Friday, May 20, 2011
Species of the Day: Austral Conure
Scientific Name: Enicognathus ferrungineus
Adult Size: A little under 13 inches long, weighs 160 grams
Subspecies: E. f. minor
Adult Plumage: E.f. ferrungineus: Both adults a dull green in color with soft black/gray barring; red/brown forehead and lores; red/brown patch in the center of the abdomen; brown/red tail; dark grey bill; grey eye ring; red/brown eyes. E.f. minor: Both adults a darker green; abdominal patch a darker brown/red and less extensive, sometimes absent; smaller in size.
Call: Shrill calls made in flight; alarm calls more strident/urgent; also some calls harsher and grating. Some melodious cries made as well.
Quite rare in captivity, the Austral Conure makes a sweet and lovable companion. They have an easy-going disposition and are most active in the evening times, which makes them great for people who are away during the day. They are very friendly, fun-loving, inquisitive and even mischievous. They are only moderately noisy and most aren't very nippy, and they can be kept communally in an aviary type set up.
Average Life-Span: 15 to 25 years
Housing: Large, suspended cage or aviary a minimum of 9 feet long.
Diet: Fruit such as apples, pear, oranges, bananas, pomegranates and cactus fruit; vegetables such as carrots, celery, green beans and peas in the pod; leafy greens such as Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, sowthistle greens, dandelion greens, chickweed; Seed mix containing canary seed, millet, oats, buckwheat, safflower and hemp seeds; and soaked and sprouted sunflower seeds, cooked beans and pulses, boiled maize, small amounts of cubed hard cheeses and complete commercial bird kibble.
Enrichment: Provide overhead misters or a water bowl for bathing, untreated flowering or budding branches, a variety of perches, untreated wooden toys, vegetable tanned leather toys, puzzle/foraging toys, heat sterilized pine cones, ladders, swings and ropes.
Range: E.f. ferrungineus: Southern Chile in Aisen and Magallanes, and southern Argentina from southwestern Chubut south to Tierra del Fuego. E.f. minor: Central and southern Chile from O'Higgins south to Aisen and the eastern slopes of the Andes to southwest Argentina from Neuquen south to western Chubut.
Habitat: Found up to 2,000 feet in elevation mostly in wooded country, also in more open habitat and cultivated areas. Occurs at sea level in the southern parts of its range
Wild Diet: Mainly a seed eater, but also eats bamboo, nuts, acorns, fruits, berries and leaf buds. Also seen taking pollen and nectar from native plants such as Nothofagus and Araucaria
Ecology: Seen in flocks of 10 to 15 individuals but groups of up to 100 individuals can also be seen. Nests in tree cavities using thin bits of wood and other bird's feathers to line the nest.
Threat Summary: None at present
IUCN Rating: Least Concern
CITES Rating: Appendix II