Sun Conure smiling and standing on wooden perch in the wild


Scientific Name: Aratinga solstitialis

Native Country: North Eastern South America – Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil and Suriname

Habitat: Tropical Forests, Savannah Woodland, Palm Groves

Height (Head to Tail): 25 – 30cm, Medium Size

Lifespan: up to 25 years

Weight: 100 – 120 grams

Appearance: Multi-colored

  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Blue

Juveniles have patchy olive green feathers but as they age, adults have predominantly bright orange and yellow feathers. Tail feathers are green, blue and slightly yellow. Covert wing feathers are yellow and green but primaries/secondaries wing feathers are blue.

Sun Conure – Diet:

60% Specialized Pellets – South American Bird Mix – high quality pellets are organic with no added coloring or preservatives. Popular brands include Vetafarm, ZuPreem, Harrison’s and Lafeber’s.

35% Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – Apple, Banana, Mango, Watermelon, Pear, Orange, Peas, Broccoli, Beans, Corn, Spinach, Capsicum

5% Treats – Sunflower Seeds, Unsalted Almonds or Walnuts, Dried Pineapple, Dried Apricot

ZuPreem Fruit Blend Flavor Pellets 3.5 lb
Harrison’s Bird Foods High Potency 1lb
Vetafarm South American Mix 2kg/4.4lb

Sun Conure Trio Preening each other and napping on wooden perch
Image: Sun Conure Trio

Sun Conure – Essentials:

When bringing your little sun conure home for the first time, you will need to ensure you have the basics sorted beforehand.

  • Bird Cage – at least 40cm x 60cm x 100cm (W x L x H) – plenty of room for toys and flight; best to line the cage with newspaper to easily clean their droppings/mess
  • Cage Cover – any cloth that covers 90% of the cage so the bird can sleep in darkness e.g. blanket
  • Perch – at least 2 perches for sleeping and general support, may want to add a rope or wooden ladder for entertainment
  • Toys – 2 or 3 to begin with for mental stimulation/entertainment; highly recommend wooden toys to help grind down their beaks at the same time
  • Bowls – 3x bowls (one for pellets, one for fresh fruit/vegetables and the other for water); your bird might use the water bowl to bath too, that’s completely fine!

Still not sure? Click here to download our 100% FREE bird care checklist here.

Sun Conure – Behavior:

  • Socialization: Highly affectionate, cuddly, loyal and playful – be cautious like most birds, they will bite when feeling threatened or disturbed whilst feeding

  • Vocalization: Loud, high pitched scream most often noticed when looking for attention i.e. excited, hungry or feeling lonely. Rarely speak long phrases but can mimic a few words when taught at a young age.

Sun Conure – Breeding:

Fully fledged sun conure baby

Sun Conures are reach maturity for breeding at 2 years of age. If you are planning to breed sun conures, you must ensure the male-female pair is bonded. Other requirements are mentioned below:

  • Requirements:
    • Nest box (min. dimensions 30x30x30cm)
    • Nest box filling e.g. clean straw, non-toxic wood shavings or sawdust filling
    • Specialized breeding diet – high in protein, calcium and vitamins
  • Mating Partner: Monogamous (bonded pair male & female – one partner for life)
  • Breeding Season: All year round but optimal during spring
  • Clutch Frequency: 2-3 clutches per year (any more could be detrimental to bird health)
  • Clutch Quantity: 2-5 eggs per clutch
  • Incubation Period: 25-27 days
  • Weaning: Fully weaned at ~8 weeks

Sun Conure – Health:

IssueSymptoms Causes
Psittacosis Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, vomiting, nasal/ocular discharge, diarrhea or pale green feces, breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, minimal physical movement, tremorsBacteria: Chlamydia psittaci contracted via infected dried saliva, feathers, mucous and feces
Feather PluckingForm of self mutilation by plucking their own feathers, leaving bald patches of skin Boredom, lack of mental stimulation, poor diet, illness, stress
Polyoma virusWeight loss, lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, enlarged abdomen, low mobility/paralysis, sudden deathPolyoma Virus: contracted via direct contact with other infected birds, feces, air, nest boxes, feather dust
Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD)Loss of appetite, vomiting, passing of undigested food in feces, weight loss, overall body weakness, head tremors seizuresAvian Bornavirus contracted via fecal-oral contamination or inhalation of infected aerosols
Psittacine Beak & Feather DiseaseSharp, clubbed or abnormally short feathers, pigment loss in colored feathers, bloody feather shafts Beak & Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) contracted from other infected birds e.g. oral – parent feeding young or ingestion of virus particles in dust feces
AspergillosisWeight loss, lethargy, constantly fluffed feathers, difficulty breathing, cloudy eyes, droopy wingsAspergillus fungus: exposure to spores found in dust, mold, soil – mainly affects malnourished or immunocompromised birds
Beak MalocclusionMisalignment of upper and lower beak – difficulty pickup up food or drinking Injury or genetic deformities
Sun Conure foraging on the concrete floor for seeds
Image: Sun Conure foraging for sunflower seeds

Did You Know?

1. Sun Conures are now declared endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

2. Average Purchase Price: $500 AUD for adults and $800 AUD for hand raised fully weaned babies

3. Sun Conures are easier to train and handle when younger (<2 years old)

Other Species: