We've had several GCC's over the years and have noticed a definite difference in behavior between females and males. We were wondering if this is just coincidence or if other people have noticed it too.
All of our female conures were unpredictable. We could be holding and petting one, and she'd appear to be quiet and content. Then without warning she'd climb up and bite. Hard. We never had this happen with any of our males.
Is this some kind of "throw off the male" behavior, as seen e.g. in cats right after they mate?
"We've had several GCC over the years".. Do you operate a pet/speciality store, or were these all your pets? A healthy well cared for GCC (Green Cheek Conure) should live a 20 years (or even more)... I'm not sure how it's possible to care for more than one, these birds are so active...
If you do operate a pet store, is this information something you share with you would be customers, seems like the males would be more desirable.
"We've had several GCC over the years".. Do you operate a pet/speciality store, or were these all your pets? A ... (or even more)... I'm not sure how it's possible to care for more than one, these birds are so active...

We wound up selling three females, all because of the same issue. Unpredictable behavior. We've had two males, the first one we sold because he was downright mean (we think we wasn't hand-raised). Our current male is an absolute joy and we plan on having him around for at least 20 years.
Green Cheeks are my favorite of the smaller parrots (my four month old GCC is giving my a kiss as I type this), based on the information you've provided I have a few questions that may help get to an answer to your original question... First, how old were your female Green Cheeks when they started to bite hard unexpectedly? All conures (and most parrots in general) go through behavior changes during their stages. For Green Cheeks, the first year to year and a half of life will be a happy time with the owne, baby bird may use that little beak to test the limits, but will not (usually) intentionally bite to hurt.

This is an important time of development for you as the owner to set the rules and teach baby bird that your are the boss. This has to be done in a clever way. You can't really scold your little feathered friend, your goal is really all about reinforcement of good behavior, and being VERY careful not to reinforce bad behavior.

So after a year to a year and a half of baby Green Cheeks life, she enters the next stage of juvenile development, this the baby parrots counterpart to a humans "terrible twos", during this phase unexpected "hard biting" is likely, and all you can really do is to accept that your relationship with you Green Cheek is now changing, to what degree of change really depends on the individual bird and how well you've trained her, just know this difficult time won't last forever. It should be "just a phase", as long as you handle it the right way that's all it will be.
I don't know if this has anything to do with your past experiences, but if you suspect it might then the best thing you can do is to educate yourself. The best book on this is actually very easy to read and not too long, it's called Guide to a Well Behaved Parrot by Mattue Sue Athan, she's a great author and that's a great little book to get you on the right path.
Green Cheeks are my favorite of the smaller parrots (my four month old GCC is giving my a kiss as ... It should be "just a phase", as long as you handle it the right way that's all it will be.

You're probably right about that. We never lasted long enough to find out. We have small kids in the house and the hard biting (to the point, in one case, of needing stitches) just wasn't cutting it for us. Meanwhile our current male GCC is almost two years old now and there's been no sign of unpredictable behavior.

It sounds like, from your experience, you haven't noticed any differences between males and females GCCs. Thanks very much for the post!
You're very welcome. I'm still new to this, but I've spent a considerable amount of time around pet store owners and have had lengthy discussions with breeders, mostly Pyrrhura breeders (specices that the GCC belongs to) and you were the first to ever mention any difference between male and females. I've alrso read a few books on Conures in general and have never heard that one sex makes for a better pet than the other. Most birds do go through these behavior changes as they age.
It's all a bit deceptive with birds, you know a baby Puppy or Kitten is very noticable, small size and high energy level. When they become adults their behavior changes are overshadowed by their physical changes (size difference), with parrots its the opposite because the apperence changes are very hard to spot on most species. Who knows what runs through their little minds as they get older...
You're probably right about that. We never lasted long enough to find out. We have small kids in the house and the hard biting (to the point, in one case, of needing stitches) just wasn't cutting it for us.

So you get rid of the bird and buy another one just like it and have the same problem. Then you do it again and again. That's brilliant.

ZQ
Green Cheeks are my favorite of the smaller parrots (my ... handle it the right way that's all it will be.

You're probably right about that. We never lasted long enough to find out. We have small kids in the house ... like, from your experience, you haven't noticed any differences between males and females GCCs. Thanks very much for the post!

So you just keep making the same mistake over and over? Getting a bird that won't fit well with small children? ( that would be most parrots) Debbie
You're probably right about that. We never lasted long enough ... case, of needing stitches) just wasn't cutting it for us.

So you get rid of the bird and buy another one just like it and have the same problem. Then you do it again and again. That's brilliant.

Eventually we found one that's just wonderful. And we lived happily ever after.
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