure if we wanted to); I, for example, find the call of the sun conure soothing. But how does my first pass at this line up with other people's experience?
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