Also known as the black-hooded parakeet or the nanday parakeet, the nanday conure is a unique looking parrot that is a popular pet bird in the United States and England.
It is a medium-sized parrot, making it a nice option for someone who isn’t ready to commit to the size of a larger bird.
The name nanday comes from the indigenous names for the bird.
Are nanday conures good pets? Nanday conures are good pets. They have fun, vibrant personalities and are easy to train. However, their high energy means they have high stimulation and socialization requirements. This bird might be difficult for a beginner who does not have much experience with parrots.
Nanday conures are the best of both worlds. They are smaller in size, like a cockatiel, but can speak and interact like a macaw.
Add in their beautiful coloration, and they are an excellent option for a pet bird.
Nanday Conure Facts
Learning more about nanday conures can help you decide if this is the right pet for you.
Nanday Conure Appearance & Size
Nanday conures are approximately 12 inches long from beak to tip of tail, and they weigh around 5 ounces.
Their most well-known feathering is the “hood” of black feathers that surrounds their black beak.
Most of the body is green with a light blue patch on the chest. Black and blue feathers are seen on the tail and on the wings.
A fun addition to their plumage is red feathers around their legs, making it look like they are wearing red socks.
Nanday Conure Temperament & Personality
Like most conures, nanday conures are bright, energetic birds. They can be comical and mischievous.
Most importantly, you will never be bored when spending time with them.
Overall, they are affectionate and interactive with their family. However, like most conures, they can get upset and nippy if they don’t get their way.
Native Region & Habitat
Nanday conures are native to an area known as Pantanal, the largest tropical wetland in the world. It is located in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.
Flocks of 10 to 20 birds can be seen regularly. They are considered a nuisance in some areas because they will eat agricultural crops.
Nanday Conure Intelligence & Trainability
Nanday conures are extremely intelligent birds. They can often be seen in bird shows.
A common trick that they perform in shows is collecting a dollar bill from an audience member and then returning it back to them.
How Smart Are Nanday Conures?
Like most parrots, nanday conures are intelligent animals that are very aware of everything going on around them.
They can even learn your routine and anticipate behavior.
Their intelligence allows them to learn a number of behaviors, and they seem to enjoy the challenge of learning something new.
Are Nanday Conures Easy To Train?
Yes, nanday conures can be easy to train due to their intelligence and willingness to learn.
They enjoy interacting with their owners, and training is a great way to stimulate their brain while socializing at the same time.
It is a fun interaction for both the owner and the conure.
Nanday Conure Sounds & Vocalizations
With their naturally high-pitched voices, nanday conures are one of the louder parrot species. They are not suitable for apartments or shared living spaces.
Without reason, nanday conures will sometimes stop what they are doing and scream. This can be startling and frustrating for their owners.
These birds can be especially chatty when they are comfortable around people.
Nanday conures will easily learn words and phrases that they hear regularly.
Their vocabulary can include over 20 words, but their voice is raspy and not as clear as other parrots.
Nanday Conure Care
Like all parrots, optimal care will allow the nanday conure to live a happy and healthy life. However, they are not as frail or particular as some species of parrots.
Ideal Nanday Conure Diet
In the wild, nanday conures will eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries. They are known for going after agricultural crops grown near their habitat.
As a pet, they thrive on the same variety, but they don’t need as many calories as wild conures.
A pet nanday conure will thrive on a diet of pellets, vegetables, fruits, and seeds.
I contacted Avian and Exotic Medicine in Tennessee to see exactly what experts recommend for this energetic little parrot. Lori shared the following:
The majority, about 75%, of their diet should consist of pellets. The rest can be foods that you would normally eat, except for chocolate and avocados.
Of course, you don’t want to feed them a lot of processed foods, like cookies and chips. Focus on healthy foods instead, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to housing for nanday conures, bigger is always better. They like to be able to fly within their cage.
It is recommended to have a cage that is 3 feet tall at minimum.
Within the cage, perching and toys should be available. Since nanday conures are avid chewers, toys should be safe, whether they are left whole or destroyed.
These high-energy parrots will not do well if they are kept in a cage all the time.
At the bare minimum, nanday conures should be allowed to spend 4 hours a day outside of their cage.
They can play with toys, fly around safe rooms, and interact with their family and environment.
If provided with a large enough cage, they can also get some of their exercise while flying and playing inside the enclosure.
However, exercise outside of the cage is always advised for optimal health.
Play time outside of a cage can also help with mental stimulation for the nanday conure.
As an intelligent and social animal, they require interaction with other birds or their human family to prevent boredom and loneliness.
Socializing your conure with as many people as possible is also stimulating and can lead to a more relaxed demeanor around guests.
Toys, puzzles, and new experiences are also a great way to enrich your conure’s life.
A variety of items and experiences will keep the nanday conure from getting bored.
While parrot-safe toys are available to purchase, sometimes simple (but safe) household items can be the most exciting.
Nanday Conure Price
Nanday conures tend to cost between $400 and $600. Local breeders can be found through online searching.
Adopting a bird will usually cost less, and the bird sometimes comes with accessories, like a cage.
Nanday Conure Lifespan
Nanday conures can live over 20 years in captivity.
Proper care, including an optimal diet and plenty of exercise, is essential for your conure to live a long, happy life.
