Ten common questions about sun conures asked by people who don’t have a sun conure

I often go to bird stores, pet stores and the like and encounter people looking at the pet store birds that know nothing about parrots and pet store conures. These people are always struck by the beautiful colors and the exotic nature of the sun conure. However these same people often ask me questions that show how little they do know about parrots.

Education prior to purchasing a parrot is so important because so many are rehomed or are in rescues. Many of these well meaning people buy on impulse. Sometimes it works out; for instance, Goldie was purchased at a pet store with minimal advance information. Sometimes it doesn’t work out ant the parrot is rehomed.

Follows are some of the most common questions I receive about sun conures.

Can sun conures fly?

Of course they can fly. They might have their wings clipped though.

Do sun conures bite?

Yes they can bite and sometimes they bite hard and even draw blood.

Why doesn’t your cat eat the parrot?

My cat is scared of my sun conure. That being said never leave your parrot unsupervised with a cat around. Even just a scratch can be deadly for a parrot.

Do sun conures only eat seed?

No they should not eat just seed. They should also eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, cooked beans, sprouts, nuts, and some pellets too.

Where do sun conures come from?

Depending on the species of bird they may come from South America (sun conures orginated from South America), Africa, or Australia. Since the United States does not allow importing of most birds anymore they are probably breed in the United States.

Will they get bigger?

Probably not much bigger. The birds you see most often in pet stores in California have been weaned and are at almost full size. You should not ever purchase a parrot that has not been fully weaned unless you are an expert of course.

Do you ever let your sun conure out of the cage?

Parrots should be let out of the cage as much as possible. As long as you can supervise them, then it’s fine. Some days Goldie is out almost all day.

Why did you get a bird?

Parrots are so smart and have such a big personality in a small body. They live a long time and are actually very affectionate if they have been socialized. They are funny and loyal too.

Why are they so expensive?

It costs a lot to raise a parrot. Food, vet bills, cages, know how, work in cleaning, hand feeding, etc. all add to the cost. I once ran into someone at a pet store that told me that they wouldn’t pay $600 for a sun conure in a pet store when they could get one at a swap meet for $250. This really bothered me because if you buy at a swap meet you don’t know the health or background of the bird. It could be imported. It probably has not been socialized. The bird could be a rehomed bird as well being resold.

If you had to do it over again, would you still buy Goldie?

This is a hard one. If I had known in advance how much work it would be and how much time it took and oh the temperamental times and the occasional yelling; no I would not have bought her. However I would not trade her for anything. She is loved, cherished, and with the bad comes the good. She has brought so much good to my life. So I guess you could say that if you make the effort and are willing to continually learn, love, get a little dirty, and have patience then you will have a friend for life.

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