Cherry-Headed (Red-Masked) Conure - Any active forum members?


New member
Jul 5, 2012
SE Florida and Sullivan County, NY
Cody-Blu, female Blue-Crowned Conure, Hatched - (approx) June 1, 2014, in a South Florida tree.

Pritti (Cherry-Head Conure) -- Fly in Peace my beautiful boy. Forever I'll love you.
It's so weird -- I've read on the internet that Cherry-heads are fairly common as pet birds. I have to disagree because I haven't seen more than a handful of folks on forums living with one or talking about them and rarely see them in shops. If you know of a parrot forum that has alot of activity about chderry-head conures, I would greatly appreciate a link or forum name.

I'm parront to one and only one bird, a beautiful, funny, fussy, bossy, smart, loving 30-year old cherry-head. I know alot about his world, and would like to hear about experiences others have with cherry-heads living in their homes.

I would love to bring another parrot home to live with us, but am equally concerned that Pritti would feel hurt after thirty years of being an only bird with all the attention, and also that Pritti might actually harm a newbie bird. I would want them to be buddies. I hope I can get some insight from other cherry-head parronts. I know they share a similar look to mitred conures, but don't know how close they are in behavior, health, care, traits.

Thanks. :green1:
Hi I'm from South Africa, and after searching hi and lo, I've finally found a breeder in this country that has cherry headed conures! I can unfortunately only get a baby in December, that's when they will have weaned hand raised baby cherry heads. After seeing the doccie on the wild parrots of signal hill, I've been searching for one in my country. Guess who's counting the days? They are gorgeous birds who seem to have a lovely manner about them as well. Soon you won't be the only cherry head owner on the forum! Hang in there!
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Hi A,
Glad to know you. Although Pritti was with my husband from babyhood, I came in his life 20 years ago. So I won't be able to offer much advice or experienial stories for a bay Cherry-head, but I can tell you that you are in store for lots of fun if yours is like Pritti. He is sooooo much like the ones in the film. Some of the behavior is identical - and Pritti has always been in captivity, whereas those are wild. Just tells me that the wildness is so distinct. That film gave us all a good look at how little difference there is between these birds in the wild and in captivity. Pritti is a clown, so much fun and surprising. He entertains us all the time with his funny antics.
Can't wait for my cherry baby, December still feels so far away
i have to agree--i have never even met one in person. lately it seems suns have 'flooded the market' and a lot of people have adorable little green cheeks too. i was surprised how hard i had to search to find a blue crown! i'm wondering if certain conures are just not breeding as well/easily or if they are not as available because people don't want them as often?
Ha hah u know why nobody has any, everybody in the city of SF opened the window and let them fly off, they are so darn noisy!! They were all loose on the street and became hawk food... sadly this happens but in SF theres ample food and water and trees to hide in so they thrive. This conure is very different to figure out, I am not sure but I think all that squarking is conure speak and they love to talk. I don't think it always means something is wrong, but often there are key things that are triggers.
Jealousy, fear of abandonment, no extra food in the dish for later on.... hey my water dish is on top go get it. Stuff like that. She has OCD does not like changes and expects it all to be exactly the same each day. So, they remember smart little stinkers. I swear she understands english. I think if they could speak our language they'd be motor mouths they are very highly sociable... I'm not altogether sure they should be classed as a conure, they are so large, and act more like a mini macaw.
Actually they were imported so heavily until 1992 (The WBCA) that you could get them really cheap for about $100. But they were noisy and nippy that people didn't understand them and they got a bad rap. They are still very noisy, and so are the Suns for example. But so many other more quiet parrots are successfully being bred nowadays, that people favor the more quiet ones. Over the last two decades since they couldn't import wild parrots, more breeding programs were developed here with other species that are easier to breed in captivity. Not all will breed that well in a cage or aviary. Also why breed birds if people let them go because they're so noisy! That's why so many are flying free I think? Not so sure but I suspect they do not breed well here I know someone that has a private flock which has not produced anything. Perhaps we are not simulating their natural habitat well but I'm not a breeder. You can adopt one all day long through Mickaboo bird rescue in San Jose, CA. They have lots of them that are rescues and need homes.
Anne Marie, you might want to use quotes (quote button below posts
) or multiple quotes (MQ button next to quote
, and use reg quote or go advanced on last one) in your posts! Might make things a little more easier to understand!

And I've actually heard that red headed conures were so massively imported that you could buy one for $50 ea... and now, you're looking at least $300-$400, if not up to $600 for some of the different red heads!
Here's the little stinker her name is Isabelle (Izzie) she's 21. You can see her silver open import band on her left ankle.


She's gorgeous! And yes, I can see her band! Which reminds me... Charlie, my mitred conure is a first generation captive raised parrot. To me, he's everything a typical conure should be! Although my vet disagrees! LOL Both his parents were/are wild caught imports (unknown if still alive) and he's all pet, too!

