Sun Conure
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. sun conure
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    photo of pair of sun conures
  • Scientific Name: Aratinga solstitialis
  • Common Name/s: SUN CONURE,  YELLOW CONURE.
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: No
  • Origin / Distribution: North of the Amazon River in north-east South America.
  • Habitat In Wild: Tropical and subtropical grasslands and lightly timbered areas.
  • Status In Wild: Becoming rare due to loss of habitat and illegal trapping for the bird trade.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: About 24 months.
  • Adult plumage: attained at about 18 months
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 24 months of age onwards
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 20 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic. Surgical or DNA sexing is often necessary.
  • Colour mutations: Yes
  • Availability: Bird dealers.
  • Temperament: Sun conures are very colourful birds. They can be very noisy and are generally un-suitable for a residential area. Can make great pets if hand reared as babies. Can be bred in cages or an aviary. Best kept one pair per aviary. Like to chew timber. Can make an excellent companion bird or pet, especially if only one is kept. However there is one proviso and that is that these birds as pets can be very demanding of your time and attention. They may sleep in their nest box year round. Generally prolific breeders.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $1000
  • Description Of Adults:  There is variation between individuals in respect to their colour. Predominantly yellow and predominantly orange young can occur in the same nest and does not seem to have a predictable genetic inheritance.
  1. Length: Approx. 300 mm (or approx. 12 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 100 - 120 gms (or approx. 3.5 - 4 ozs)

A new conure species has been identified in Brazil.  The new species has been called the Sulphur-breasted conure.  Scientific name is Aratinga pintoi.  These birds look similar to an immature Sun conure.  "This species appears to be a kind of "missing link" between the Sun and Janday Conure".  Refer to ABK Vol. 18 Issue 9. Jun-July 2005 Page 526-527.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Conures " web page for general details on the housing of conures.

The Sun conure can be housed and bred in a large indoor cage.
They do better in a small parrot aviary than in a large cage.

Should be kept as one pair per aviary and not housed with any other species of birds.
Leafy branches can be placed in the aviary or cage for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.  Check with local aviculturalists or an avian veterinarian to ascertain which shrub/tree species are non toxic and safe to give to the birds.

Conures are best housed as one pair per cage or aviary and it is generally unwise to have any other birds in the same aviary.  They may kill any bird they do not like.

Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Conures " web page for general details on the feeding of conures.

Along with a quality seed mix, Sun conures like a variety of fruits and vegetables. Most fruits (except avocado) people eat will be eaten by conures. Most vegetables (except onion) people eat will be eaten by conures. They love corn-on-the-cob. Thawed frozen vegetables can be used when fresh is not available.

Quality dry commercial parrot pellet feeds are becoming available and may form part of a balanced diet.

Nesting: A basic overview only. Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences. Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared. If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months: May breed year round. Spring to autumn is preferable.
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth  300 - 500 mm (or approx. 12 - 20 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 250 mm. (or approx. 10 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 - 225 mm square (or approx. 8 - 9 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 70 - 80 mm (or approx. 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx 4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = in a sheltered part of the aviary and at about 1.5 - 1.8 metres height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months
    • Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to vertical.  Most boxes are vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 2 - 3.  Eggs per nest 3 - 5.  Incubation approx. 24 - 26 days.  Fledge approx. 7 - 8 weeks.  Independent approx. another 2 - 3 weeks. The young may return to the nest box after they fledge.

The Sun conure is generally easy to breed.  Make good parents and have been used to foster valuable larger parrots. Young can be leg rung with closed leg rings at about 15 days of age. Some hens will try to breed continually, however they should be restricted to no more than 3 clutches per year. More than 3 clutches per year may adversely effect the hen reducing her breeding life, health and longevity.

General practise is to remove the young birds from the parent birds and as soon as they are fully independent so as to avoid possible aggression from a parent.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 59 No. 9 Sept 2005 Page 203-204.
  • A/A Vol 52 No. 8 Aug 1998 Page 187-189
  • A/A Vol 52 No. 5 May 1998 Page 97-98
  • A/A Vol 42 No. 10 Oct 1988 Page 237-238 (Inc Photo)
  • Australian Birdkeeper
  • ABK Vol 18 Issue 9. Jun-July 2005 Page 526-527 (New conure species in Brazil- Sulphur breasted conure).
  • ABK Vol 16 Issue 9. Jun-Jul 2003 Page 495-498.
  • ABK Vol 14 Issue 8. Apr-May 2001 Page 435-438.
  • ABK Vol 13 Issue 1. Feb-Mar 2000 Page 47
  • ABK Vol 10 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1997 Page 550
  • ABK Vol  4 Issue 11. Oct-Nov 1991 Page 534-538
  • ABK Vol  3 Issue 3. Jun-July 1990 Page 103-107
  • ABK Vol  2 Issue 7. Feb-Mar 1989 Page 238-240

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