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The Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis) or Sun Parakeet is a medium-sized brightly coloured Parrot native to northeastern South America. It is commonly kept in aviculture.

The Sun Conure is a small parrot, though more like a Macaw in its features. This little parrot is intelligent and capable of talking, even performing tricks. They are known to be noisy and if that can be accepted, then this little parrot with a big personality, can be an affectionate addition to your family.

The Sun Conure is such a beautiful little parrot, that is even sometimes mistaken for a parakeet, but when you look at their features, they are most definitely a parrot. They love to be in groups of other birds, because it is their nature to be social. Their beautiful coloring makes them very much sought after and their ability to love their human companions adds to their charm. They have abilities like other parrots to mimic and imitate which is such a fun advantage to owning a parrot. They are considered rather noisy, though, and they do have their boisterous times of the day. They can be heard vocalizing most often in the first part of the morning as well as the latter part of the day. The Sun Conure is very spirited and though they can screech loudly when frightened, for the most part they are an easy parrot to own, because their maintenance requirements are low. They love to perform and have never been accused of being shy. As do many parrot species, they love a good bath. If a bathing dish is not accepted, they will use their drinking water, if possible, to splash around in. A good spritzing with a warm water bottled, on a weekly basis, is very much welcomed. These beautiful Conures can live 30 years or more with proper care. Sun Conures are intelligent birds and some can even be trained to go to the bathroom in special areas when they are out of their cages! They are social birds that will do their best to please their owners if they are well bonded with them. Like most parrots the Sun Conure requires a lot of attention - they are social birds that need interaction with their owners.

The Sun Conure is a medium sized Conure, averaging about 4.5 ounces and 12 inches in length (from head to tail), with a slender build and a large head and beak. The coloring of this little wonder is very striking. The plumage consist of a lot of yellow, though it is green in its under tail coverts. The greater upper wing coverts are green, yet having yellowish edges to them. The primaries too, are green, but with blue edges to them. The secondary feathers are also green and though the bottom side of the tail feathers is black in hue, the upper side of the tail feathers is more an olive green. There is an orange hue to the sides of their heads and forehead, as well as to their abdomens and the lower part of their backs. The under tail coverts are green, but with definite yellowing also. Their eyes are a rich dark brown, though the periophthalmic ring is white. The bill on a Sun Conure is black and their feet are grey.

The Sun Conure can be found naturally in eastern South America, mostly north of the Amazon River. Long ago, they could be found in Northeast Brazil as well as Southeast Venezuela and Northern Amazon. Their range also included Guyana, French Guiana and Surinam. However, because these Conures have such striking beauty, they were bought and sold to Mexico and the Caribbean and they became very abundant in these areas as well.

Specific Care Information:

Avoid the following foods, as they can harm the Conure: Cabbage and avocado, iceberg lettuce and parsley.

Sun Conures eat pellet formulas and parrot seed, as long as it is fortified. They like dark green and yellow vegetables. It is always good to supplement a parrot's diet with healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and even cooked eggs. Always remember, though, to remove fresh food after just a few hours, because they do tend to spoil rapidly, since they have no preservatives. Of course, they need a clean dish of water every day, and if they bathe in their drinking water, it is good to notice when they do that, so you can refill their bowl with clean water. You can give your Sun Conure added vitamins, but they are really only needed if they are fed a strictly seed diet. Pellets usually have the vitamin nutrition that they require. Their cage should be ample and contain plenty of toys to entertain them, with lots of room to play and stretch. A mineral block will help give needed calcium and has an advantage of helping to keep their beaks trim. In addition, never forget the bath, which they love so much.

When training the Sun Conure, if you try to get it to step up onto a perch or your finger and have difficulty, press lightly on their breast and make sure your hand is steady and firm.