Bask in the Beauty of the Sun Conure: A Guide to This Vibrant Parrot

Sun Conure

Species Overview

Also Known As: Sun Parakeet

Scientific Name: Aratinga solstitialis

Adult Size: 11.8 inches

Life Expectancy: 15-25 years

Is The Sun Conure a good pet?

  • Affectionate, cuddly, deeply loyal
  • Fun loving
  • Can learn tricks and mimic sounds
  • Vibrant, beautiful colored plumage
  • They can be loud so are not ideal for close neighbor living
  • Can get nippy, especially towards young children if they’re provoked
  • They’re not known to be able to talk
  • They need to spend a lot of time socializing with their owner

Sun conures are known for being excellent family pets when they have the chance to bond. Fiercely loyal and affectionate, they make great pets for those who’ve got the time and inclination to spend the right amount of time and energy with them.

General Information

The Sun Conure will leave you in awe if you like wonderfully bright colors. The stupendous mixture of fiery yellow and orange is accented perfectly by splashes of blue and green on this gorgeous bird. This bird is undoubtedly one of the most stunning looking birds in captivity. 


The male and female have no outer physical differences except that there’s a bit more green plumage on the female than on the male. Both have color templates involving green, blue, yellow, and red. The green and blue colouring is mostly on the tail and wing area. Most of the body and head are covered in a brilliant orange and yellow. The beak is a nicely contrasting black.


A good way to know if the bird is less than a year old is to take a look at the amount of green feathering. Juveniles have almost no yellow and orange as a defence mechanism in the wild. Less bright colour means the young birds will not attract attention. Attracting attention is bad when one is young and clumsy in a world full of predators. The mature feathers slowly appear after about 6 months of age and continue to come in until the bird is about one year old. At full length, males and females reach about 12 inches from head to tip of the tail.


The Sun Conure is native to the North East part  South America. They live in flocks of around 30 birds. That being said, no wonder they are so loud! They must have shrill voices to be heard in their big “families.” All jokes aside, this bird really is a loud one. Though they can talk, they have high-pitched “birdy” voices and won’t have the distinct human-like sounds as some of the talking champs, such as the African Grey. 


They love to use their voices, as most birds do, in the early morning when they wake up and late evening when they are ready for bed. These are normal times for “I’m happy to be alive” type bird sounds. When a bird begins incessantly screaming all day is when you know there’s a big problem that needs addressing. So these birds are good for people who don’t feel that a bit of noise is a big deal.

two sun conures showing affection

What food do Sun Conures eat?

Like most birds, a good pellet is the best way to go. Treats, of course, are very much appreciated. They’re a great way to include variety in your bird’s diet and a superb way to add some fun. A mixture of fruits, veggies and nuts can be given and sprouts are an excellent way to add loads of nutrients. Find out what your particular bird loves. Every bird (and every person!) has their favourite food.


They can be rescued, adopted, or purchased at verified organizations or adoption websites like Petfinder. Pricing is around $800 from breeders. If you want to choose a breeder, make sure that the breeder is reputable by asking them how long they’ve been breeding and working with Conures. Ask for a tour, but don’t be alarmed if you are unable to tour the facilities in which they keep the birds. Many reputable breeders opt to work under closed aviaries, which prevents diseases from infecting the flock.

How big is the Sun Conure?

Sun conures are considered medium-sized compared to their parrot ‘cousins.’ An adult sun conure weighs between 3.5 and 4.5 ounces. They average 11.8 inches in length, with a wingspan of around 6 inches. Conures need lots of climbing room. The cage should be at least 24 x 22, although the largest is always best with parrots, and 5/8 inch bar spacing is recommended.


The sun conure is smart, interactive and easily trained. In general it’s a very affectionate and cuddly bird that’s gentle to all members of the family so long as it’s treated well. If it’s provoked it can turn aggressive so be sure to teach your young ones to treat the bird with the dignity and respect it deserves. The Sun conure can go through a biting stage, but this can be changed with proper training and care throughout the bird’s lifetime. They are naturally playful and affectionate when they get the attention they need, which makes them perfect for someone looking for a long-lasting companion.

