How to Tell the Difference Between a Male & Female Sun Conure

By Naomi Millburn

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Sun conures (Aratinga solstitialis) are smallish, strikingly colored South American parrots that, in the wild, live exclusively in Brazil and Guyana. The spirited birds -- sometimes called sun parakeets -- are also seen frequently as pets. Male and female specimens are extremely alike physically, although not 100 percent the same.

Basic Information

Sun conures are an endangered species, as reported by the 2012 Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Their population has undergone a major slide in past years, mostly because of excessive capture for the pet industry. Habitat ruination is also a big dilemma for the population of sun conures. In nature, these tropical parrots frequently reside in scrubby areas, forests and wide and grassy plains, where they take in seeds, flowers, nuts, berries and fruit. As pets, sun conures usually munch on commercial pellets and lots of fresh produce.

Gender and Coloration

Sun conures are undeniably colorful birds, with feathers that consist of yellow, reddish-orange, green and blue. Despite all of the color going on, males' are often just a little more intense and vivid in that department, specifically in the areas surrounding their stomachs and faces. However, the additional luminance of the males isn't always easily apparent, as these parrots' plumage coloring is highly "case by case" in the first place, regardless of sex.

Tails

Male sun conures generally have longer tails than their female counterparts, although not by too much. The boys' tails usually are anywhere between 5.15 and 5.74 inches in length, while the females' tails can be as comparatively short as 4.76 inches. Female sun conures' tails can also grow to as long as 5.74 inches, however.

Head Form

The form of male and female sun conures' heads also is slightly different. Female sun conures' heads not only are less substantial, they also have more circular shapes. The males' heads are more level on the top, and also a lot more angular in general.

Physique

Male sun conures also have somewhat sturdier and thicker physiques than the daintier females. The females are usually much more lithe in outline. Not only are their bodies thinner and more graceful, their bills are tinier, too.

Breeding

Female sun conures might look obviously different than the males during times of breeding. Right before they deposit eggs, their lower stomachs tend to take on a rather bloated look.

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