» Also called Burrowing parrot» The largest conure: length about 17-18”» There are 4 sub-species: C.p.patagonus (Lesser Patagonian), C.p.conlara, C.p. andinus, C.p.bloxami(Greater Patagonian)» Nests in river banks and cliffs.» Range includes Argentina and Chile where it is almost extirpated.» The Patagonian conure can occur in large flocks and is considered an agricultural pest in some of its range. It is thought by some ornithologists that this parrot may need large populations in order to find a mate and breed and there is a fear that it could become a 21st century Carolina parakeet if its populations continue to decline (see Allee effect in the glossary on this website)
When I first started working with parrots, I tamed a couple of wild-caught Patagonian Conures and I found that they were really gentle birds that were easy to tame. I thought that they were wonderful from the very first bird I met. For years many breeders stayed away from them because of the fact that the imported birds had a reputation as being Pacheco’s carriers - a fatal disease. They are still somewhat uncommon as a companion conure.
Patagonians are the largest conure and their subtle colors can be beautiful. They are very different in appearance than other conures. They live in large flocks in the wild and they often form bonds with several people in a family.
I haven’t talked to many people who have one of these delightful parrots but the ones I have talked with have a lot of good things to say about them. I have often heard the statement that Patagonians have the cuddle factor of a cockatoo. During a cuddle fest, they fluff up and get all limp as if they have no bones in their body at all. Other people believe that they must be more related to the small macaws than conures because of their behavior.
In the wild, these conures spend a lot of time on the ground and nest in cliffs so Patagonians like tunneling and cuddling in tubes. They also like to spend time on the ground. It is best to put a sheet on the floor with some toys and treats to set a floor boundary for these curious birds. They also love to play with their caregivers on a bed.
Patagonians can be quite loud but some of their noise can be controlled with proper guidance. They can learn quite a few words and enunciate fairly well. Patagonians are also what is referred to as crepuscular. This means that they are active at twilight and even into the night. In the wild, they are observed flying by moonlight so they can be noisy at night. They also seem to enjoy announcing the sunrise.