The Benefits and Challenges of Owning a Sun Conure

Pros of Owning a Sun Conure

Sun conures are very affectionate birds. Highly loyal, once they bond with a person, they want to spend a great deal of time with that person. They’re even cuddly, enjoying physical affection and playtime.

Fun Loving

Sun conure birds are big and bold little birds that love to socialize and are naturally curious. They love to chew on things and are known for taking apart anything they can get their little beaks on. Active, playful, and outgoing, they’re sure to be a bundle of fun. 

Tricks and Mimics

Sun conures are athletic little birds that love to do tricks. They’ll even teach themselves little tricks to impress you. At the same time, you can teach them different tricks, such as waving, spinning, and putting a coin in the bank.


They may not be great talkers, but sun conures are great at mimicking. They’ll happily mimic noises you and the environment make, which can be a fun game to play if you’re whistling back and forth between you and your sun conure.

Vibrant Colors

Sun conure birds are some of the most vibrant conures you can get. With brilliant orange and red colouring, it’s easy to see where they get their name from. The bright colour of these birds is a great addition to any décor.

Sun Conure on a persons hand
Cons of Owning a Sun Conure
Loud and Not Good for Neighbors

A very well-known trait of sun conures is their expressive voices. They’re very loud birds and are known to scream high-pitched, loud, and long when bored, needing attention, or in the morning. As a result, they are not a good fit for households (or neighbors) that enjoy peace and quiet.

Nippy When Provoked

Sun conures can get quite nippy when they feel threatened or defensive. This behaviour tends to come out more around children who might not understand to give the birds the space they need to feel comfortable. It’s also a way that they show dominance and protect themselves.

Not Talking Birds

Although the sun conure is an excellent mimicker of sounds, speech and talking are not one of the skills this bird is known for. So if you’re looking for a bird with which you can have some semblance of human conversation, the sun conure might not be for you. 

Need a Lot of Socialization

Sun conures are very affectionate and loyal but need time to bond with their owners. They also require more socialization time than other birds might and can become quite loud if not given the attention they crave.

Unique Behaviors and Personality Traits of the Sun Conure

Sun conures are known for their playful and affectionate nature. They’re often called clowns, lying on their backs or playing on rope toys for attention and affection. Fiercely loyal to gentle and attentive owners, sun conures are known to be good family birds, although it’s important to know that they will bite if provoked or scared.

Flock of sun conures perched on a branch

Common Health Issues of the Sun Conure and How to Prevent Them

Feather Picking

Sun conures are one of many bird species prone to feather picking. It usually means they are bored and not receiving enough attention. Providing more toys and one-on-one time can ease this problem.

Viral Conditions

Some common avian viral conditions, like psittacosis (parrot fever) or polyomavirus, affect sun conures. Both these diseases can be prevented by watching their interactions to limit their exposure to the virus. If you notice anorexia, lethargy, appetite loss, fluffed feathers, or a swollen abdomen, consult your veterinarian.

Differences Between Male and Female Sun Conures

Male and female sun conure birds are very similar in size and appearance, although the males tend to be brighter. Males also have a squarer and flatter head than females, although the difference is subtle and females also tend to have shorter tails than males.


Personality-wise it’s been noted that male sun conures can be more territorial than females. Females tend to be more social and affectionate. Males also tend to have a more persistent scream, although all sun conures are known for their loud and vibrant voices.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Sun Conure

Before bringing your sun conure home, make sure you have an appropriately sized cage. The minimum size for a habitat for one sun conure is 24 x 24, with metal spaces no more than ¾” apart. When sourcing a cage, make sure you understand what metal it is made of, since your sun conure will probably chew on their bars and can get accidental poisoning from poor metal cages.


Ensure their habitat has lots of perches, toys, litter, and a liner. A UV light is important to ensure your sun conure gets the vitamin D they might be lacking from not being outside. They will also need access to a water dish they can bathe in. 

