Should you let your sun conure sit on your shoulder?

My sun conure sits on my legYou hear the warning often. Don’t let your parrot sit on your shoulder. Why? Well a parrot can bite that’s why. At anytime they can decide to poke you in the face, or bite you on the nose or ear. The parrot is also high up which can give it a feeling of superiority and dominance. Well what about a sun conure? Should you let the much smaller sun conure sit on your shoulder? 

Sun conures are not as big as many other parrots and are often around 12 inches long while a n Umbrella Cockatoo can be up to 18 inches and an African Grey can be up to 13 inches. Sun conures can and do bite however. My sun conure has been known to bite my ear or poke me in the face. The damage is minimal but it does hurt quite a bit especially when she has bitten my ear. 

More often than not, my sun conure prefers to sit on my leg while I am sitting. She sits on my leg while I watch television or while I am on the computer. It is usually while I am walking that she gets on my shoulder. 

To prevent biting and poking, I know what my sun conure’s triggers are. She will bite if I pick up the phone and she is sitting on my shoulder for instance. My sun conure will poke when you start talking to the cat sweetly as well. Knowing what makes your parrot mad goes a long way to preventing the problem. Knowing and learning the triggers takes time and observation however. 


I do recommend that if you are a newer owner and the sun conure is not completely bonded to you and your household that you do not let the parrot sit on your shoulder without extreme care if at all. Have your sun conure sit on your leg or your arm instead. If you are walking have the sun conure perch on your hand even. Much of the feeling of dominance that the parrot has is mitigated by clipping its wings too so that can help until there is an understanding of boundaries between owner and parrot.

Another problem that occurs when you let your sun conure sit on your shoulder is bird poop running down your back. I personally don’t have that problem often because my sun conure is potty trained. Sun conures are so intelligent that is recommended to try to potty train them to prevent this problem. They need that challenge that goes with learning so it’s good for them to be trained. 

My sun conure is bonded and trained and interacted with on a daily basis. Still she can be naughty. There will always be times when I get bit or poked. Just today when Goldie was messing with her favorite pink t-shirt I gave her, I tried to fix it for her, and she didn’t like that so she tried to bite me. She was playing and that was her way of telling me to leave her alone. So I smiled and did just that.




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