I’m no avian expert, and this informal FAQ is not designed to replace advice from certified avian behavior specialists or avian vets. I’ll be adding to this page as time goes on.
Q. How big is a sun conure?
Stewie weighs 105 grams give or take 2 grams (depending on when he last ate), but the average sun conure can weigh anywhere from 100g-120g). They tend to measure about 11 inches head to tail, with nearly half of that length being their tail. They tend to think they are bigger than they are though and they can make the noise of a bird easily triple their size 🙂
Q. How much sleep does a sun conure need?
In the wild they sleep when the sun goes down to when the sun comes up, so a conure needs 10-12 hours of sleep a day. Their sleep environment should be dark and quiet.
Q. How loud is a sun conure?
Check out the video on this post to hear for yourself how loud a sun conure’s scream is.
Q. Are sun conures always noisy?
All parrots need to be able to vocalize, especially in the mornings and at sunset. Sun conures are especially known for their loud, shrill screams.
However, screaming all day long is not normal and could indicate a problem. Screaming for attention should also not be encouraged.
Q. My conure screams a lot. How do I make him stop?
After any and all medical explanations are ruled out, try to determine why your conure is screaming. Odds are that he is looking for attention.
The best way to extinguish attention screaming is to ignore loud screaming and reward “good” noises. This can be quite difficult and a lot of well-meaning conure owners accidentally reinforce the screaming by rushing to the bird to calm it down. This teaches the bird that he can make you come to him by screaming.
Everyone in your household needs to consistently ignore these types of screams (either by turning your back or leaving the room for a few minutes) and only pay attention your feathered bullhorn when s/he is being quiet. Failure to be consistent can actually reinforce the screaming habit. It may take a month or so to extinguish the screaming, depending on how long it was being reinforced.
Q. I put toys in my conure’s cage, but s/he destroys them. Are there toys that s/he he’ll play with and not chew to bits?
If he’s chewing them to bits he IS playing with them. Conures, like most parrots, need to be destructive and toys are an appropriate outlet. If your conure isn’t playing with his toys at all, there might be several reasons to consider.
Q. How much does a sun conure cost? How much did you pay for your sun conure? Where do you buy a sun conure?
I got Stewie at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (Va.). Adoption fees for conures vary, but expect to pay around $150 to adopt a conure. You can easily find sun conures at parrot adoption agencies like Phoenix Landing and on Petfinder.com.
The cost of keeping a sun conure is similar to the costs associated with other parrots. With routine vet care, medical expenses, cages, toys, food and other supplies, the cost of owning a companion bird can easily reach several hundred dollars a year (or more if your bird ends up needing non-routing medical care).