Tuesday, December 27, 2011

World Bird Wednesday: Sun Conure

Sun conures (Aratinga solstitalis) are medium sized parrot with striking plumage and a loud, piercing voice. I'm not kidding about the voice.

They are native to the north and east South America, where they live in savannahs and forests. They feed on seeds, nuts, flowers and a variety of fruits and berries. Usually they are found in flocks of up to 30 birds who forage for food together. The calls are only heard during flight. A pair probably stays together for life and will raise three to five chicks each year. As juveniles, sun conures are green.

Sun Conures are popular pets - they look gorgeous, they are intelligent and inquisitive and bond with their owner easily. However, make sure you know what you are getting into. As all parrots, sun conures need a lot of entertainment or they grow bored, which results in screaming, feather plucking and other problems. Keeping a pair or a group of them is most natural for them, interacting with humans is fine but can never replace the company of another parrot (of the same species!). Even in ideal conditions, parrots are never quiet or won't make a mess - it's just what they do. Be sure that you can live with that.

A major threat for wild sun conures is being trapped for the pet trade, often the whole population in one region is trapped. The majority will die during transport, even before they reach a pet shop.
Check for parrot rescues near you, sadly many parrots are given up for adoption or are just abandoned when their owners grow bored or find out what they got themselves into with a parrot as a pet. Sun conures can live for 25-30 years in captivity.

Internet Bird Collection
Honolulu Zoo
Sun Conure Parrots
Conure Community

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