Birds of a feather: Variation in Sun Conure Parrot feather color

my Sun Conure has more orange tonesParrots are a very diverse species with so many colorful feather variations. You can even notice a variation in Sun Conure Parrot feather color. Many people have told me recently that my Sun Conure Goldie seems to have a more reddish tone to her feathers. She indeed has gotten more orange in the last several years. When she was a bit younger Goldie displayed more yellow feathers which seemed to start out as a greener feathers.

Upon observation of Sun Conures, you may notice that some have a very yellow look, some that have more green, and some that are like Goldie that have more orange in them. Sun conures do change colors somewhat especially when they are young and as they become an adult. When I first purchased Goldie at PetCo in 2003 she was listed as being a Gold-capped Conure. This however of course is not correct as Gold-capped Conures are mostly green with a reddish area on the head and can be slightly bigger than Sun Conures.

This brings us to the interesting and beautiful Red Factor Sun Conure. The Red Factor Sun Conure which may originate from Hawaii and Florida has a distinctly red tone. Aubrie’s Animals has some pictures of the beautiful Red Factor Sun Conure. Goldie of course is no where near this beautiful color red however, but I do know that my Sun Conure was bred in Hawaii from her leg band.

Sun conures belong to the genus Aratingas of which the Jenday, Gold-Capped conure, and the Blue Crowned conure among others belong. Aratinga is Latin for ‘little macaw’. Howard Voren, in his article, The Gold-Capped, Jenday and Sun Conures, writes about Gold-capped Conures and Sun Conures being attracted to the most colorful mates and that perhaps Sun Conures decend from the Gold-capped Conure because of that attraction to bright colored feathers. It’s fascinating to think that at one time these three species of birds could have been one and have perhaps evolved to be such different colored birds with similar habits and features.

The evolution of these conures breeding seems to make sense, but not much is readily written about the suspected evolution. I do know that Goldie my conure is attracted to bright colors for instance. She really likes the color red- it’s her favorite color; and if she sees a reddish sweater or t-shirt, look out as she will walk, fly in order to get to it as quickly as possible. Remember the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together”. Instead of only thinking only that birds flock together for safety in numbers, it is probable too that they like the brightly colored feathers of their mates as well.

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