The Conure de Molina or Green-cheeked Conure: Advice and good breeding practices

The Molina's Parakeet is a species of parakeet measuring in adulthood about 25 cm from head to tail. Its plumage is predominantly green, mainly on the head, hence its other name "Green-cheeked Parakeet". Its life expectancy in captivity can be up to 25 years, or even 30 years if it is bred in good conditions.

The natural habitat area of the Conure de Molina
The Conure de Molina lives in the wild in South America. The species is divided into 5 subspecies, differentiated by the location of their habitat and variations in feather colours:

  • 1 subspecies lives in the primary forests of eastern Bolivia,
  • another has its living area divided between northeastern Bolivia and central-western Mato Grosso (Brazil),
  • another is in the southeast of Mato Grosso,
  • another in the regions of Palmaito and Chiquitos in Bolivia,
  • and one in northeastern Argentina.
  • Hypoxantha mutation: the bird's flanks are essentially yellow and the red colour on the belly is reduced,
  • opaline mutation: increase in the red colour on the belly,
  • cinnamon mutation: the head is between white and very light brown,
  • opaline cinnamon mutation: the mutation is also called "pineapple" because the bird has a clear head and a more or less red belly,
  • turquoise mutation: the belly is no longer red at all and the bird is generally blue-greenish,
  • turquoise opaline mutation: the bird is greenish blue with a small amount of red on the belly,
  • turquoise cinnamon mutation: the mutation is also called "silvery"; the bird's plumage is predominantly light with slightly blue wings,
  • turquoise opaline cinnamon mutation: the mutation is also called "blue pineapple"; it is the turquoise cinnamon version with a little red on the belly,
  • mutation misty: the bird has darker plumage than the others,
  • dilute mutation: the bird's plumage is pastel with brighter coloured wings,
  • suncheek mutation: it combines the characteristics of opaline, cinnamon and dilute. The bird has a red tail and torso but a light head, yellow flanks and greenish yellow wings,
  • mint mutation: this is a combination of the turquoise and dilute mutations; the bird is mint to water colour,
  • lutino mutation : the bird is all yellow with red eyes.

The mutations
A Conure de Molina is generally described as having a predominantly green plumage, a breast covered with dark brown and light golden scales, a forehead, cap, neck, black beak and legs, blue remiges, red tail, white eye circles and brown irises.

However, the plumage and eye colour may be different, without constituting a distinct subspecies. It is not uncommon for parakeets to show a mutation, a term that refers to a change in the physical characteristics of the young compared to the characteristics of the parent pair.

The mutation is a genetic change that is visible from birth. Here are different mutations observed in the Conure de Molina :

The Conure de Molina is an intelligent bird
Belonging to the parrot family, this little bird is intelligent like all the birds of this large family. It is extremely curious and likes to observe its environment with attention.

Quickly understanding the meaning of gestures, the Conures de Molina can easily beg their owner for treats. They can also do silly things, such as undoing the ties of the various objects attached to the cage. More annoying and even prejudicial, they can open the cage's hatches. So you must keep an eye on them!

It is all the more important to teach them some basic commands. Given their intelligence, learning will be quick, but it will need to be maintained regularly. The most important of these is the "Step-Up" command, which trains the bird to put itself on its owner's finger. This will allow you to take the bird out of its cage. The recall is the other essential command: it consists in making the bird come to you, either by words, sounds or gestures. This will make it easier for the bird to come back if it runs away from home.

Molina's Conure needs interaction
It's a bird that needs a lot of attention. A bored Conure de Molina will not live as long: it needs to be stimulated by various interactions. If the bird is alone, it will need to be played with and provided with toys and objects to gnaw (to be renewed regularly).

Acquiring several specimens allows the birds to play with each other. But of course, it makes more noise. Because this bird regularly manifests itself throughout the day by vocalizations, to make itself understood or to express its discontent and desires. This can become tiring in the long run.

It is therefore essential to think carefully before deciding to acquire one or more Conures de Molina.

Tips for the cage of the Conure de Molina
The Conure de Molina is an active bird that likes to move around. It therefore needs a minimum of space: for a single individual, the cage must be at least 70 cm wide by 60 cm high and 40 cm deep. When there are several birds, the width stretches to 120 cm for the same height and depth.

Placing nests in the cage is essential because Molina's Conures like to sleep there, even outside breeding periods.

Tips for feeding Conures de Molina
The Conures de Molina are granivorous and frugivorous.
On the seed side, industrial mixtures for large parakeets are quite suitable.
On the fruit side, you can make your own pâté from eggs and vegetables and/or fruit cut into small pieces and mixed.
Small pieces can also be given to peck, according to the seasons: apple, grape, peach, kiwi, carrot, zucchini, cucumber, etc...

Don't forget, of course, to provide the bird with clean, fresh water at will.

If your Conures de Molina breed, you must increase the vitamin intake during the breeding period: germinated seeds, ready-made vitamin supplements. Calcium is also important for the female: a cuttlefish bone must be made available before and after laying.