Information on the Dusky Conure Dusty along with pictures.
Annie covers everything you need to know about her Dusky Conure Dusty.
Annie sent this wonderful information for everyone to enjoy and learn from. Thanks Annie!
Dusty was born on April 2006. I got him/her (no DNA tested yet) on September 2006.
About the tameness:
He was fierce and only nice to my husband when we got him. He chose to ADOPT my husband in the store. He was extra sweet to my husband but I was bitten badly. I kept on trying and read the books, and did research on Internet about how to tame a conure.
I kept on trying, some minor bloody scars happened on my hand as I tried. I did not give up.. After several weeks, Dusty let me touch and tickle his head, neck, belly and under his wings... :)
We lured him to step out of the cage by flashing sunflower seed on the end of the wooden perch in our hand, by saying in a nice tone: "Come here baby.. come here.." Slowly, he got used to the perch, then we lured him to step up in our open palm with sunflower on it... or apple chunk.
At first he would bite aloooooooot and "yell" at us. With love and patience we kept on trying. If he got to bitey we closed the cage and walked away from his cage, pretended to get busy and ignored him for five minutes or so, then we talked to him nicely encouraged him not to bite before trying the step up to our hand training.
If he tried, he got the "yummy treat" on our palm. He learned quite fast to at last trust my opened palm as a plate for his treat.
Now, while I'm witting this story, February 2007, Dusty will willingly step up to my hand, my husband was jealous when it happened last several days ago.
About sleeping time:
At night, Dusty will insist that I pet him along his head to the back and tail. He allows me to hold his body with both of my hands while he holds on to the inside of the cage, then I whisper to him "I love you, I love you" until he feels cozy and warm. He will let go from the cage and move on to my fingers and then he soon falls asleep on my fingers as the perch in his cage. He is spoiled isn't he?
My husband can never do this to put him to "sleep" like I do. Dusty will bite the *#@! of him and try to look over his shoulder to look for me until I come to pet him good night.
After several minutes of doing the "lullaby talking" he will growl and laugh at him self before crawling into his happy hut to sleep on his belly. (When he sleeps like that, he looks like an iguana with wings. It reminds me of my almost 6 ft long iguana I had gave away to my brother after I left my hometown a long time ago.)
About the time spent with us or alone:
Every time I come home from work, he is already screaming for me when he hears our car pulling into the drive way. He has sharp hearing. He used to scream whenever I stepped away from the cage, but I always tried to tell him I'm not far from him by saying "I'm here, I'm here baby..." then he will quite down.
Whenever I would leave the room, he would scream again, and quite loud for his size. Then I would say "I will be right back baby, you stay here okay?" I said the same sentence all the time to get him used to me leaving him or the cage. Now he understands that I will be back later and that I am not abandoning him. (Smile)
He still gets his wings clipped at the pet store. Sometimes if i worked on computer for "too long" he would fly down from the cage to the laptop and try to bite off the keys to "demand" attention.
Whenever he needs to be left alone in the house, we keep Dusty in his cage. We worry that he will hurt himself biting the dangerous electrical cords. We always turn on the radio with some jazzy kind of music or dancy kind of music.. or TV for him to watch and listen to. If he likes the music or advertisement jingles, he will whistle, flap his wings and nod his head repeatedly and get it oooooon... :)
About ability to speak:
Sometimes Dusty will grumble or "try" to talk in birdy gibberish language that we can't understand at all. Lately he is getting better at making sounds like "I love you." It's not perfect, but when you hear it you will know that it sounds like "I love you" with the exact tone and three "syllable sound. Also, he is getting better at saying "What?" Dusty is also trying to say "Kiss Kiss" and then makes kissing sounds and "wing, wing" while lifting up his wings.
About the diet:
I offered him some bird seeds and pellet combination with dried papaya, pineapple, carrots, peas, dried raisins. He threw all the pellets away and ate only the dried fruits and seeds.
Then I learned that he also NEED to eat fresh fruit and veggies, so I introduced broccoli, red or green bell peppers, banana, grapes, orange, fresh corn shaved off the cob and apples.
He looooooves Apple the most. Sometimes I get the freeze dried bite sized dried strawberry, pineapple and banana from the baby food section in the store. He loves those too, but he always wants to dip the dried food in his water bowl, so I reduced the portions and use those for treats mixed in his seed+pellet bowl.
Sometimes, out of excitement, Dusty growls and laughs when I put the food or fruit in his bowl. He is so spoiled, he wants me to hold the apple on my palm and he will eat it on my palm as if my palm is a plate.
If my husband offered him the apple or other fruit, Dusty will hold the food on his own. He specifically wants to "boss" me around when it comes to eating. Whenever he finishes one chunk of fruit, he will whistle at me and nods his head as if he is saying "I want more."
About bath time:
Dusty will whistle whenever I hold the spray bottle and ask him "Dusty you want a shower?" He will nod his head repeatedly and whistle. Then when I spray the water on him, he will lift up his wings to get the underneath feathers wet. He will keep on asking for me to spray him until he is soaking wet and the water drips like heavy rain hehehe.
He will lift up his chin and close his eyes enjoying the mist coming from the bottle. I tried to train him to take a bath out of many kinds of bowls like from my noodle bowl, lunch meat box, and bath-time bowl bought from the pet store intended for parrots. He just refused to step into the bowl and just drank the water from it. He tried to put one foot in, but then freaked out, then turned around, tried to put one foot into the water backwards, then freaked out again. It was funny.
It has been months of trying the bath. I keep on trying, but the spray bottle works fine. I did not have the guts to take him to the shower in our bath room yet. My husband is very over-protective when it comes to dusty, so we decided to stick to the spray bottle.
About his playfulness:
Dusty is very smart in tricking me when it comes to playing time. He will pick up his Popsicle sticks and drop them in front of the open cage, whistle at me, nodding his head until I picked the stick up for him. He growls or laughs at me, then he will repeat it again.
I used to hang a bunch of toys in his cage, until one day his toenail became caught in the parrot pinata. He screamed panicky and painfully. BOY! IT WAS THE LOUDEST! Then I decided to buy him a chewing wood chunk, or sticks, or just a plain plastic bird food bowl.
He can entertain himself for hours just playing with one of his new toys. I only put the hanging toys in for him IF my husband or me are at home to watch him, just in case his toenail gets jammed again.
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