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I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.

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3:17 p.m. 2012-12-29

A Breeding Timeline

Peachfront's Note: I'm just copying a lot of this verbatim from my original diary written at the time.

  • Summer 1982: I bought an imported male Peachfronted Conure, Arthur, directly from the importer, who had a large facility in Lacombe for post-quarantine birds. A young male, sexed by feeling the vent spacing. I didn't need a more accurate technique since I bought the bird for a pet. Price: $50. Arthur bonded to me quickly and he showed some evidence of sexual maturity, such as attempting to feed me regurgitated food.
  • October 14, 1988: Having learned more about the importance of breeding parrots to relieve the pressure on the collection of wild birds, I decided to investigate breeding. I bought Gwen, a single adult imported Peachfronted Conure, for $45. She had a missing toe that was clubbed over but was otherwise healthy. I didn't recall how I chose her, but she was not surgically sexed. I'm thinking I went by instinct and the shape of her head.
  • October 17, 1988: I clipped both of Gwen's wings and trained her about 30 minutes by sitting close to open door, some stick riding. She had to be captured with towel for wing-clipping and return to cage. She is shy but not terrified, no panicked squawking, etc.
  • Nov. 14, 1988: After a month of quarantine, I move her into the bird room. Some squawking from Arthur, however, I petted and coddled him out of it.
  • A long gap between entries: Arthur was not easily persuaded to transfer his affections from me to Gwen, and I had to slowly distance myself from him, instead of allowing him to spend hours playing on my shoulder or arm. It was a slow process.
  • April 27, 1989: On Monday April 24, I put Gwen and Arthur together after gradually moving their cages closer and closer. The new cage, including nestbox, was built by Roger.


    • $30 for 1"x2" hardware cloth
    • $5.80 for 2 door clips
    • $1.30 for new dish
    • about a dollar's worth of new plywood board
    • J-clips and corks were around the house

    It was so cute when I put them together. Gwen kept trying to preen Arthur (both are molting) for about 10 minutes. He nipped at her and tried to drive her away. Then he realized it felt good. In 20 minutes, he was grooming her back. They were inseparable the rest of the day.

    By Tuesday, they were perching on dowel at entrance to nestbox. By Thursday evening, Gwen was inside chewing.

    Note: Beethoven, the Pekin Robin [a much smaller softbill species], found a way into their cage Thursday. We found him sitting inside, calmly eating a piece of carrot, as A. and G. watched from nest box perch. I could not believe that they hadn't squawked or tried to hurt him.

  • May 25. A. & G. get along beautifully, almost always sitting or playing in close contact with each other.
  • Feb. 24, 1990. Gwen didn't come out of the nestbox, and I was worried. Roger and I moved Pekins outside so I could lower conure cage and check nest box. Gwen was all right, and there were two white eggs in the box!!
  • Feb. 25, 1990. Gwen incubates and Arthur sits nearby. He goes to bed early (5 or even earlier) to be near her. Still 2 eggs (checked in A.M. when Gwen came out to eat).
  • March 12, 1990. Eggs infertile -- mostly air space. Shell seemed soft when I cracked them open after candling. Lack of calcium??
  • March 18, 1990. Twice seen birds mating side by side to press vents together. I don't know if that position will work to fertilize the egg.
  • 3-20-90. A second egg this morning.
  • 3-22-90. A third egg!!
  • 3-24-90. 4 eggs!
  • 4-16-90. Returned from vacation. 2 eggs had hatched, 2 infertile.
  • 4-27-90. Gwen and Arthur still caring for chicks.
  • 5-29-90. Both chicks can fly a little. The bigger one ("Ronnie") is sleek and pretty, the little one ("Courtney") still has prickles on its neck.

UPDATE: Courtney and Ronnie are now over 22 years old and still going strong.

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