Sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis)

sun conure

In the same enclosure as the Madagascan partridge, which is close to Cold Blooded Corner.

Fast facts

Status Endangered

Size Head and body: 30cm. Wingspan: 14.6-16.2 cm

Weight 120-130g

Gestation 1 month

Young 3-4 eggs

Life span 25-30 years

What do I eat?

Sun conures are often found eating and looking for food together, in groups of up to 30 birds.

They will feed on different foods depending on what is available, such as fruits, flowers, berries, seeds, nuts and sometimes insects.

Where do I live?

These birds are found in South America, mostly in central Guyana, Brazil and south eastern Venezuela. Sun conures prefer habitats such as open savannah, savannah woodland and areas that are known to flood in different seasons.


There is little research about the wild breeding behaviours of sun conures, but it is thought that like the rest of the parrot family, these birds would mate for life (monogamous).

They will build a nest within spaces in palm trees, and the female will lay 3-4 eggs and it is only her that will sit on the eggs (incubate) for about a month. The chicks will stay in the nest for around 8 weeks before leaving (fledging). These birds are mature and able to breed from between 1-2 years of age.


It is not known what the main predators of sun conures are in the wild, yet it is thought that during breeding season when they are nesting, they could be threatened by other animals such as snakes and small mammals (i.e. rats).


Sun conures are mostly threatened by being caught and sold illegally to the pet trade. In the 1970’s sun conures were found in large numbers across their range, but with more demand for these animals as pets, they are now rare or no longer found in some areas. Loss of habitat is also a threat to these birds, due to demand for land for farming and livestock animals (e.g. cows) overgrazing in some areas.

The international trade of sun conures is regulated and requires permits. However further protection for these birds has been suggested so that the trade of this species is banned, in order to protect the wild numbers of sun conures.

Did you know?

The sun conure is also known as the ‘sun parakeet’.

Sun conures are great flyers and also very good at climbing. Like the rest of the parrot family, they will use their hooked beak to help them climb up trees and branches.


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Amazing day at Marwell zoo, topped by feeding the giraffes. Husband and I fed 7 giraffes by hand. I got sneezed on by kwame, the large male - brilliant!! Loved little Ruby. Very hands on. Not rushed at all. Thank you Megan, for making this an amazing experience for us both…Cathryn, 4th February 2016