Pineapple Green Cheek Conure

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The Pineapple Green Cheek Conure is a small parrot with a big personality. Their plumage is green with red, blue or yellow markings on the wings, tails and chests. They weigh around 70 grams, live up to 30 years and make attractive pets. This occasionally talkative little bird gets its amazing color pallet from a sex linked gene. Only female Conure birds display this cool coloration, but males can carry it. In the wild they are native to central and south America, and known as green-cheeked parakeets. Today we’ll find out whether you are a good match for a pet Pineapple Green Cheek Conure!

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This bird has been a parrot lover’s favorite ever since this color mutation was first discovered. Breeders have been hard at work for decades to figure out how to reliably breed captive Pineapple Green Cheek Conures. What they discovered along the way will both surprise and fascinate you! And now, get ready to meet the smart, playful, eye catching and adorable Conure.

The Wild History of the Pineapple Green Cheek Conure

Pineapple Green Cheek Conures are native to Central and South America where they are often called green-cheeked parakeets. These beautiful and brightly colored birds are officially known as Green Cheek Conures, or Pyrrhura molinae. The pineapple coloration is a specific color mutation or morph – an unusual change in the standard feather coloration associated with the species.

Most wild Green Cheek Conures display the standard dark green plumage with splashes of red and blue on the abdomen, wings and tail. But in the 1980s, researchers discovered that a small percentage of wild Green-cheek parakeets are naturally born with yellow plumage in place of the blue.

This inspired aviculturists to begin working with color genetics to produce Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conures in captivity. Today, we have those early breeders to thank for the beautiful Pineapple Green Cheek Conure color morph.

Pineapple Green Cheek Conure Appearance

The Pineapple Green Cheek Conure color mutation can vary from one bird to the next. However, all birds with this color pattern will have certain key characteristics in common. The pineapple color mutation itself features yellow plumage on the abdomen and along the sides of the torso and on the cheeks.

The tail is typically a light red and light red, brown, orange or gold is interspersed with the yellow feathers on the abdomen and face. Wings are typically light green.

Pineapple Green Cheek Conure Color Genetics

Researchers published the complete genome map for the Green-cheeked Conure in 2016. But there is still so much to learn about how the genes that control for different color mutations interact.

What conure breeders know is that the Pineapple Green Cheek Conure color morph is sex-linked to the female bird. Male conures can only be carriers of the gene. To produce pineapple morph babies, both parent birds must contribute the correct color genes.

Color Mutations

Breeders also know that the color mutation we call pineapple is actually an opaline mutation combined with a cinnamon mutation. The opaline mutation creates an irregular color pattern in the color(s) it controls.

While color patterns will look similar from one chick to the next, no two color patterns will ever be identical.
The cinnamon mutation is also a sex-linked mutation. It interferes with melanin (pigment) production. The effect is to mute darker colors such as black and fed. The cinnamon mutation typically also produces lighter skin color and eye color.

In the case of the Pineapple Green Cheek Conure, the cinnamon morph turns the black head plumage brown and lightens the red plumage to more of a light red with orange or beige tones, giving the bird more of a pastel appearance overall.

Pineapple Green Cheek Conure Temperament

The Pineapple Green Cheek Conure didn’t just become popular because of their beautiful appearance. These small parrots are lively and intelligent and they are very curious and playful. They have become very popular as pets because they are affectionate and interactive without being overly large or loud.

Can Pineapple Green Cheek Conures Talk?

All Green Cheek Conures are capable of learning to talk. But they are not considered to be the true talkers of the parrot world. These birds are less vocal than many parrot species and are thus less inclined to mimic or vocalize.

pineapple green cheek conure

Potential Health Issues

Because Pineapple Green Cheek Conures are so smart and lively, they need a lot of interaction and enrichment to stay healthy and happy in captivity. A bored, lonely bird may start to pick at or pluck their feathers.

Conures in general are also vulnerable to proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a wasting inflammatory disease that affects the gastrointestinal system. There is no effective treatment and researchers still do not know exactly what triggers it.

Other diseases that can affect the Conure include psittacine beak and feather disease, Aspergillosis and malocclusion (misalignment) of the beak.

How Long Does a Pineapple Green Cheek Conure Live?

Captive bred Pineapple Green Cheek Conures can easily live for two to three decades with a healthy diet, an enriching environment and proper preventative veterinary care from a qualified avian veterinary professional.

Feeding and Housing

Even though these conures are small parrots, they still need lots of room and the best cage size is two feet by two feet by two feet minimum for a single conure. Cage bars should be spaced between one-half inch and three-quarters inch.

A wild Pineapple Green Cheek Conure would eat fruits, vegetation, seeds, nuts, berries and even insects. Pet conures should be offered plenty of fresh, washed produce, seeds and nuts and a complete and balanced avian pellet suitable for small conures. Fresh water should always be available.

Where To Buy a Pineapple Green Cheek Conure

The Pineapple Green Cheek Conure is a popular color morph and demand for these birds is consistently high. You may need to get on a waiting list for a chick from a reputable breeder.

Alternately, check with local parrot rescue groups to see if you can find an adult conure who needs a new forever home.

Is a Conure The Right Pet For Me?

The Pineapple Green Cheek Conure is a fun and fun-loving small companion parrot with a relatively long lifespan and minimal space requirements. Plus, these birds are beautiful and quiet. So it is easy to see why these conures are so popular!

Are you thinking about adding a Pineapple Green Cheek Conure to your family? Let us know in the comments.

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