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Sun Conure – Full Profile, History & Care



Brilliantly colorful, intelligent, friendly and full of personality, the sun conure has long been popular with families who love pet birds. But owners need to be prepared; this bird is one of the loudest of all medium-sized parrots. It is not a good starter bird as it requires regular training, daily interaction and constant socialization to keep it tame and well behaved.

Species overview

Common names :

Sun conure, sun parakeet

Scientific name: Aratinga solstitialis

Adult size:





: 25 to 30 years

Origin and history

sun conure

The sun conures are native to northeastern South America, including Venezuela, northern Brazil, and Guyana. It is mainly found in inland tropical habitats, but it can also inhabit dry savanna forests and coastal forests. It usually inhabits fruit trees and palm groves.

The population of this currently endangered bird is rapidly declining due to habitat loss and trapping for the pet trade. About 800,000 birds are trapped each year, despite the import ban imposed by the United States in 1992 and by the European Union in 2007.


The sun conure is a playful and amusing bird that enjoys athletic tricks. These birds are intelligent, interactive and easy to train. In general, it is a very affectionate and cuddly bird that is gentle with all members of the family as long as it is treated well. The bird is not without assurance, however; it can suddenly become aggressive if provoked.

This parrot can go through phases of tetanus which can be difficult for both children and adults. Even the tamest pet bird can be startled and bite. It’s not an exact reflection of his personality, it’s a natural reaction.

Like all parrots, sun conures are social birds that need a lot of interaction with their human owners to be happy. They are naturally playful and affectionate when given the attention they need, which makes them particularly suitable for those who want a bird to keep them company.

Do not forget that the sun conure is extremely strong, capable of emitting piercing cries at the ears. Its loud, shrill call is used in the wild to draw attention to important situations from miles away. Likewise, this bird can be a great watchdog version for your home.

Speech and vocalizations

In captivity, this bird’s loud, screeching calls can elicit back calls from angry neighbors. This bird is not suitable for apartment or condominium dwellers. You can’t expect to “train” their screaming, but you can train them early on to limit excessive screaming. They express their excitement and fear with shrill cries. Conures are not shy birds and will let you know vocally if they are bored or if their needs are being neglected.

Sun conures aren’t known for their ability to talk, but some birds demonstrate an uncanny ability to mimic other types of sounds, like doorbells, microwave buzzers, and telephone chimes.

How to teach your bird to talk

Sun Conure Colors and Markings

Sun Conure

When fully grown, a sun conure is bright orange and yellow with streaks of green and blue. Young sun conures are not nearly as colorful as adults, which is a natural defense mechanism. The first feathers are olive green in color and change to a mixture of yellow-orange around the age of 6 months. Full color plumage appears around one year of age. Sun conures have black beaks and feet and characteristic white patches around each eye. The sexes are identical in terms of color and markings. To determine the sex, your bird must undergo a genetic test or a surgical sex determination procedure.

Caring for a Sun Conure

Sun Conure

The sun conure is an active bird that will be happiest in a spacious enclosure. Give it a minimum cage size of 20 inches by 20 inches in footprint and a height of at least 36 inches. Make sure the cage has relatively close spacing between the bars (3/4 to 1 inch) to prevent the bird from getting its head stuck between the bars.

Like most other parrot species, the sun conure needs safe areas outside of its cage for exploration and research. This athletic bird likes to create his own tricks. Provide a playroom on top of his cage so he can stretch his legs and wings.

Like most pet birds, sun conures require training if you want to have a positive and fun relationship with them. Use positive reinforcement techniques to train this parrot to do multiple rounds of gymnastics. This bird will not react well to scolding or any type of negative reinforcement.

Sun conures are less enthusiastic about bathing than some parrots, but most will splash around and bathe every day if the cage has a bowl of clean water every day. Conures don’t like jet showers as much as some other parrots.

