The Half-moon conure is a medium-sized dwarf parrots species that is known for its excitable personality and for being a little quieter than some other conures. Like most birds, half-moon conures need a lot of social interaction, exercise, and mental stimulation, but they can make a great pet for the right person.
Common Name(s): Half-moon conure, half-moon conure, orange-fronted conure, orange-fronted parakeet
Scientific Name: Eupsittula canicularis, previously Aratinga canicularis
Adult Size: 9.5 inches and about 75 grams
Life Expectancy: About 20 years
Origin and History
Half-moon conures are native to Mexico and Costa Rica where they live in large flocks of up to 100. They can be found in treetops, lowlands, and even savannahs in these large groups, except during the mating season when they pair off.
They are unique because they nest on termite mounds or in abandoned woodpecker holes. The half-moon conure is not an endangered species so they are sometimes found as pets, but are not as popular as other types of conures.
Half-moon conures are very active birds and love to play and climb. A well-socialized bird will enjoy attention from its owner and is typically good-natured.
They are not as excited about bathing as some other birds but may enjoy an occasional misting of water. Half-moon conures are typically not as destructive as some other conures and parrots can be.
Speech and Vocalizations
These birds are quiet when compared to some other conures, but they will still make noise. Their volume is lower, however, so they are a good option if you want a medium-sized bird that isn't too chatty. They are not known to be talkers but may mimic some sounds.
Half Moon Conure Colors and Markings
These conures are primarily a bright green with their back and wing feathers gradually turning into emerald green. They have a naked eye ring like macaws, a horn colored beak instead of a black one, and an orange band just above their beak with a blue forehead. Both males and females have the same colorations.
Caring for the Half Moon Conure
Like most conures, the half-moon variety needs a lot of attention and space. A cage will keep them safe, but that is not the only space they should have access to with supervision.
Regular veterinary care should also be provided to help keep a conure healthy and promptly spot any potential health issues. Birds often hide symptoms of disease until they are severely ill.
Common Health Problems
Birds from warm climates are prone to getting chilled and coming down with respiratory issues, but dirty environments can also cause problems for half-moon conures.
Aspergillosis, pneumonia, and other respiratory issues are the most commonly seen health problems, but liver and behavioral issues can also occur if a proper diet and exercise are not provided.
Clean environments, good nutrition, lots of space, and time for activities can help prevent some common conditions from occurring in a half-moon conure.
Diet and Nutrition
Half-moon conures should ideally eat a high quality, formulated bird pellet as their base diet. This can be supplemented with a seed mixture, fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy treats like sugar-free cereal, pasta, and whole-grain bread.
Changing the types of fruits and vegetables offered on a daily basis can provide some variety and mental stimulation to a bird as well.
Like most birds, half-moon conures need a lot of exercise and space to stretch their wings. Safe flight areas are ideal, but time outside a cage should be provided daily regardless to allow a bird to explore, play with toys, climb, and be mentally stimulated.
A cage should only be for secure housing when supervision is not possible. Otherwise, cage toppers, play gyms, flight areas, and other spaces should be made available to a bird.
Quiet compared to other conures
Not very destructive
Not as colorful as some conures
Does not typically talk
Where to Adopt or Buy a Half Moon Conure
Half-moon conures are not as common as some other types of pet birds, so it will take a little more work if you are looking to adopt or purchase one. Some bird specific stores and larger pet retailers may have these birds available, but rescuing one from a reputable bird rescue or purchasing one from a breeder are your more likely options.
Talk to your local avian veterinarian, bird stores, and check out websites like PetFinder.com and PEAC.org during your search.
More Pet Bird Species and Further Research
If you’re interested in similar species, check out:
Recognizing The Signs of Illness in Pet Birds. VCA Hospitals.
Respiratory Disease in Birds. VCA Hospitals.
Samanta, I. and Bandyopadhyay, S. Infectious Diseases. Pet bird diseases and care, pp.13-166, 2017. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-3674-3_2
Management of Pet Birds. Merck Veterinary Manual.