Sun Conures eating out of a hand

The Breeding Behaviours of Sun Conure and How to Prevent Breeding

Sun conure birds are active and frequent breeders, so there’s a good chance that a bonded pair will mate. They usually reach sexual maturity by 24 months old, and the beginning of spring is when mating season begins.


Because sun conures start breeding in spring, a great way to stave off breeding behaviors is by not allowing stimuli to make it seem like it’s spring. Keeping daylight and nighttime hours equal (12 hours each) and not having flickering lights at night that make sun conures think the light is returning is a good way to keep them from returning to a breeding cycle.


You can also ensure they have abundant access to food year-round. Avoiding giving them a nest box (or covering the cage, which basically creates a huge nest box) is another great way to discourage breeding.


The Importance of Regular Vet Checkups for Sun Conures

Taking your sun conure to the vet regularly, at least once a year for a well-bird checkup, is crucial to catch potential problems before they spiral out of control. Your qualified avian vet will ensure your bird is growing and thriving as it should be, evaluating its eyes, skin, weight, feathers, and claws to ensure they are healthy and not at risk for any diseases.

The Importance of Socialization and Training for Sun Conures

Sun conures are sweet and affectionate birds, but they need training and socialization to stay that way. Consistent training, daily interaction, and constant socialization help keep them tame and well-behaved.

Sun Conure Sleeping

How to Recognize and Alleviate Stress in Your Sun Conure

Feather plucking is a common sign of stress in sun conures and usually means that they need more attention and socialization. 


Another thing to look for is lower energy levels. If your sun conure seems tired more, they may be stressed. Check their environment for stressors, ensuring their cage is in a good place for them and doesn’t move too frequently for their needs.


A good idea for keeping sun conures is to give them a quiet environment. For example, they may not like being in a room with a loud stereo or TV and might do better in a more silent room.

How to Build Trust and Bond with Your Sun Conure

Sun conures want to bond with their humans. Finding ways to do that will help them trust you.


Things you can try include:

  • Speaking gently with a low tone.
  • Creating a calm environment
  • Handling them carefully, gently moving them if they sit on your hand or arm.
  • Letting your conure out of their cage periodically.
  • Providing a lot of toys.

How to Provide Proper Care for a Rescued or Rehomed Sun Conure

The most vital thing to keep in mind is that you have to tread carefully and gently with rehomed sun conure birds. They may still be loyal to their old owners or have other sensitivities. However, being caring and gentle with them from the beginning, watching for any physical ailments, and working to create a new bond with them will go a long way to making them comfortable in their new home

Sun Conure Aviary

How to Manage and Prevent Common Feather Plucking Behavior in Sun Conures

The first step is to determine if the feather plucking is because of physical reasons, such as disease, parasites, or allergies, or if it’s caused by stress or boredom. Checking with your vet to confirm whether your sun conure is experiencing a physical reaction that is leading to the feather plucking will help you narrow down whether your sun conure will benefit from more attention or toys to alleviate feather plucking.

Fun and Interesting Facts about Sun Conures

Sun conure birds are fun and fascinating little buddies. Some trivia to wow your bird with includes:

  • They can live up to around 30 years.
  • They create their own tricks.
  • They can mimic a lot of noises but don’t usually speak.
Sun Conure flying on a white background

Sun Conures are Great Pets for the Right People

Sun conures are lovable, affectionate little birds with big voices. Sun conures are a good choice for people interested in putting in the work and creating a bond with their bird. So if you’re searching for more details on the best birds for you then check out our website.

Alan Winters

Alan Winters

Alan is a dedicated bird enthusiast and experienced writer who has been sharing insights on bird care and behavior for several years. With a passion for parrots in particular, Alan has a deep understanding of their unique needs and behavior patterns.

As a trusted authority in the field of bird care, Alan takes pride in sharing accurate and up-to-date information with his readers. Through his writing, he aims to educate and inspire bird owners of all experience levels to provide the best possible care for their feathered friends.

When not writing about birds, Alan can be found volunteering at local bird sanctuaries and rescues, where he enjoys putting his knowledge and experience to use helping birds in need.

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