The 8 Best Brightly Colored Pet Birds

Table # 1

normal wild-type Green-Cheeked Conure male






normal wild-type Green-Cheeked female



100% Green Cheeks of both genders












Yellow-Sided Conure male.
This mutation has been found in the wild and was first identified in imported birds by Steve Garvin.









female Normal Green-Cheeked




Normal males that carry the sex -inked mutation for
Yellow-Sided… therefore, these males can produce it without the mutation being visual.












female Yellow-Sided-
a sexed-linked mutation that can only be
passed on by the hens
if it is visual.














 Cinnamon male, a sexed-linked mutation









Normal female

Visual normal males that can produce Cinnamons


Visual Cinnamon females




















male Cinnamon bred to a female Cinnamon ;
parents of this pair are both Cinnamons















female Cinnamon







male Cinnamons









female Cinnamons



Male Yellow-Sided
(parents are a Yellow-Sided male
bred to a Cinnamon )





female Cinnamon







males split to Cinnamon and Yellow-Sided











Yellow -Sided
that are not split (can only produce Yellow-Sided)


visual normal male, (parents are Cinnamon and Yellow-Sided) – can produce the babies shown below-
if bred to a Yellow-Sided female as shown at right






visual female Yellow-Sided (she cannot be split to Cinnamon as this charcteristic is sex-linked)

male Yellow-

female Yellow-Sided-
cannot be split to Cinnamon

female Pineapples

female Cinnamons








(she is a visual Cinnamon -Yellow- Sided,
both in same bird)


Cinnamon males split to Yellow-




Common health issues

Like other conures and parrots, the sun conure can be prone to feather picking. Although this can be caused by medical reasons, more often than not it is a sign that the bird is bored or not getting the attention it needs.

Conures are also prone to avian viral diseases like proventricular dilation disease and psittacine beak and feather disease. They can also be affected by bacterial infection of psittacosis, beak malocclusion (excessive biting of the beak) and fungal infection of aspergillosis. If you think your bird is sick, you will need an avian veterinarian or exotic species specialist to examine your bird. You should plan to have annual checkups with this specialist vet.

Diet and nutrition

In the wild, sun conures feed primarily on fruits, nuts, and seeds. In captivity, they do best on a balanced diet in pellet form supplemented with fruits, leafy greens, and root vegetables. Lightly steamed sweet potatoes are an excellent food for your conure.

You can give them an unlimited amount of food in the form of pellets; they will only eat what they need. As for fresh fruits and vegetables, offer them about 1/8 to 1/4 cup in the morning and evening.

Like other pet birds, a sun conure needs and appreciates treats, so make healthy choices for treats. Nuts and seeds are always a good choice for an occasional treat. Walnuts and almonds are excellent choices. If you want to make feeding your feathered friend easier, try making a cereal casserole. It freezes well and is a healthy, portioned meal for your bird.

Seed vs Pellets: a way to Feed Your Bird


As with all birds, correct exercise is imperative permanently health. Sun conures are naturally terribly active and want adequate area to fly, explore and play.
Your sun conure ought to be allowed out of the cage for a minimum of three hours every day. hunting and different styles of enrichment are essential for these intelligent birds. make sure to produce the bird with a spread of fascinating toys and alter them at regular intervals to stay your pet from losing interest.


  • Social, affectionate and cuddly
  • Intelligent, we can teach him things
  • One of the brightest colored birds


  • Noisy, not suitable for apartments or close neighbors
  • Not known for his ability to speak
  • Can become nervous around children if provoked

Where to Adopt or get a Sun Conure

If you are considering purchasing a sun conure, make sure it is certified for captive breeding. These birds can cost between 500 and 700 dollars. Some adoptions or rescues that may feature sun conures include

If you go the breeder route, make sure of the breeder’s reputation by asking how long he’s been breeding and working with sun conures. Carefully inspect a bird before bringing it home. A healthy bird is alert, active, has bright eyes, clean feathers, and full feathers.

More Pet Bird Species and Further Research

Sun Conure

Other medium-sized parrots can be considered:

  • Indian Rose-ringed Parakeet Species Profile
  • Quaker Parrot Species Profile
  • Green-Cheek Conure Species Profile

Otherwise, check out all of our other medium-sized parrot species profiles.

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