Nanday Conure Interesting Facts
- There are wild populations of nanday conures throughout cities in the United States, including Miami, San Antonio, and Los Angeles. These populations are made up of escaped or released pets.
- A silly behavior of nanday conures is “playing dead” – they will fall asleep on their back with their feet up in the air.
- Nanday conures enjoy bathing and will play in a water dish if offered. Don’t be surprised if they have a little too much fun and splash or flip the dish over.
Is a Nanday Conure the Same as a Nanday Parakeet?
Yes, nanday parakeet is another name for the nanday conure.
Conure is a name commonly used in the pet trade and aviculture, but parakeet is a name more commonly used in scientific discussions.
The nanday conure is also commonly referred to as a black-hooded parakeet.
Is a Nanday Conure a True Parrot?
Yes, a nanday conure is a true parrot. True parrots are in the superfamily Psittacoidea within the order Psittaciformes.
Psittaciformes also includes the superfamilies Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots).
Are Nanday Conures Rare?
Nanday conures are not rare. The IUCN lists the species as least concern (for extinction) and their population is increasing. However, a total population number is unknown.
Nanday parakeets are commonly found in the pet trade.
The Wild Bird Conservation Act (1992) prohibits the import of nanday conures into the United States, but they are still bred in captivity.
Can Nanday Conures Talk?
Yes, nanday conures are capable of talking. They will learn words and phrases through training or repeated exposure.
A vocabulary of around 20 words can be expected with focused efforts and patience.
At What Age Do Nanday Conures Start To Talk?
Owners have reported hearing their nanday conures saying their first words around 2 to 3 months of age.
However, some birds are shy and will not speak in front of people immediately.
If you want to train your nanday conure to speak, know that it could take a couple of months for the bird to learn.
7 Tips for Teaching Your Nanday Conure To Speak
- Build a good relationship with your conure. The bird will be more willing to work with you if it is well cared for and happy.
- Do short and frequent training sessions. Long sessions can become boring for the bird, and they might get frustrated.
- Eliminate distractions, such as children or television noise, when teaching new words or phrases.
- Use the phrase you are teaching frequently around the conure.
- Start with simple words. With only two syllables, “hello” is a great first word.
- Use positive reinforcement, meaning you reward the correct behaviors. Do not punish incorrect behaviors; just ignore them.
- Be patient. Nanday conures are smart, but they will learn at their own pace.
Are Nanday Conures Loud?
Like most parrots, nanday conures are loud. They have high-pitched voices that can be piercing.
Due to the noise level, nanday conures are not recommended for apartments.
Also, owners should be able to provide their bird with plenty of interaction and playtime because boredom can lead the bird to be loud and call out for attention.
Socialization and interaction are the best ways to minimize loud tantrums.
To learn about parrots general likes and dislikes, check out our post here – because a happy bird is usually less likely to complain and scream.
Training a Nanday Conure: 5 Keys To Success
- Build a strong relationship with your bird.
- Start with simple behaviors, like “step up.”
- Break down complex behaviors into smaller steps, and reward each step while learning.
- Ignore incorrect behavior and reward correct behavior.
- Once behaviors are trained, continue doing maintenance training sessions.
How Do You Know If Your Nanday Conure Is Happy?
A happy conure can be easy to spot once you know what to look for. Their body will be relaxed or they could be playfully moving around.
A lot of times, nanday conures will swing on their perches or hang upside down when they are content with their environment.
Since they are so smart, nanday conures can anticipate behavior and show their excitement accordingly.
For example, if they know they are about to be let out of their cage, you might see the bird wagging or flipping its tail and flapping its wings.
One of the best ways to tell if a nanday conure is happy is their vocalizations. A happy bird will be singing, talking, and whistling.
Even when the bird is alone, you might hear the conure quietly chattering to themselves.
This is an obvious contrast to shrill screams or loud alerted vocalizations when the bird is stressed.
Wondering how nanday conures express affection? You’ll find the answer here.
How Can You Tell If Your Nanday Conure Is Male or Female?
Male and female nanday conures have identical coloration, so you cannot tell them apart just by looking at them.
DNA sexing is required to determine the gender of your bird. Some female conures will begin laying unfertilized eggs when they reach maturity, but it is not guaranteed.
Do Nanday Parakeets Mate for Life?
Yes, nanday conures are monogamous and will mate for life. In the wild, they will group in breeding colonies that form nests in holes in tall trees.
Nanday Conure vs. Sun Conure
Both the nanday conure and sun conure are loud, medium-sized parrots.
The sun conure is an endangered species (due to deforestation and trapping for the illegal pet trade) that is native to the northeastern portion of South America.
Sun conures get their names for the vibrant gold and orange feathers that cover most of their body.
Nanday Conure vs. Green-Cheeked Conure
The green-cheeked conure is a smaller conure species than the nanday conure.
They have a similar native range, with both species living in the Pantanal region of South America.
The green-cheeked conures have a variety of color variations, especially in the captive breeding population.
Green-cheeked conures are quieter than nanday conures, but they are still noisy birds overall.
That’s a Wrap
All in all, the nanday conure is a fun, energetic parrot that is a joyful addition to a family.
This bird will keep you laughing and entertained when it receives proper care and socialization.