Things your sun conure should know or be able to do


These are basic things that Goldie my sun conure knows or can do. Admittedly she has bad days when she will not behave or is just plain cranky, but most of the time she is a good girl. The basics of sun conure training are nothing fancy and come by handling, talking to, and rewarding my sun conure on a daily basis and over time.

Step up

This is the most important thing a parrot should be able to do. It is surprising to find out how many cannot step up though. Teaching an older sun conure to step up may take time depending on the socialization and trust level of the bird.

Goldie for instance was hand fed and moderately socialized when she was purchased at PetCo. She had problems stepping up in the beginning because I don’t think she was handled enough in the store. She no longer has any problems stepping up and will do so even if she is cranky.

The basic technique I used because she was moderately socialized starts with tickling her belly. Goldie likes having her belly tickled. Gently pushing on her belly while tickling causes a slight loss of balance and then I just stuck my finder under her wayward foot and said “step up.”  She got the idea rather quickly. There are other methods to learning step up that are just as effective and depending the situation and the birds personality work just as well.

With a bird that cannot be touched or that is more fearful and aggressive it takes more time and effort to learn step up, but after you gain their trust it can be done.

Step down

After you teach step up then step down is easy.

Go in and out of cage easily

This can be hard for sun conures that have not developed a trusting relationship yet. Goldie has no problem with coming out of the cage but sometimes is reluctant to go back in. Singing to her while putting her back in helps me. Going in and out should be fun and not made like a punishment.

Come to you when name is called

Goldie will fly to me and land on my shoulder when called. If your parrot cannot fly then just merely walking to you when called is good. Offering treats by calling their name is the way to start. Offer the treat close by and gradually over time offering it farther and farther away works.

How to play alone

This can be a hard one for some parrots and even for Goldie on occasion as she really prefers me and music. Lots of toys shredable and otherwise are good for entertainment. She has music and her toys and loves to look out the window.

Learn what “good” is

Goldie loves to be told she is a “good girl.”  She bobs her head when told she is good and loves it. She is always told she is good when she is being good and rewarded for it.

Learn what “no or bad” is

This is admittedly hard sometimes as parrots can have a hard time understanding punshipment type situations. Goldie on occasssion will say “no” back and I think she thinks it’s funny. No will be easier if the sun conure knows what good is though. Good should always be emphazed before bad. If no isn’t working then distraction is the way to go. I try singing to her and putting her back in the cage.

Be comfortable being wrapped in towel for wing clipping or vet check

Goldie has her own blanket that she likes- a red blanket that my sister knitted for her. It makes it easier and less stressful if she has to be wrapped to have a familiar blanket.

Be potty trained

When a sun conure knows what the word “good” means, it really is easy to potty train them. It’s just a matter of knowing the body language of the bird and having the bird associate a place or word with potty. Don’t let the bird hold the potty too long though. Goldie sometimes, especially after eating, has to go potty on average of every 15-30 minutes. While it isn’t essential that your sun conure be potty trained, it sure makes life easier.

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