I only mention it as I've heard people say that birds with bad behaviors (plucking, mutilation, over preening and possibly other 'behaviorial issues') should not be bred because they can pass those traits onto their offspring. To me, it only tells me that parrots are very adaptable creatures that are not domesticated, and their potential future behaviors should not be based on their parents! If parrots were close to being domesticated, then Charlie's behavior should vary greatly to a bird who's lineage could be traced for *years* within the pet trade!

sorry i just don't understand all those differences.... q, mq, advanced... huh?

MQ stands for multiple quotes. That is, you can quote multiple posts in one post... as I've done with two of your posts. I don't know if this image (below, click to enlarge!) will make things any clearer.... I'm just saying that if you quote who you are replying to in a thread, it may make things easier for those reading than replying to each post individually without quoting.

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I have one! Pseudo rescue, his name is erza. I live in their natural habitat and breeding grounds, so they are common over here.
Welcome to the forum!!!

No, you don't see a lot of Cherry-Headed Conures, nor do you see many Blue-Crowned Conures...I have always wanted a Blue-Crown Conure, and was trying to find a breeder for the longest time, and was willing to drive a distance to get a hand-raised baby, but to no avail, and I ended up bringing home my baby Senegal, Kane...You definitely don't see the rarer Conures in pet shops, maybe a specialty bird shop that breeds their own babies in-house; there are two such shops in New Jersey that I am familiar with, both breed and hand-raise their own babies in-house, and they have very experienced breeders working there as their hand-feeders. Both places breed a large number of different species of parrots, tons of them...but alas, no Blue Crown or Cherry Headed Conures...

As far as bringing a new bird into your home, regardless of the species, there is no way to know how Pritti would react at all, it's a guessing game...Sometimes they will bond very closely and be the best of friends, sometimes they get along and tolerate each other, but don't bond closely, sometimes they don't like each other at all but aren't aggressive towards each other, and then sometimes they absolutely hate each other and can't be allowed anywhere near each other or there will be violence and aggression. We have new members come here to forum all the time to ask just that question, they have a bird that they've had for a long time, they want to bring home a new bird, and they want to know how to "get their current bird to get along with the new bird"...And the answer is always the same: "You can't predict how they will get along, nor can you force them to get along, and if you do bring home a new bird, you simply need to be prepared to have to keep them completely separated, in separate rooms, having no contact, and be ready to spend equal time alone with both birds ever day"...that's the best answer you're going to get, regardless of the species...

I have 4 birds (and 8 Budgies in addition), a Senegal, a Quaker, a Green Cheek, and a Cockatiel, all between the ages of 1-3...My Quaker and my Green Cheek bonded very closely with each other right from the moment I brought my Green Cheek home, they always share stands/perches together, eat together, nap together, play together..My Cockatiel and my Green Cheek get along well together, can be left alone together and never fight, but they aren't bonded nor do they play together, while my Quaker would like my Cockatiel to die, and vice-versa...and my Senegal has nothing at all to do with the rest of them except during nighttime when all 4 of them are with me, watching TV, reading, playing video games, etc. And when they are all with me together at night before bedtime, they behave themselves very well, but it's always the same: The Quaker and the Green Cheek snuggling together on the top of the headboard of my bed, my Cockatiel is on the perch that is attached to the outside of her sleeping cage, preening herself and playing with her toys, and my Senegal is snuggled on my chest against my neck...But I know the rules, we have a strict routine, and we have to stick to it or there will be a fight, no doubt...
Pritti has since passed on. :( He was quite the little trooper!
They are actually from my homecity, guayaquil. They are known here as aratingas, and you see flocks of them all over. You can buy a baby one aratinga for under 30 bucks here, but their trade is illegal so its pretty shady. I got mine from a shop that misstreated him.
The "red and green" conures are now classified as Psittacara, not Aratinga. Somewhat recent, and I doubt many people are aware!

Here in the USA, they easily sell for $300-$600 and one place is listing them for as much as $800... I remember when they were around the $200-$300 mark.... and around 30 years ago when it was still possible to import them (before I was a bird keeper!), they probably sold for around $25-$50 per bird...

*LOVE* these guys, but I hate how many people are unintentionally hybridizing these guys... My first conure was given to me as "either a red masked or a mit-red" back in 2001. He was a cherry head, aka red masked. My second conure was given to me as a cherry head in 2006, but he's a mitred.

I only have my mitred conure now, and 12 years later, people still think he's a cherry head or red masked or red headed conure! No.. he's a mitred.... MY TURD! ;) I WISH the 'turd was a cherry head, but he's not! :D

Due to mistaken identities, these birds do end up getting hybridized... and I hate it! And that's not even getting into the rarer species of red and green conures... :( (waglers/scarlet/red fronted, finsch's, green, red throated...)

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