The term conure readily identifies the bird as one of the species of small to medium sized parrots with a long tail of the tribe Arini, that are mainly endemic to South America. They reach sexual maturity at around 2 years of age, and can live for 25 to 30 years. The hen lays a clutch of four to five eggs, with an incubation period of 23 days.
On average, Sun Conures weigh approximately 110 g (4 oz) and are approximately 30 cm (12 in) long. They are sexually monomorphic.Adults have a rich yellow crown, nape, mantle, lesser wing-coverts, tips of the greater wing-coverts, chest and underwing-coverts. The face and belly are orange. The base of the greater wing-coverts, tertials and base of the primaries are green, while the secondaries, tips of the primaries and most of the primary coverts are dark blue. The tail is olive-green with a blue tip. From below, all the flight feathers are dark greyish. The bill is black. The legs and the bare eye-ring are grey, but the latter often fades to white in captivity (so using amount of grey or white in the eye-ring for determining “purity” of an individual can be misleading). It is easily confused with the closely related Jenday Conure and Sulphur-breasted Parakeet, but the former has entirely green wing-coverts, mantle and vent, while the latter has green mottling to the mantle and less orange to the underparts. The Sun Conure is also superficially similar to the pale-billed Golden Conure.
Juvenile Sun Conures display a predominantly green plumage and resemble similar-aged Sulphur-breasted Parakeets. The distinctive yellow, orange and reddish colouration on the back, abdomen and head is attained with maturity.
Distribution and Habitat
The Sun Conure is social and typically occurs in groups of up to 30 individuals. It has been reported as nesting in palm cavities. It mainly feeds on fruits, flowers, berries, nuts, and the like. Otherwise, relatively little is known about its behavior in the wild, in part due to confusion over what information refers to the Sun Conure and what refers to the Sulphur-breasted Parakeet. Regardless, the behavior of the two is unlikely to differ to any great extent.
The Sun Conure occurs only in a relatively small region of north-eastern South America: the north Brazilian state of Roraima, southern Guyana, extreme southern Suriname, and southern French Guiana. It also occurs as a vagrant to coastal French Guiana. Its status in Venezuela is unclear, but there are recent sightings from the south-east near Santa Elena de Uairén. It may occur in Amapá or far northern Pará (regions where the avifauna generally is very poorly documented), but this remains to be confirmed. Populations found along the Amazon River in Brazil are now known to belong to the Sulphur-breasted Parakeet.
In the past, the Sun Conure has been considered safe, but recent surveys in southern Guyana (where previously considered common) and the Brazilian state Roraima have revealed that it possibly is extirpated from the former and rare in the latter. It is very rare in French Guiana, but may breed in the southern part of the country (this remains unconfirmed). This species is very popular in captivity, and large numbers have been caught for the pet trade. Today it is regularly breed in captivity, but the capture of wild individuals potentially remains a very serious threat. This has fuelled recent discussions regarding its status, leading to it being uplisted to Endangered in the forthcoming 2008 IUCN Red List.
It was formerly classified as a Species of Least Concern by the IUCN. But new research has shown it to be much rarer than it was believed. Consequently, it is uplisted to Endangered in 2008
The Sun Conure is noted for its loud squawking compared to its relatively small size. It is capable of mimicking humans, but not as well as some larger parrots.
Sun Conures are popular as pets because of their bright coloration and ability to talk. Due to their inquisitive temperaments, they demand a great deal of attention from their owners, and can sometimes be loud. Like many parrots, they are determined chewers and require toys and treats to chew on.
Hand reared pets can be very friendly towards humans that they are familiar with, but they may be aggressive towards strangers. Sometimes they can be aggressive towards the owner. They are one of the friendliest of the Conure species, but they are one of the loudest