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Sun Conures

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Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis) Pete Turner/Getty Images

Common Name:

Sun Conure

Scientific Name:

Aratinga solstitialis solstitialis.

Origin:

Northeastern South America, from Brazil to Venezuela.

Size:

Medium, at about 12 inches in length from the beak to the end of the tail.

Average Lifespan:

25 - 30 years.

Temperment:

Given adequate attention, the Sun Conures are loving little birds that are easy to train and thrive on their owners' companionship. As with other bird species, owners should make sure to provide safe areas for the Sun Conure to explore and investigate. Conures are not shy birds and will let you know if their needs are not being met. Their loud, shrill call is a tool that they use to bring attention to important situations, and many have been known to become excellent "watch dogs."

Colors:

At maturity, a Sun Conure sports a rainbow of brilliant yellow, red, orange, green, and blue. Juvenile Sun Conures, as a natural defense mechanism, are not nearly as colorful as adults. The first feathers are olive green in color, changing to a mixture of yellowish-orange at around 6 months of age. Full color plumage can be observed at approximately one year of age. Sun Conures also have black beaks and feet and characteristic white patches around each eye.

Feeding:

While it is important to ensure that pet birds are offered variety in their diets, responsible owners must also make sure that certain nutritional requirements are met. In the wild, Sun Conures primarily feast on fruit, nuts, and seeds, but in captivity they do best on a balanced, pelleted diet. Like other companion birds, they need and appreciate treats, so don't forget to indulge your bird in the some fruit, vegetable, seed, or nut snacks!

Exercise:

As with all birds, proper exercise is imperative to good health. Sun Conures are by nature very active, and need to be provided adequate space to fly, explore, and play. Keeping this in mind, your Sun Conure should be allowed adequate time out of his cage, and the cage should be at least big enough for the bird to flap his wings. As far as cages go, bigger is always better, but a good rule of thumb is to buy a cage no smaller than 20 x 20 x 24.

Sun Conures as Pets:

Someone once described a flock of birds drifting through the Brazilian sky as a beautiful sunset. These were the Sun Conures. Colorful and intelligent, these birds have been popular in the pet trade for many years. The Sun Conure is naturally playful and affectionate, making it especially suited for companionship. While most people admire their beauty and charming personalities, it is important to note that Sun Conures are very social birds, and may not be the best choice for those who have little time to spend with a pet. Many Conures become screamers if they feel neglected, and some resort to destructive behavior if left unstimulated. With a little love, proper training, and socialization, however, Sun Conures make charming companions that are sure to brighten the homes and lives of the people that choose to keep them.

Photos (c) 2005 Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.
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