Mango, named for her brilliantly colored feathers, lives with her owner, sophomore Maxwell Miller. Mango is a 16-week-old female green-cheeked conure. Miller and Mango have been companions for four weeks. Mango enjoys having the back of her head scratched. She chirps and coos in a manner that sounds like a soft purr when she gets any attention.
For Mango’s first few days on campus, her gender was kept a secret. However, Mango’s gender was made public at a gender reveal party on Aug. 24, 2019. The party was organized by Mille, who is double majoring in marine science and biochemistry.
The party had pizza, cupcakes, a giant cupcake piñata and games for all attendants. Blue and pink plates were provided so students could bet on the gender. The final reveal came as students were given black balloons and a pencil. At the count of three everyone popped their balloons and silver, gold and pink confetti was revealed.
Owning a bird is a huge commitment. Mango will live for up to 30 years with proper care. Some people think of owning a bird as more similar to owning a reptile than owning a dog or cat. However, owning a bird and giving it proper care is more similar to owning a dog. They require lots of attention and affection.
“You have to really bond with them, especially if you just have one, they get lonely,” Miller said. “So you gotta come home all throughout the day and let them out of their cage all the time. You can’t just like come home at 9 p.m. and let them out for a couple hours.”
Green-cheeked conures (Pyrrhura molinae) are smaller birds, quite common in aviculture, that are on average only 10 inches long from head to t ail when fully grown. Green-cheeked conures are playful and highly intelligent creatures, and Mango is no exception.
Mango is currently making the transition from seeds as her primary nutrition to specialized pellets. These pellets should make up anywhere from 60-70% of a green-cheeked conure’s diet. Treats should make up no more than 10% of t heir diet and the remaining percentage should be made up of fresh vegetables, fruits and fortified bird seeds.
Although Miller and Mango have not known each other long, their bond is strong.
“I mean, she’s just like the sweetest bird ever,” Miller said.