Should I get another Green Cheek Conure?

by Tracie
(Texas)

Green Cheeks Widget and Buddy

Green Cheeks Widget and Buddy

So many people ask this question about not only Conures, but other species too. This is my experience, albeit limited.

We went through this when we brought Widget, our Yellow Sided Green Cheek home. She had not been weaned long and really just wanted to be with us all the time. In fact she got her name because it sounded like she was saying "Widget" all the time!

My husband felt so sorry for her. He felt like even though I was just 5 feet from her cage 10 - 12 hours a day, it just was not enough for her. I could only hold her so much and get my work done.

He told me to find her a friend. I knew from having this website, that you can't just go and get another bird and expect them to like each other. They may eventually like each other, but they may always hate each other too.

Once I made it clear that we were NOT buying Widget a friend, but we were buying US a new companion bird, I went on the hunt for another baby GC.

It so happened that the breeder that raised Widget also had another unrelated Normal Green Cheeked Conure just a couple of weeks older.

We kept Buddy and Widget in separate cages right next to each other for a couple of days. They had been in the same room at the breeder's, so I thought they might know each other already.

After a couple of days, we put both of them on the play top, neutral ground for both of them. They would run at each other, open beaked as if to tear each other apart for days.

We would always put the one who started at the other one first, back in the cage and give the one left on top a treat right in front of the "bad" bird.

It didn't take long before they got the picture, if you are good, you get a treat. So we would give them both treats when they didn't charge each other.

After a few weeks, they would preen each other and then fight. They would fight over toys and attention too. (They still do this!) Eventually the arguing became less and less as they established that Widget would rule the roost.

We finally tried putting them in the same 24x22 play top cage. They argued some, but nothing terrible so they stayed together from then on.

People warned me that they would NOT be people birds anymore but would prefer each other over us. That has not been the case at all. They both prefer human attention to each other.

Widget is the shy, temperamental one. If we get Buddy out first, she will run and hide in their tent. She rarely bites, unless we change out food or toys with her and Buddy in the cage. They both draw blood if you mess with THEIR cage! LOL Actually, this has lessened over the winter months.

I found when I had on a light jacket, I could change out the food without pain. Buddy would attack me and try to peck my arm to death. Once he found that I didn't react at all, in fact I held still for him to attack, he gave it up.

They still run at my arm and might even take a peck, but they have gotten used to my arm now and are not nearly so aggressive.

Oh, Buddy is the complete opposite of Widget. He is like a hyperactive 2 year old that just ate a jar of cookies with a shot of espresso. No two birds are alike.

Also, the myth that GC's are quiet is just that! We have a very long house. In fact it is two houses put together. A very sturdy brick home. When I leave the bird room, at the very end of the house, and go to our bedroom at the opposite end of the house I can still hear them screaming for my return. This is through three closed doors and 5 rooms away!

My GC's scream when anyone comes in to have a conversation with me. They want everyone to talk to them it seems. LOL If someone has been in the room for a while and then leaves, they scream for 5 or 10 minutes for them to return. ("One of the flock escaped!!" they are saying.)

I love our GC's, but I was not prepared for the funny, loud, diverse personalities I ended up with.

Comments for Should I get another Green Cheek Conure?

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Oct 12, 2016
please help me!
by: mary

Hi, please help me!! I bought a green cheek conure about 2 month ago from a store that kept them in one cage without any good condition. He is about 1.5 years old (as it mentioned on his foot ring) I never had from this kind but I had lots of cocktails and other pets that they really connected to me but this one….In first weak he (I guess it’s he because of his behavior) screamed a lot and did lots of gymnastic things (spin around one stick).so I opened his cage and he calmed down. he is free Until now during the day and at night he goes to the cage (it’s his safe place).I pick up his favorite food(sunflower seeds and grapes) so in specific time I sit near him and he jumps to my hand and eats them , then he go back to his place immediately! He is so afraid of us and never let us to touch him or even close to him. He also takes a bathe for more than 3 times in a day and plays a lot with himself during the day. I pay so much attention to him and talk to him but I do not know what I have to do. I was never in this situation before. I can send his pics if it’s necessary. I will be very thankful if you help me!! Is he going to change his attitude?

Editor's note: Please visit our parrot training page for help at http://www.parrot-and-conure-world.com/parrot-training.html . We have all kinds of helpful tips and informative training articles some specifically for conures..

Sep 07, 2016
A Tip I received
by: Anonymous

I saw this comment earlier - never sleep with your bird. EVER. Even if you somehow manage not to crush them, birds require an undisturbed night of sleep for 10 to 12 hours.

A tip I received from a breeder is to always prioritize your original bird. Take her out first, feed her first, give her a treat first, etc. Not only will it remind your first bird that she isn't being replaced or has to fight for your attention, it will show the second bird who rules the roost. Still always supervise them together.

I personally wouldn't want to put two in the same cage. Everyone needs their private time and to have their own toys/food bowls/etc. Ever had a roommate you have to share everything with? Ugh. So unless they are mates or best friends, I think both birds would want distance from each other a majority of the time, and I'd rather a fight not break out when I'm not home. Birds can seriously hurt and even kill each other.

If you do not have a handfed, hand tamed bird, a companion for the bird is a good idea. These birds are mostly wild and would benefit from a friend. Hand tamed birds prefer human interaction. Likewise if you work full time, another bird at least gives your first bird someone to talk to.

