Consultation with a Patagonian ConureA "Boneless" Conure
by Sally Blanchard
I found that it was actually pretty easy to tame wild-caught conures and I tamed a lot of them. I would gently wrap them in a towel (without attacking them) and then give them a good head skritch. That usually did the trick. An early consultation was with an imported Patagonian Conure. I was taming him for a friend so he stayed with me about a week. Most of the wild-caught parrots I worked with were feisty - not necessary nasty but they just didn’t understand why you were “messing around” with them. I had never even seen a Patagonian conure before and I thought the bird was adorable. He didn’t act like any conure I had met but acted as “boneless” as many of the cockatoos I had met. He just melted into my hands.
I was always concerned about a wild-caught parrot that was too tame because it could be a sign that the bird was sick. I heard that they could be carriers of the deadly “Pacheco’s virus”. At that point, there wasn’t a lot of emphases placed on quarantine but I always kept the parrots I was working with or bird sitting in a separate area in my finished basement and practiced stringent quarantine protocols. After talking to some other knowledgeable bird people, I discovered that Patagonians pretty much had this personality and that many people considered them to be the cockatoo of the conure world. He tamed down very nicely and went to live in his new home in about a week. I showed the woman and her two sons how to handle the conure and everyone was very happy in the new relationship, especially the bird. I missed him once he left. The last I heard he was still a very sweet and somewhat “boneless” companion.