Species group: Conures
Other common names: Sun Parakeet
Scientific name: Aratinga solstitialis
The popular Sun Conure is usually considered to be the most beautiful of the Aratinga conures, and an adult Sun Conure in fresh plumage is without a doubt one of the most magnificent of all of the smaller parrots. Alas, it is also one of the loudest of the small parrots. This species cannot be recommended for apartments unless you have great sound-proofing and steady nerves.
This beautiful conure has a fairly small range in South America from Guyana to northeastern Brazil and, perhaps, nearby. According to the World Parrot Trust, Guyana allowed the legal export of 600 Sun Conures per year for several years in the 1980s, to the point where the population has collapsed in that country. There are probably only a few hundred Sun Conures remaining in the wild, causing the International Union for Conservation of Nature to red-list the Sun Conure as an endangered species in 2008. As pet owners, we have a responsibility to treat the Sun Conure as the rare treasure it is.
An impressive long-tailed American parakeet dressed in the colors of the setting sun, the adult Sun Conure is a mostly deep yellow bird with a red-orange face and belly.The young birds start with substantially more green in their plumages, allowing unethical sellers to sometimes sell related Aratingas as baby Sun Conures. Know your breeder.
120 - 130 grams (4.2 - 5.3 oz.)
30 centimeters (12 in.)
20 - 30 years
Behavior / temperament:
Like other Aratingas, the Sun Conure is an active, intelligent bird who likes to play. This curious, energetic pet demands attention. You will want to provide lots of toys for the bird to explore and then chew to matchsticks, but it would be wise to channel your pet's energy into tricks or games as well. Keep this bird busy and well-entertained with positive activities. Because they are naturally vocal, you may be able to teach your Sun Conure to say a few words or to imitate an interesting sound like a ringtone. However, no matter how wisely you channel the bird's energy, it's possible that there will be times of the day that the bird will be extremely loud, no matter what you do.
Two possible times when it's natural for these birds to be really loud will be at sunrise and again when you get home from work. You need to be realistic before you get the bird about how much time you can spend with your pet and how much vocalizing you can tolerate. A neglected Sun Conure can really raise the roof. Most re-homed/rescue Sun Conures lose their first homes because the owner was simply not realistic about the vocal cords on this species. In short, this beautiful bird with an alert, intelligent personality is, ounce for ounce, one of the noisiest birds out there for its size, so be aware.
A single pet Sun Conure should have a powder-coated metal cage that is at least 24” wide by 24“ deep by 24“ high. Use a manzanita perch in any area where you don't want to have to replace the perch too often. Any other perches or toys should be rated as safe for a strong chewer such as a large conure or an Amazon. These energetic birds should also have a playpen outside the cage, where they can explore, investigate other perches and toys, and indulge in foraging for hidden treats.
If you place a pair in an outdoor aviary, you should include a sturdy roostbox made of a wood which is safe for a strong beak to chew. Check the box often to make sure that your Sun Conures are not chewing through the wood. For the safety of the birds, you need a double screen system for any outdoor aviary – 1) hardware cloth to keep rats, raccoons, cats, and other pests from entering the aviary, and 2) mosquito netting to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne disease such as West Nile Encephalitis.
Like all Aratinga conures, the Sun Conure demands a varied, nutrient-rich diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. There are several diets that work for this species. A good pellet-based diet, with lots of chopped vegetables and fruits on the side, can be a good daily diet. Soak-and-cook, either from a vet or a commercial supplier, is fine too. Many people like to create their own grain and legume based diet, which generally includes a mix of well-cooked beans and grains, including brown rice. As a practical matter, you will probably want to prepare the cooked diet in large batches, freezing what you're not using in a couple of days, and then defrosting it as you need it.
Small, high carbohydrate seeds like millet can be included in the mix. Larger “treat” oil seeds like sunflower can be given by hand. A variety of nuts can also be given by hand or hidden around the bird's playpen to encourage the Sun Conure to forage. Crack any nuts that are too hard for your pet to crack by itself. No conure should be allowed to eat avocado or chocolate.
Important Note: Since Sun Conures may be susceptible to Conure Bleeding Syndrome, caused by a lack of vitamin K, it is crucial to include K-rich sources in the diet such as chopped turnip tops and other dark leafy greens.
Written by Elaine Radford
vibrant personalities, cuddly, colours, love human interaction, family friendly bird, friendly birds
famous screamers, sound proof, hormonal adult, LOUDEST, nippy, apartment living
Most adore baths, crave human affection, great guard dogs, big bird attitude
An amazing pet!
I bought Rio when he was just 3 months old. Prior to me purchasing him, he had very little human interaction and was very timid and aggressive. After constant, daily interaction with me, he has become extremely sociable (and vocal) but he still doesn't get on with other family members, however this is due to his lack of interaction from early on in his life- hand-reared sun conures do not have this issue, but cost a few hundred pounds more. He is extremely vocal throughout the day which can get very tedious, but his energetic personality makes up for it, along with his ability to learn new tricks such as waving, picking up coins and dropping it in my hand and also repeating the phrase 'step-up' Overall, a superb pet with excellent plumage (feather colour and condition)! .
From Haider_A Mar 16 2017 7:18PM
Moonie, the Sun Conure
I didn't name Moonie. I never would have given him that name. But you can't change a bird's name. With a dog, you can change his name and even give him several nicknames, he'll soon figure out that your calling him, especially if your attention is around food. Birds don't really adapt well to name changes. They are extremely intelligent, you would think it would be easy. Maybe being so smart, they can’t figure out why you need to change their name.
Moonie was a striking Red Sun Conure. Where a normal Sun Conure has more of an orange head, a Red Sun Conure has a blazing red head and face. He was quiet when he came and it took a week or so before I could get him to "Step up". He was very gentle while on my hand. A very sweet bird.
Then Moonie found his voice. For those of you that don't know, Conures can be very loud. I had three Macaws and Moonie could out-screech them. I built a big cage for him and filled it with toys that I knew would keep him busy. They kept him busy, but that didn't stop him from screeching. That's just what Conures do. I soon found an excellent home for Moonie with a young guy that already had Conures. That's the key. Find someone that's already conditioned to love Conures and can cope with the screeching. I think that having more than one Conure is best for them. They are very social birds.
I was very fond of that little bird. Conures are just not for me. Maybe, having eight other birds in the house, he didn't get enough one-on-one attention from me. In my experience, Conures are usually very affectionate. Make sure you can spend time with your bird and give him lots of toys. My Conure loved music and was quieter while listening. The sounds of the outdoor song birds also caught his attention. They are very beautiful and their antics can be quite amusing, but Conures aren't for everybody. Maybe you are one of those special people that can share your life with one, two or several Conures.
I have posted a photo of normal Sun Conures. Sadly, I don't have any good photos of Moonie. Imagine these Sun Conures, but more beautiful!.
From Huskies_1 May 30 2015 9:04PM
I'm not sure who decides to get a Sun Conure for their kid as a birthday gift, but it happened to me.
That bird hated me. It only loved my mother. It screeched and squawked and ran around like crazy. It would fly around the house (his wings weren't clipped). It would land on me and bite me as hard as he could. I still remember the feeling of his beak piercing into my skin.
Even though he loved my mother, Salsa would bite her too. He also learned how to scream "ouch", "stop", and "NO BITE!".
Salsa was eventually rehomed to a bird breeding farm, where he probably bit whoever worked there too..
From hellojanna Mar 19 2015 11:55AM