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Green-cheeked Parakeet

The Green-cheeked Parakeet (Pyrrhura molinae), is a small parrot of the genus Pyrrhura. The name Green-cheeked Conure is primarily used in aviculture, while the name Green-cheeked Conure is used elsewhere. It is native to forests of South America.


The Green-cheeked Parakeet is 26 cm long and weighs 60 to 80 g. It is mainly green, with a brown/black/grey crown, white bare eye-rings, green cheeks, blue primary wing feathers, a grey beak, and its long pointed tail is mostly maroon. It has short transverse striations on its breast and a red abdominal area. Males and females have an identical external appearance.


The Green-cheeked Parakeet has six subspecies:

Pyrrhura molinae, (Massena & Souance 1854)

*P. m. australis, Todd 1915

*P. m. flavoptera, Maijer, Herzog, Kessler, Friggens & Fjeldsa 1998

*P. m. sordida,

*P. m. molinae, (Massena & Souance 1854)

*P. m. phoenicura, (Schlegel 1864)

*P. m. restricta, Todd 1947

P. m. sordida naturally occurs as a green morph or as a yellow morph, The yellow morph is also called the Yellow-sided Parakeet, and was once erroneously considered to be a separate species, P. hypoxantha.

The Green-cheeked Parakeet is very similar to the Maroon-bellied Parakeet (P. frontalis), and formerly there have been speculations that they were conspecific.Juniper & Parr (1998) Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World p 462. ISBN 0-300-07453-0 It is also similar in appearance to the Blaze-winged Parakeet and the Black-capped Parakeet.

Distribution and habitat

The Green-cheeked Parakeet occurs in west-central and southern Mato Grosso, Brazil, through northern and eastern Bolivia to northwestern Argentina and northern Paraguay. Its habitat is forests and woodland, where it usually forms flocks of 10 to 20 individuals at treetop level, or larger flocks where there is plenty of food. Also a popular parrot pet for families and individuals.


The Green-cheeked Parakeet eats various seeds and fruits and probably other kinds of vegetable matter. The average clutch is 46 eggs. Average incubation is 24 days, varying from 22 to 25 days. They rarely squawk and can easily learn tricks and (limited) speech.. Green cheeks have also been known to use tools (especially their own feathers for scratching hard to reach places).


Green-cheeked Parakeets are common in aviculture and are popular companion parrots. They are playful, affectionate and intelligent, known as having a "big personality in a small body". They can learn to talk, albeit with a limited vocabulary and a gravelly voice. They like to be held (although some like it more than others) and can learn tricks such as lying on their backs and "kissing." Along with other Pyrrhura Parakeet, they are only moderately loud, therefore making acceptable pets for apartment dwellers. They can be prone to biting, particularly when young, but an owner can cure this behavior with patience and time. They love fruits, (especially bananas and raisins), and seeds such as sunflower, safflower and hemp seeds; all things found in their natural environments. Green-cheeked Parakeet also love table food; they are flock animals and love to eat with their family. They can eat potatoes, carrots, corn, well cooked meat, bread, pasta, plain popcorn, and even eggs. A clipped and/or caged bird can become obese from eating too many fatty seeds such as sunflower seeds and peanuts. A bird-pellet diet with a calcium supplement will give them the proper nutrition, but should not be used exclusively due to the presence of trace chemical additives and bonding agents not found in the Parakeet's natural habitat. A good rule of thumb is 30% pellet diet, 10% seeds, and the rest being fresh foods- fruits, vegetables, or cooked food. Some Parakeets with health problems related to the kidneys should not be fed pellets. Green-cheeked Parakeets can live to 30 years with proper care, though the average lifespan is typically 10 years due to owner neglect.

Colour mutations

In addition to the natural colour forms, colour mutants have been selectively bred in aviculture:

Cinnamon are lime green and have a lighter, almost pale color to the feathers. The head is tan and the tail feathers are a lighter maroon than in normal Green-cheeked Parakeets.

Yellow-Sided have a breast of bright colors.

Pineapple is Cinnamon and Yellow-sided combination. They have a breast of bright colors, a tan head and lime green feathers on the back like a Cinnamon. The tail feathers are the same as a Yellow-sided showing a halo effect.

Turquoise have a body with some blue-green and green feathers. The breast feathers are grayish and the tail feathers are gray.

File:Pyrrhura molinae (cinnamon) -KL Bird Park-6a.jpg|Cinnamon mutation

File:Pyrrhura molinae -pineapple mutation -50 days old-6b.jpg|Pineapple mutation (juvenile)

External links

World Parrot Trust Parrot Encyclopedia  Species Profiles

FAQ: Introduction to Green Cheeks

Green Cheeked Pyrrhura molinae from the International Conure Association

Pyrrura molinae videos of wild birds on the Internet Bird Collection

"Green-cheeked Parakeet" photo gallery VIREO

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Green-cheeked Parakeet

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