Sun Conure
Aratinga solstitialis
(Linne 1758)

Description: Plumage mainly yellow; forehead, sides of head, abdomen and lower back orange tinge; under tail coverlets green with yellowish tinge; wing-coverts green with yellow edging; some blue on outer web of primary coverts; secondaries green; upper side of tail green with blue tips; blackish under tail; white periophthalmic ring; iris dark brown; bill black; grey feet.

Length: Twelve inches (30 cm).

Distribution: Northeast Brazil; Northern Amazonas; Guyana; Surinaam; French Guiana and southern most part of Venezuela.

Habitat: Savannah with trees and bushes, open forest and palm groves. Prefer to be in small groups usually up to twelve but may gather in groups of up to thirty.

Wild Status and Diet: Fairly common in areas where they are found. As these parrots like fruit they eat fruit, seeds, berries and flowers in the wild.

Aviculture: These parrots are classed as medium noisy to noisy, especially in the morning, late afternoon and when startled. Not a shy bird, lively and inquisitive. Hard chewers, provide plenty of fresh safe wood/branches. They also enjoy bathing.

Outside flight: 9 x 3 x 6 ft (3 x 1 x 2 m). Shelter size: 3 x 4.5 x 6 ft (1 x 1.5 x 2 m). Protect from frost and provide roosting boxes. In communal aviaries allow 20 sq. ft (2 sq. metres) for each pair. Can be mixed with other small conures, but always be weary not to mix breeding pairs as they may become aggressive.

Diet: Good parrot mix including: sunflower, safflower, canary grass seed, oats, various millet, wheat, some pine nuts, include a variety of fruit and vegetables including apples, mangoes, half-ripened maize, cucumber, carrot, rose hips, peaches, berries, green food and vitamin and mineral supplements.

Breeding in Aviculture: They enjoy being in a large flight with several pairs. Breeding is often achieved in aviculture but pairs need to be separated at this time, they produce clutches of 4-6 incubation taking 23 days with young fledging around 50 days. Avoid moving breeding pairs as they take a long time to settle again into breeding.

As a Pet:
Even as young conures when hand-reared they show their suitability as pet birds. They can make kissing sounds and say, "hello". They also love people. They want to be with people whenever possible. When they learn to fly they will fly around and then come back to the nearest shoulder or head. This small Conure is huge in character and is so brightly coloured that it makes a popular pet bird.

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