The sun conure is one of the most beautiful birds in the world.
This little bird is about the size of a robin, but each bird's feathers include red, orange, and yellow on the head, chest and upper wings, and royal blue and green on the tail and wings. The yellow feathers extend across the shoulders and are called a cape. These small South American parrots are simply gorgeous.
Sun conures can make wonderful pet parrots for the right family. If handfed as babies they tend to be affectionate and playful companions. They might enjoy riding around inside your shirt or nuzzling your ear while sitting on your shoulder. They are comical as they play with their toys, and they are bright enough to be taught numerous tricks. They are not generally good talkers, but some of them may learn to say a few words in a cute but gravelly little voice.
There are several things to consider before selecting a sun conure as your pet.
First, the things that all potential parrot owners must consider: Parrots are messy, noisy, and need your attention. They chew on things. A few of them may occasionally bite. Biting, chewing, and screaming can be modified through learning to handle the birds properly, providing adequate toys, and giving them attention and healthy food.
Sun Conures have a call that sounds something like a rusty hinge amplified about 25 times. The call is a loud screech. Many a sun conure has been given away because of this particular call. Most parrots call during the mornings and late afternoons for a short time, so be prepared to allow this. Persistent, ongoing screaming is a sign that something is wrong and must be modified through owner education!
Mess making is part of having a parrot! You can provide skirts and mats around your bird's cage to catch dropped seeds and thrown fruit, but feathers float away and will need to be swept up. The paper lining should be changed daily. The cage will need weekly cleaning. Power washers make short work of this task!
Sun conures need a varied diet including lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts along with a pelleted food as a staple. Don't resort to simply filling the cup with seeds each day. Parrots need variety for health and interest. If your parrot doesn't initially want to eat a variety of foods, patiently and consistently offering new foods will gradually convince it to try something new.
A sun conure will live approximately 20 to 25 years, so plan for a wonderful life together with your companion. On occasion your bird may have health concerns, so find a veterinarian trained in avian medicine before purchasing your pet.
Sun conures cost from $250 to $500 depending on where you live. Plan to double that cost when acquiring a good cage and toys for your pet. A sun conure's cage should be at least 18"x24"x24". Buy the biggest cage you can afford, and still plan to spend time playing with your bird outside his cage each day.
Sun conures are pleasing and delightful bird companions if you know what to expect. Enjoy!