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5 Things You Need to Know About Sun Conures

Loud, playful and emotive, sun conures are South American beauties that have big personalities and big voices.

Amanda Lafond

Sun conure

They might start off mostly green, but by the time they are a year old, sun conures are one of the most colorful companion parrots around. These South American beauties have big personalities and a big voices. While the volume may not be for everyone, these playful, emotive birds make loving companions for the right person. Here’s a few facts you should know about sun conures:

1) Sun conures tend to be loud. Every parrot parent should expect noise, no matter what species they are interested in, but sun conures do fall on the louder end of the spectrum. "They are pretty widely known as great pet birds and are very popular except for their noise level. People who have very sensitive hearing would undoubtedly be bothered by the volume and harshness of their calls,” said Mary Covault of Feathered Companions Aviary in Delmar, Maryland. "Suns are usually not suitable for apartments because of their call volume.”

This South American beauty has a big personality and a big voice.

2) Sun conures may not be proficient in human speech, but they are still emotive. These are not birds known for their talking ability, despite their many vocalizations. "They do not talk well. They may say a few words in ‘quacky’ voices, but that’s about it. However, they are very expressive in ‘bird language’ and usually more affectionate and touchy-feely than many of the better talkers,” Covault said. Most sun conures are not subtle about their feelings. Those who live with these birds often become quickly accustomed to reading bird body language.

Sun conure
When sun conures are young, they are often confused for young jenday conures. As they grow older, musch of the green on their backs fades for yellow.

3) Sun conures are active birds that need plenty of exercise and time outside their bird cage. These are social birds that will always want to be with you. Their playful dispositions mean that they will need a lot of attention and mental stimulation. A sun conure that is often left alone may develop behavioral problems like screaming. In the wild, birds are not usually apart from their flock. You are your bird’s flock, so time spent with you is needed for good mental health.

4) Be careful with what bird toys you give to your sun conure. Some bird toys are not suited to conures because of their chewing tenacity. "I do not give ‘sleep tents,’” Covault said. "Especially to suns and similar sized Aratingas-- because they just are not safe, as conures love to chew and they can pull threads loose and get them wrapped around feet, wings, neck, etc. Sisal toys with long-hanging streamers are also dangerous because of potential entanglement, as are long-strand cotton toys — for all conures.” Covault also recommended natural wicker baskets as a place for sun conures to hang out and chew. However, there must absolutely be no dyes, paints or other treatments on the baskets.

5) Sun conures are endangered in the wild. Largely due to loss of habit and trapping for the pet trade, these conures are no longer as common in their native South America. With their population numbers declining, the sun conure is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as endangered. 

Want to learn more about sun conures?

Sun Conure Coloring
Top 10 Pet Conure Questions Answered


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Posted: March 6, 2014, 12:15 p.m. PDT

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5 Things You Need to Know About Sun Conures

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Reader Comments
I thought this article was so-so. I know the suns and green cheeks are more popular (especially because of the colors of the suns and jendays) but it sure would be nice to see articles on other species for those of us conure owners owning other than the two mentioned. I was surprised to see a picture of a white-eyed - and yes, they are loud and in my opinion not for a first time bird owner. We rescued our white-eyed, Pickle, 14 years ago (he/she’s now 17) and what a character. He is our smallest bird and definitely the alpha bird of a roost of three! He has no problem standing up to our Macaw – and, Kiki, our rescued wild-caught sharp-tailed blue crown (who was left at the pet store after boarding and never picked up) has been with us the past 10 years has just stolen my heart. These are wonderful, loving birds. Is it there just isn't enough info on these species that we never see articles or are they just not that popular? Come on Bird Channel, our birds want to be in the spot light too! It's always about suns/greys/cockatiels, etc. I had to talk someone out of buying a sun some years ago, despite the fact he knew absolutely nothing about parrots whatsoever, but wanted to buy the bird as he thought it would look good in his house because he had orange walls! When I got done, he walked out of the pet store (hopefully never to return). Every bird owner (and potential owner) should read and adhere to the Parrots Bill of Rights.
Jean, Baltimore, MD
Posted: 9/19/2014 10:04:58 AM
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