Green Cheek Conure Bonding

Bonded pairs are the closest green cheek conures come to love. Parrots, like our pyrrhura molinae (green cheek conure) pairs, mate for life. 

Companion birds select other birds and humans to bond/mate with based on their personality. A green cheek conure bonds with one special green cheek, or human being of their choosing.

What Is a Parrot Bond?
Bonded green cheek conures are like a married couple, and shouldn’t be separated. Bird bonds are so strong that when bonded pairs are separated, either bird could become depressed and sick. Green cheek conures may bond with humans or other green cheeks. 
How can you tell when a green cheek has bonded? 

Bonded birds literally do everything together. A bonded pair will eat, play, bathe and explore together. Bonded birds rarely fight, outside of play fighting. There is safety in numbers, and in imitation.  Bonded pairs imitate one another, sharing activities, and may spend the whole day together. Conures also bond and mate with the same gender at times, if the opposite gender is unavailable – a bird’s instinct to bond is very strong!

How to tell if your bird has bonded with you? A bonded bird will follow you around, interested in whatever you’re doing. A bonded bird will try to eat your food, tap-dance on your keyboard, and call to you when you’re absent. Your green cheek will imitate you – eating when you’re eating (even in the cage) and bathe when you’re washing your hands, for instance.
Green Cheek Conure Bonding With Other Parrots

Sometimes, green cheek conures bond with other bird species like sun conures, quaker parrots or parakeets. Bonding with sun conures and quaker parrots (larger birds) and parakeets (smaller bird species) is not recommended. Bonded pair fighting is rare, but happens. So – green cheek conures bonding with smaller or larger bird species can cause injury to your pets in case of a “lover’s spat.”
Green Cheek Conure Bonding With Humans
In larger pet bird species, bonding is dangerous. African grey parrots, macaws, and cockatoos bond to one human being, and become aggressive to other family members, including kids. Luckily, green cheek conures bond with the whole family. 
What does “whole-family” bonding mean? A green cheek conure still bonds with only one human being. However, green cheeks, unlike african greys, macaws or cockatoos, will stay friendly after bonding with a human. They do not become aggressive with family members, instead remaining sweet and lovable with the whole family – leaving the kids safe.
Green Cheek Conure Bonding With Other Birds
Turquoise Conure Pair

If you value your green cheek as a pet, don’t let him bond with an avian friend. Some owners ask:

“Should I get my green cheek conure a friend/buy another bird? S/he seems lonely when I’m gone.”
The answer? No way Jose! Not unless you yourself want another bird. When green cheeks bond with another bird, they don’t need human company anymore. It’s sad, but true. 

This is why, in pet stores and aviaries, the “pet” birds are in the front, with the “breeding pairs” in the back. Once a green cheek conure bonds and mates, they become unsuitable as a pet. The bonded green cheek pair would rather spend time with each other, and bite any human intruders.

Picture it: would you rather try and bond with a baboon, or another human being? 
If there were no other humans on earth, you would pick the baboon, but given the chance, you would choose your own species. Your green cheek conure feels the same way (and you’re the baboon.)
When green cheek conures bond with another bird (of any species) they realize that being social with birds is  more satisfying. If you want to keep your bird a pet, keep your bird single, and don’t let them socialize with other birds. If you want your bird to breed, or live a more “satisfying” life, get another green cheek conure. 
It’s a sad choice: should you let your bird bond and perhaps be happier, or keep your bird single, and keep your sweet pet? Remember, if your green cheek conure has socialized and bonded with humans only, it probably doesn’t get lonely for other birds. If you are okay with getting bitten or rejected by your once sweet green cheek, you can get a second green cheek conure.

Green Cheek Conure Bond Broken

A broken bond between birds or humans is like breaking up a relationship – breakups happen. Green cheek conures who have bonded or even mated can decide they suddenly don’t like each other. When a bond is broken, green cheeks fight, resulting in injuries. 

If your “love-birds” start fighting, place them into separate cages for awhile. Play fighting is okay, and part of a green cheek conure bond. However, play fighting is not the same as real fighting. Green cheeks who actually fight rip out feathers, and cause beak injury or bleeding. 

One bird may become a bully, pushing the other bird off the perch and preventing them from eating. If you notice bully behaviors, such as pushing from perch or preventing another bird from eating, or blood and ripped out feathers, separate the birds. Green cheek conures whose bonds are broken should be separated to prevent fighting.

Broken Trust With Humans

Bird trust and bird bonding go hand in hand. After all, your bird must trust you before bonding. Breaking the trust/breaking the bond happens sometimes. Green cheek conures break bonds with humans, as well.  Broken trust happens because: 

  • You or a family member somehow scared your green cheek
  • Someone has abused your green cheek conure
  • A new environment (such as moving)
  • A new family member, or loss of a family member

Whether abused, scared, a loss or a new situation has come up, your green cheek conure needs time to adjust. 
As they say, trust takes years to build, and seconds to destroy.

Sometimes, even simple things like toweling your green cheek, a painful nail cut, or removing a blood feather can lose your bird’s trust in you. Sometimes, even without toweling, painful nail cuts, or blood feather removal, a green cheek’s personality changes, and they bond with someone new. A new bond is nothing personal, but it means the green cheek conure will spend time with/try to mate with someone else a lot more.

Give your bird time. Building a bond again means treats and love, and realizing your green cheek conure still likes you. Your green cheek conure bond will begin again, hopefully a stronger bond than before.