My conure is not loud. She is female which may have something to do with it. We live in a duplex and even when she screams my neighbors have said they never hear her. My Pyrenees' bark is way louder! Every bird is different, but GCC are def one of the more quiet parrots. To answer another person's question, my conure is one year old and can say some words. Her favorites are "where's Sammy?" (my dog), "give me a kiss" and gives kissy noises, "pretty buuuurd", and "what's up". She also likes to mock my laugh and copies the sound of knuckle cracking. It's possible part of the reason she is mostly quiet is because she's enjoying asking where Sammy is 24/7.

Jun 09, 2016
much needed friend
by: cathy

My green cheek Conure flew.into my life. He land3d on my brothers shoulder and no one wanted him. After lots of looking and advertising we could not find an owner, so i claimed him. Or he claimetherd me.
I've never had a bird before and had no idea they could be so loving and intelligent. I needed a friend in a new town as i was lost and hhomesick.chickyboy is the best thing that could have happened.

Jan 21, 2016
My gc mia
by: Anonymous

I've had my gc mia for 4 months. She is very young, not sure how young. I'm wondering how big she will get. I've had cocktails before but not this breed. She is the best thing I've ever done! I love her!!! She is very cuddly and loving. She likes to be with me but also likes her cage time. She has never bitten me but does like to groom me, eyelashes, eyebrows, ears. If she nibbles too hard on my ear I say firmly NO and she stops. She's the best!!!

Apr 27, 2014
R.I.P. sammygirl
by: Anonymous

we had an unfortunate incident this week. my green cheeks sammygirl passed away on thursday. she was 3 years old and my hubbby accident crushed her when she was sleeping in the bed. we have been doing this for so long over 20 years with all the birds. should we sleep with the new bird? we got a yellow cheeks conure 5 weeks old named mickey. so adorable! i love conures...

p.s. what age do they start talking to you?

Feb 11, 2014
baby yellow-sided
by: Devin

my new baby yellow-sided Sammy is awesome! ive had her for 2 weeks now and she has never bitten me! she was pretty fearful at first but it turned out to be good because she is a little sweetheart now lol

Feb 06, 2013
Our new friend
by: JEFF M OF SAN JOSE

We have a pinapple green cheek that is 7 mths old. He is quite the little love, and gets along very well with our cockatiel, who is about 6 yrs old. Keep up the good work on this site

Jeff

Jun 11, 2012
My GCC experience
by: Chili and Tinys mom

(sorry this is bit long!)
We had a parakeet and a cockatiel for many many years after the tiel passed away we didn't know if tiny would be lonely.. They were cage mates from very early on Sparky (tiel) would sing songs to tiny EVERY morning it was the sweetest thing... But Tiny had his handsome "mirror buddies" he lived to feed and talk to  and for almost a year seemed content.  We decided however to to get a GCC and are so happy we did! He (or she) is Chili and from day ONE he was the most content bird! Chili loves every single "flock mate" in the house and even any friends that drop by. Truly amazing bird! Loves to cuddle to be pet will crawl in your shirt...can go under his wings rub his belly... There is not an ounce of mistrust. He doesn't scream ever...he says a few garbled words like HELLO and KISSES but we have two small dogs as well a Chihuhua and and Pomeranian... The Pom seems to be his pillow his preening mate his best friend. The pom will sit on my lap and Chili will sit on the Pom! He rolls on his back slides down his thick fur for fun rides...they will sit together all the time if I let them! I know how lucky I am ALL my animal babies get along incredibly well! The best thing chili does now is make sniffing noises just like the dogs do! I think this is from when he is in his cage the dogs will always go and greet him like that they sniff him thru the bars. So chili assumes that is the flock greeting! Now we all make the sniffing noise when we meet and greet! Chili says "kisses then sniff sniff sniff!" I LOVE MY GCC! (my hisband aptly dubbed chili "our puppy with wings"!

Apr 27, 2012
All is good
by: Tif

My GCC screams when my husband leaves the room, but otherwise is cintent and quiet. They are a nippy species though!

Feb 28, 2012
Every bird is different!
by: Anonymous

I did alot of reasurch on various birds. I decided to get a green cheek conure. No doubt a green cheek conure. I was concerned about how much noise it would make! I have had him for 8 months now and NEVER heard him scream. The loudest noise is a playfull laugh!!!!!!!! He loves to talk and make noises, but NEVER screams, NEVER loud!!!! Not even close to being loud! Can't seem to stop nipping and bitting tho lol. Luv him anyways (sex unknown)

Dec 24, 2011
Does Not Stop Screaming
by: Paul

I have a GC that has been with me for 6 months that screams constantly if I'm not with him. I'm currently on holidays and I had to bring him with me on a 12hr drive to avoid the separation anxiety and the constant screaming my family would have endured until I returned. So I'm sitting with the bird on my shoulder and have come to the realisation that I can no longer do this. Is it possible to get another smaller or less talkative bird to keep GOKU company? As there is no way I could handle two GC's..... HELP

Editor's note: If you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, at Parrot Questions

Jun 21, 2010
Loud Green Checks Too!
by: Anonymous

I have had the very same experience you have had! Mine are very loud! I was glad to read a story the same as mine!
Take Care!

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