A genus of parrots in the Arini tribe. They occur in tropical and subtropical South America and southern Central America (Panama and Costa Rica). Most are restricted to humid forest and adjacent habitats, but one species, the blaze-winged parakeet, prefers deciduous or gallery woodland, and another, the Pfrimer's parakeet, is restricted to dry regions. Some species are highly endangered. There are 25+ species with 4 of them falling into the sub-species category.
Depending on the species, the total length range from 8½-12 inches. All have long, pointed tails, a mainly green plumage, and a relatively narrow, dark greyish to white eye-ring. Many have scaly or barred chest-patterns and a whitish, pale grey, buff or reddish ear-patch.
They typically move around in small, noisy flocks, flying swiftly at or below canopy level. Once settled in a tree they tend to be silent (especially if aware of danger) and difficult to spot. They nest in a tree-crevice.
Some species are popular in aviculture, where they are commonly referred to as conures instead of parakeets.
Some conures, the Rose-Fronted in particular are listed as "Least Concern" but within the aviculture community, the birds have a limited gene pool. In the United States, it is estimated that almost all Rose-Fonted Conures are related within 2 - 4 generations. This has led to reports of birth defects and other conditions that are indicative of inbreeding. Unfortunately many of these species can no longer be imported. Unless new specimens can be added to the gene pool, this will only get worse.