Keeping and Breeding the Nanday Conure (Nandayus nenday) in Australia


The Nanday Conure also commonly called the Blackmasked or Black-headed Conure is, like the Queen of Bavaria's Conure and the Patagonian Conure, placed in a genus all its own.

The Nanday Conure is a common bird in its home land of South America often seen traveling in large rocks, feeding on native and farmed fruit and seed crops. Wild populations inhabit a range which includes Bolivia, Paraguay and areas of Argentina and Brazil. The Nanday Conure has been observed nesting in tree hollows and in fence posts in rural areas where clearing of native vegetation for farming has occurred. The Nanday Conure is a medium sized parrot, measuring approximately 31 cm (12 inches) in length. The colouring of the Nanday Conure varies from the many shades of green- lime green wings and back, to the almost yellow in the lower abdomen.

There is a soft blue band that runs across the upper breast area .The head and beak are black, and the periorbital skin around the eye is white. With those un-mistaken red thighs, the Nanday Conure is a very pleasing bird to admire. Adult birds weigh around 140 grams, and are sexually mature around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age.

The Nanday Conure has a strong and avid desire to destroy anything that is timber, so a constant supply of perches and nest boxes must be readily available.

The Nanday has a reputation for being LOUD, VERY LOUD. It is one of the loudest of all the South American Conures, with exception to the Queen of Bavaria's Conure. When considering keeping Nandays, one must think not only of your own Sunday sleep-in, but also that of your neighbours'. A Nan day's call in the morning and afternoon can stretch the limits of tolerance between the best of neighbours.

All of my birds are fed a diet consisting of a high quality seed mix and a fresh fruit and vegetable mix given every day. The fresh fruit and vegetable mix consists of: apples, oranges, corn (on the cob as well as kernels), carrots, broccoli tips, sweet potato, celery, grapes, peas and beans. Additionally a mung and lentil sprout mix is given. I do not sprinkleCYitamin or mineral supplements over my birds' food. I feel that if the birds are fed a high quality human grade diet, there is no need for any vitamin supplements. The seed mix is available for the birds all day and the fruit and vegetable mix is fed out in the morning. The fruit and vegetable bowls are collected in the afternoon and the birds are fed out a fresh slice of either apple I pear or a chunk of corn on the cob. The amount fed out every day varies depending on if there are chicks in the nest.

Housing of any species should be one that works well for not only the birds comfort, but also that of the owner's ability to service the set upone chooses to have, be it a conventional aviary or suspended aviary. I house my Nanday Conures in suspended cages, measuring 3 feet high x 2 feet wide x 5 feet long. The nest box is hung on the outside of the cage, giving the birds the maximum use of the cage and allows for ease of inspection I replacement of the nest box. It should be noted that a lot, if not all, of the South American species of parrot like to roost in their nest at night, so a nest box must be provided all year round. The type of nest box that I use is 400 mm (16 inches) high and has a 225 mm (9 inches) internal measurement and is made from solid timber, with an internal wire ladder for the birds to climb in and out easily. I deliberately drill a small 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) in diameter entrance hole ,as I have found that allowing the birds to chew/work there way into the nest box, helps to stimulate the pair to nest. I place about 2-3 cm ( 1-1 1/2 inches) of pine wood shavings in the bottom of the nest box and on top of this I place a generous amount of wood chips ,which the birds take great delight in chewing down .