The native habitat of conures is Central and South America. Most are green, with various shades of blue, red, orange, yellow and black. They are 9 to 21 inches in length from head to the tip of the tail. Many have been reported to live up to 35 years or more. Depending on the variety, conures reach sexual maturity at the age of 1 to 3 years.
Conures are intelligent birds, with a reputation for being noisy and destructive. However, this does not apply to all individuals. Both sexes are known to talk and perform tricks and are loving companions when acquired at a young age or if they were hand-fed. Conures are known as “miniature macaws” because of their strong resemblance to these larger birds.
Otherwise known as Half-Moon conure or Petz conure, it is the species which has been responsible for introducing many enthusiasts to the hobby. In the wild, it is found in Western central America from Mexico south to Costa Rica. About 9.5 inches in length, Commonly hand-reared, it is remarkable for the readiness with which it will accept its owner. Orange-fronted conures proved to be talented mimics and affectionate pets. Some individuals can be noisy, but they are not particularly heavy chewers of aviary woodwork.
Orange-fronted conures prefer to nest deep inside arboreal termite mounds. Duplicating this situation in captive breeding setups is difficult, and the birds often do not produce. When they do, the hand-fed babies make delightful pets.
The Sun conure belongs to the genus Aratinga which includes Sun, Jenday, Gold-fronted and Gold-capped conures. Suns are found in the wild from Guyana to northeastern Brazil, but they have been captive bred in the United States for many years.
Often described as puppy-like in their behavior, Sun conures are one of the most popular and beautiful conures available in the pet bird market today. About 12 inches in size, Sun conures are very active birds, make excellent pets, and some become good talkers. Their voices are loud and have the characteristic conure squawking tones, but they can be encouraged not to screech. Domestic breeders have had much success raising these conures, and hand-fed babies are usually available.
Young birds have more green feathers, but these baby feathers molt out, and the brilliant colors emerge as the bird matures. Sun conures are extremely playful, curious and happy to be involved in any family activities. As pets, they are known for being content to be with their owners for hours at a time sitting on a shoulder or the back of a chair. They can be noisy if ignored but otherwise make fine pets.