Last Updated on July 17, 2023 by Ali Shahid
Sun conure also known as Sun parakeet, is a medium-sized parrot that has not only vibrant colors but also a rich and bold personality. While they are not proficient at speaking, they are very loud. However, it is not required to talk due to its stunning and colorful appearance and playful personality.
Although they are highly intelligent, trainable, and best suited to families, they are not suited to beginners due to their constant need for attention. If you do not have a lot of time to devote to these birds, they may not be the best fit for you.
In addition, the importation of Sun Conures is prohibited in the United States and the European Union because of poaching and illegal trade. There are more of these parrots in captivity than in the wild. Therefore, you must obtain a Sun conure from a reputable breeder or pet store.
|Overview of Sun Conure|
|Scientific Name||Aratinga solstitialis|
|Common Name||Sun Conure, Sun Parakeet|
|Personality||Playful, energetic, bold, Curious, friendly, Nippy|
|Noise Level||Very High|
|Diet||Pellets, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts|
|Number of Eggs||3-4|
|Incubation Period||23-27 Days|
|Good for Families||Yes|
|Good for Beginners||No|
|Price||Up to $800|
Origin and History of Sun Conure
Sun conures are native to areas such as Guyana, Venezuela, and northern Brazil in the northeastern part of South America. Typically, sun conures live in moist to dry savanna woodlands or open savannah habitats.
It is also common to find them in shrubland, particularly along riverbanks and in forested valleys, along coasts, and in seasonal flooding. These birds are found in valleys and near mountain slopes living at altitudes below 1200 meters.
The species generally inhabits palm groves and areas with plentiful fruit trees and shrubs. Since they’re limited to undeveloped areas, there has been little study of these birds in the wild.
Due to habitat loss, hunting for plumage, and excessive wild catch, sun conures are currently endangered, with their population numbers declining rapidly. According to a study, approximately 800,000 sun conures are caught each year for the pet trade.
In the present day, more sun conures are living in homes than there are in the wild. This led to the cross-breeding of Sun Conures with Conures of the same species, such as Jenday Conures and Nanday Conures. The resultant hybrids are Sunday Conures and Jenday Conures respectively.
Even though they are very colorful hybrids of sun conures, they have also resulted in the depletion of the gene pool of the endangered species. Moreover, there are mutations of Sun Conures, such as Pied Factor Sun Conures and Red Factor Sun Conures.
It has been reported by the World Parrot Trust that the number of parrots has drastically decreased over the past three decades. This is despite the import bans imposed by the United States in 1992 and the European Union in 2007.
Size and Appearance
In the parrot family, the sun conure is a medium-sized parrot that weighs between 3.5 and 4.5 ounces as an adult. The average length of these birds is 11.8 inches, and the wingspan is approximately six inches. Ideally, sun conures should live in a cage that is at least six to ten feet in length.
A sun conure’s feathers are dull green at birth. As soon as they reach the age of six to eight months, the birds begin to molt or shed their feathers to make room for fresh ones. After the new feathers have grown, the sun conures will display some of the brighter colors that are characteristic of adults.
The feathers of birds become more colorful with each molt. When they first start feathering, they’re olive green, then yellowish-orange at about 6 months. It normally takes between 18 months and two years for a bird to attain full-color plumage.
In general, their bodies and upper wings are yellow, whereas the face and abdomen are orange. The lower half of the wings are green and blue.
Sun conures have distinctive white patches around their eyes, plus black feet and beaks. There is no difference in color or markings between the sexes. A genetic test or surgical sexing would be required to determine your bird’s sex.
Sun conures are often compared to Jenday conures. At first glance, both species appear identical to you. A Sun Conure is generally similar to a Jenday Conure in terms of appearance and size.
There is only one difference between sun conures and Jenday conures: Sun conures’ plumage is yellow, while Jenday conures’ plumage is green.
Known for their playful and amusing personalities, sun conures enjoy performing tricks that display their athletic abilities. Smart and interactive, these birds are a breeze to train. When properly handled, this bird is very friendly and affectionate, making it a great companion for any member of the family.
When handled and handfed correctly from two weeks old, sun conures make wonderful pets and form strong bonds with their owners. Those who are taught to socialize at an early age become highly social and go out of their way to connect with others. Despite its confident nature, aggression can occur if the bird is agitated.
There are times when this parrot may become nippy, which can be stressful for both children and adults. Regardless of how tame a pet bird is, he or she may bite if frightened. However, it does not necessarily reflect its personality; rather, it is a natural response.
A sun conure, like all parrots, is a social bird that requires extensive interaction with its humans to remain happy and healthy. They are naturally playful and affectionate when given the attention they need, making them a great companion.
The sun conure can emit ear-piercing screams, making it extremely loud. In the wild, conures use their shrill calls to alert each other to important things. In addition, it serves as an excellent watchdog for your residence, making loud calls when it detects an unknown individual.
Speech and Sound
Sun conures rank second among conure species in terms of their loudness, with Nandy conures being the loudest. The sound level of these birds exceeds 120 decibels, which is often higher than biggies like macaws.
When kept in captivity, the loud, screeching calls of this bird may provoke angry responses from your neighbors. Therefore, this bird should not be kept in apartments. While you cannot train them to stop making calls, you can teach them to stop screaming from a young age.
Their shrill screams are an indication of fear and excitement. Whenever a conure is bored or is not satisfied, it communicates with you through vocalizations.
