Sun Conure's are a colorful, loving, and friendly species of bird, and as such they can make great pets. These little clowns love to mimic and goof around, you never know what they're going to do next. Because of their big personalities, Sun Conures are not for everyone. As a proud Sun Conure owner I have put together a list of 5 things you should know before you purchase one.
They Love Attention
My Sun Conure, along with most others, loves to be the center of attention. He wants to be held, talked to, and played with almost constantly. If you're looking for a bird to lock in a cage and leave there because it "looks pretty" these birds are not for you. A Sun Conure needs attention to thrive, and without it, they can become moody and mean. The best thing to do is make sure you are going to have time to hold, play with, and talk to your Conure. My bird loves to sit on my shoulder and will come with me while I do things around the house. They are ony about 12" from beak to tail, so they are not heavy and don't get in the way. I am not saying that caring for a Conure is a full-time job, I work and go to school full-time so many days he is home by himself, however, your Conure should get at least an hour of attention a day.
They Like To Talk
The main reason many new Sun Conure owners get rid of their pet is because of the noise. Conures love to talk and that being said they are by no means a quiet bird. My conure screeches when someone comes in the door, when he wants fresh food or water and doesn't feel I am moving fast enough, when he's upset because he has been locked in his cage all day, and sometimes just because he feels like it. With that being said, if I spend ample time with him and give him fresh food and water before I feed myself in the morning, he's happy and quiet. Giving your Conure the attention it craves will seriously cut down on the loud screeching.
Aside from screeching Conures love to mimic you. My bird is just over a year old and he blows kisses, and has now picked up on, and successfully copied my boyfriends laugh. Some Conures will actually repeat words and phrases, however, mine is still too young to know if he will or not. It is a common misconception that all sun conures will talk, and do it well. They are not Macaws and while there is a good chance they will mimic words or phrases, they probably will not be a clear or as numerous as a Macaw would.
They Can be Messy
Sun Conures are by no means neat-freaks. They can be very messy, so if you don't want to clean bird food and such off the floor a Conure is not for you. All birds need their cage cleaned regularly, and will occasionally drop food, or something more unpleasant on the floor, however, Conures seem to make more of a mess outside their cage than other birds. My advice is that you put a towel down on the floor in front of your Conures cage. If my Conure decides he wants a peanut that is buried in his food dish, he very obnoxiously throws the rest of the food out of the cage and on to the floor. I keep a square of carpet in front of his cage and vacuum it daily and change it out weekly. If the mess is a deal breaker, don't get a Conure.
Conures absolutely love anything shiny. This is wonderful when it comes to toys and such, however, earrings, buttons, bracelets and rings are all in danger when a conure is around. As I said before, my Conure loves to sit on my shoulder while I go about my day, but I always take my earrings out and make sure I'm not wearing anything he could pick off and choke on. Not only would it be very inconvenient to lose something expensive like a diamond earring or part of a necklace to your Conure, it could also be fatal to them. Another item you really have to watch are your glasses. After a year I finally have my Conure trained to leave my glasses alone (most of the time anyway), however, he used to like to bite, climb, and pull on my glasses. It is a very expensive accident waiting to happen. Conures are like children and will put just about anything in their mouth so you have to be very conscious of what they could get in to.
They Can Have an Attitude
Conures are generally loving, playful, and friendly pets, however, if they are upset or annoyed by something they will let you know. For example, my Conure hated baths at first, but I wasn't going to let him sit around and be filthy. For two hours after I gave him his first bath, he would screech, bite, and throw food at anyone who went near his cage. He got over it, but it took about 4 more baths for him to be able to take one without getting upset. If you feed your conure something it doesn't like, or put something in its cage that it doesn't want, your pet will let you know. They have an amazing amount of personality good and occasionally bad. Part of the reason I love my Conure is because of his big personality, however, some people don't want a "temperamental" pet and if that's the case, a Conure is not a good choice.
These are five important things to consider before you buy a Sun Conure. If a Conure is not for you, there are plenty of other birds that make great pets. If you choose to get a Conure you are going to need a certain level of patience, however, I believe that these birds are wonderful pets.