9 thoughts on “Green Cheek Conure Bonding”

  1. Anonymous

    I have a Q. I had two green cheeks that bonded but last night something happened. Today I found the female (what I think is the female) lying in the bottom of the cage with what looked like bite marks and ripped out feathers. She's fine now eating and drinking, but it really scared me. Right now the conures are still together in one cage. Should I separate them? They seem really bonded…

  2. Anonymous

    ABSOLUTELY you need to separate them ASAP no question about it…!!! I have a Green-Cheek Conure and also an IRN or Indian Ringneck Parakeet who are "semi-bonded". Meaning they don't mind being together most of the time, however they DO NOT sleep together in the same cage. I happen to be lucky in terms of my two birds bonding at all and this is because IRN's don't form "pair bonds" in the wild. And my Keiko could have killed my GCC Kiwi very easily. In actuality though, my GCC pushes around my IRN believe it or not…!!! But regardless, of them being "semi-bonded" they have still maintained there "pet status" with me and i believe that is do to the fact that i have set "limitations" if you will by keeping them in separate cages. I often educate people on this that no matter HOW "hand-tame" a bird is when you get it if they are given ample enough time with a bird of the same species or even different species. Eventually, that human to bird trust gets thrown out the window and the bond is broken. And in all honesty i wouldn't expect it any differently i mean why wouldn't they want to be with there own species or at least another bird that shares 90% of there typical basic behavior. However, if your birds are being aggressive PLEASE for there safety remove them and keep them in separate cages. GCC's don't know there own strength at times and just because there small birds doesn't mean they don't pack a punch with those formidable little beaks of there's TRUST ME i have the scars to back that statement up…!!! I would also HIGHLY recommend that you get your female or whichever one was attacked to an avian vet ASAP…!!! Just because you feel she is "recovered" and eating and drinking again DOES NOT mean she isn't in pain. You have to understand that birds of ANY species are the masters at hiding there injuries and they have to for fear of being predated on. That all said, PLEASE don't play doctor and do the right thing and get your bird checked out a cut or wound you feel has healed and or stopped bleeding doesn't mean it isn't infected. And that in itself can kill a bird VERY quickly so get her checked out and MAKE SURE to keep them separated from her on out or until your positively sure this won't happen again which in my honest opinion probably will so for safety sake keep them permanently separated. They will still be able to see each other through there cages just put them next to each other so they can have some form of interaction and they should do just fine that way and you'll probably strengthen your bond with both of them in the process by keeping them apart as well. I have 30yrs experience in the avian field dealing with both wild & exotic pet species. I have owned countless species of parrots over the years and have lectured and educated many folks on both wild bird conservation and preservation as well as exotic pet bird care. Best of luck to you….!!!

  3. Anonymous

    Hello. We have a 5 year old sun conure and just brought home a 11 week old green cheek, the sun conure was never around birds but the green cheek was always around birds at the store. At first the conure would go near the cheek and just stand next to him, then the conure gave the cheek a kiss, the third day the sun conure refuse to go in the case because the cheek is in there. when we finally put the conure in the cage the cheek goes into his bed (we have little beds for them) they hang out together on me when I take both of them out, they don't mind being around each other so I don't know what else to do I just want them to get along and play together? any suggestion?

  4. Anonymous

    I chose to get my GCC, Lucy, a friend 3 years ago. They got along very quickly and within a week they were sharing a cage! To this day they get along great. They are buds. Lucy is still very much bonded to me. She trusts me, she follows me every where and still has her bud, Yoshi. So, based on my own personal experience, you are very wrong in your ASSUMPTION that getting another bird will automatically mean your original one will be totally uninterested in you and bite you. You are totally wrong and you shouldn't write your assumptions as facts.

    I will say, how ever, that I did make the mistake of allowing the new bird, Yoshi, to bond with the original, Lucy, prior to allowing him to acclimate to his new environment and owner! I should have kept them separate until Yoshi became comfortable with me. He, sadly, wants nothing to do with me. He does not bite me nor is he afraid of me. He willingly steps up on my finger, but immediately flies away to where ever Lucy is. Ah well… They're happy, healthy birds and Lucy still loves her momma. So, there ya have it. Experience has proved the opposite of your theory.

  5. michu00ify

    Thank you..cuz I thought my green cheek was just hormonal..but he picked a fight for the first time with my lutino Endian Ringneck..and she is bigger than him and F IRNs make deadly attacks on their M mates..the gcc doesn't back eown from it at all he loves my other F IRN..cept the lutino and he are people spoiled so fight .. now I have to separate them..thanks..he does try to breed the blue IRN F..sort of plays.. this is serious..we love them both..they are both just shy of two..yrs. old and are in a ball on the floor in front of it started X3..omg..they are currently separated and both saying I love you I live you..

  6. Ana Cabrera

    I HAVE had a female pineapple conure for 3 months. She is 9 months now and just bought a 6 month old male pineapple conure. When I tried to put them together, they looked at eachother, Started to nibble at each other and then started a full on fight bite time. Had to pull them apart. Does this mean no bonding for these 2.

  7. Ana Cabrera

    I HAVE had a female pineapple conure for 3 months. She is 9 months now and just bought a 6 month old male pineapple conure. When I tried to put them together, they looked at eachother, Started to nibble at each other and then started a full on fight bite time. Had to pull them apart. Does this mean no bonding for these 2.

  8. fiona morgan

    Hi i have a gcc and a rbc they seem to get on really well in the cages next to each other no signs of aggression and they are close enough to touch each other, could i put them together?

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