Generally, sun conures can’t talk. However, some birds can mimic other types of sounds, such as telephone chimes, microwave buzzers, and ring tones.
|Pros and Cons of Sun Conures as Pets|
|Social, and friendly|
Easy to Train
The bird has one of the most vibrant colors
|Extremely loud and vocal|
Occasionally bites hard Not Good at Talking
A little bit Expensive and Required a lot of Interaction
Caring for a Sun Conure
Sun conures are active birds that prefer to live in an enclosure that is large and spacious. Ideally, give it a cage with a footprint of 30 inches by 30 inches and a height of 36 inches or more for a bird of this size.
Ensure that the cage has a relatively narrow spacing between the bars (3/4 to one inch) otherwise, the bird’s head might get stuck. A sun conure is an intelligent and curious bird that needs to learn and explore. Provide a variety of ladders, swings, and perches for them in their cage regularly.
You should give them wood toys, non-toxic plastic toys, or leather toys made from vegetable-tanned leather. They particularly enjoy puzzle toys, foraging toys that require them to remove food treats from the toy, and chew toys.
Most parrot species, including the sun conure, require safe areas outside of their cages for exploration and observation. There is no end to the tricks this athletic bird can perform. The cage should be equipped with a play gym for the bird to exercise its legs and wings.
If you wish to have a positive and enjoyable relationship with your sun conure, you will need to train it. The parrot can be trained to perform several athletic tricks through the use of positive reinforcement techniques. If you scold this bird or give him any negative reinforcement, he will not respond well.
If provided with a shallow drinking bowl, sun conures will enjoy splashing about daily and taking a bath. Like other parrots, rain-spray misters may also attract these birds.
There is little knowledge of the reproduction of sun conures in the wild and the nesting of these birds. It has been established that no species of conure exhibit courtship behavior. It is common for females to remain silent regarding their intention to breed.
Despite this, it is common to see pairs of birds feeding one another and grooming one another intensively before breeding. An average mating session lasts three minutes. After breeding, the pairs are extremely affectionate and affectionate with each other, but they are very aggressive toward others.
If they are kept in captivity, they are likely to attack their keepers. So be careful when handling these birds during the breeding season. The abdomen of females swells before laying eggs.
Maurita flexuosa palms have been used by females as nesting sites in the wild. Nests should be clean and free of previous nesting materials. Cleaning the nest may be repeated as necessary until the egg-laying process is complete.
Typically, there are three to four eggs in a clutch, which are laid one at a time over two to three days. Round in shape, the eggs measure approximately 26.7 to 29.5 mm by 22.0 to 23.5 mm and weigh approximately 8.74 g.
Incubation lasts for 23 to 27 days. Following hatching, the young emerge as fledges within 7 to 8 weeks and become independent after 9 to 10 weeks.
These birds are not well known for their actual diet in the wild. Based on the contents of the stomachs examined, it appears that the birds feed primarily on ripe and semi-ripe seeds of various fruits and berries. Additionally, ants eat nuts, blooms, buds, fruit pits, wind-dispersed seeds, and insects.
It has also been reported that some groups of sun conures have destroyed entire crops near areas where people reside. These birds may also consume red cactus fruits as well as Malpighia berries and legume pods.
In captivity, pets should be fed a variety of foods, including pellets, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Often, these naughty birds prefer what tastes good to them over what constitutes a healthy diet, which leads to malnutrition.
A bird’s diet should consist of approximately 60-70% pellet food. For small birds like Sun conures, 1/4 cup pellets would be sufficient. The recommended amount of fresh fruits and vegetables is one teaspoon in the morning and one teaspoon in the evening. As for seeds, half a teaspoon of seeds per day is enough.
Sun conures, like other companion birds, appreciate and require treats. Therefore, healthy treats should be provided to the bird. It is always a wise idea to treat your birds to nuts and seeds on occasion. It is recommended that you consume walnuts and almonds.
Foraging plays a significant role in enriching the lives of Sun Conures. All birds are naturally inclined to search for food, so searching for food is a great way for them to exercise both their bodies and minds.
The market offers a large selection of foraging toys suitable for birds of all types that keep them mentally stimulated while you are away. To provide a variety of foraging toys for Sun conures, it is advisable to rotate them in the cage regularly.
Exercise is essential to the health of the sun conure. The nature of their activity requires them to have a tremendous amount of space and time to explore and fly around.
Each day, they require more time outside their cage than other domesticated birds. Ideally, they should also have a companion to play with.
Sun Conure Lifespan
There is no information available regarding the lifespan of wild sun conures. Due to the difficulty of accessing their natural habitat, these animals have not been extensively studied in their natural environment. Sun conures typically live between 15 and 30 years as pets in the United States.
Health Issues of Sun Conures
Generally, Sun conures are very hardy and healthy birds. But like all parrots, they can also contract some diseases. It is well known that Sun Conures are very demanding birds. They need constant stimulation and interaction to remain healthy and happy.
If you do not provide enough time for interaction your sun conure will start plucking its feathers. In addition, they are also susceptible to other diseases like:
- Conure Bleeding Syndrom
- Parrot Fever
- Proventricular Dilatation Disease
- Beak malocclusion
- Aspergillosis fungal infection
- Psittacine beak and feather disease
- Pacheco’s Disease
Sun Conure for Sale and Price
A sun conure can be purchased from pet stores and breeders for up to $800. Due to the ban on the import of Sun Conures, you need to buy a captive Sun Conure. Moreover, you can find Sun conures in animal shelters and rescue organizations.
At these centers, the price will likely be lower and would likely be between $300 and $400. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find someone offering Sun Conures for adoption for free.
If you intend to purchase your sun conures from a breeder, inquire about the breeder’s experience breeding and handling sun conures. Before taking a bird home, it should be carefully inspected. The eyes of a healthy bird are bright, its feathers are clean, and its crop is full.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.