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Sandra June 12, 2023

What to expect during the Maturity Stage in Conures

I recently got asked on Instagram about conure maturity and what the change is like:
"Is it drastic? How to and what to expect during the maturity/puberty stage in conures. I haven't found videos on the terrible 2’s..."

Conure Maturity

During the maturity/puberty stage in conures, you can expect various physical, behavioural, and hormonal changes as these birds reach sexual maturity.

Here's what you need to know:

1. Age of maturity: The exact age at which conures reach maturity varies depending on the species and individual bird. Generally, conures reach sexual maturity between 2 and 4 years of age. It usually takes about two years for a conure to mature sexually. Different parrot species experience various phases throughout their lives. While some conures achieve sexual maturity as early as one year old, others may not reach full maturity until they reach three or even four years of age.
The first signs of puberty include increased appetite and changes in behaviour.

2. Physical changes: The most notable physical change during maturity is the development of adult plumage. The colours of the feathers may become brighter and more vibrant. In some species, there may also be changes in body size or shape, such as the development of a larger beak.

3. Behavioural changes: Conures may display increased energy and activity levels and become more curious and exploratory. They may become more vocal, engaging in louder and more frequent vocalizations. Some conures may also become more territorial or possessive of their cage or favourite toys.

4. Hormonal changes: This is probably the most "drastic" change. During maturity, hormonal changes occur in conures, which can affect their behaviour and interactions. Males may display courtship behaviours such as regurgitating food, bobbing their heads, and attempting to mate with objects or other birds. Females may exhibit nesting behaviours like shredding paper or other materials, exploring potential nesting sites along with other hormonal signs.

5. Aggression and mood swings: Due to hormonal changes, conures may exhibit mood swings, becoming more irritable or easily agitated. They might display territorial behaviour and show aggression towards humans or other birds. It's essential to handle them with care and respect their boundaries during this stage. Green cheeks are also known to become more nippy or aggressive as they mature - I did notice this with our green cheek Mia; however, I did not experience this with our sun conure Mango. 

6. Increased independence: As conures mature, they may become more independent, like with eating, playing with various toys, pros at foraging etc. They will have a desire for more freedom and need to burn all the extra energy via exercise.

7. Reproductive behaviour:
In some cases, sexually mature conures may attempt to mate, even if they are housed alone. They may show an increased interest in nesting activities or trying to rub their private parts on objects or people - it's important not to encourage this!

It's crucial to provide a suitable environment and enriching activities during this stage to accommodate their changing needs. A vet check-up is also recommended to ensure your conure's overall health and well-being. Additionally, providing proper nutrition, mental stimulation, and outlets for physical exercise can help manage behavioural changes associated with maturity.