This fairly recently-split species is listed as Endangered owing to a very rapid reduction in its population size during the last three decades. Although it was formerly fairly common, trapping for the cagebird trade has extirpated it from much of its former range and it is now in urgent need of effective protection.The Sun Conure Parrot (also called the Sun Parakeet) is arguably the most beautifully colored parrot you will ever see. They are small in size but have huge personalities.Adults have a rich yellow crown, nape, mantle, lesser wing-coverts, tips of the greater wing-coverts, chest, and underwing-coverts. The face and belly are orange with red around the ears. The base of the greater wing-coverts, tertials, and base of the primaries are green, while the secondaries, tips of the primaries, and most of the primary coverts are dark blue. The tail is olive-green with a blue tip.The Sun Parakeet occurs only in a relatively small region of north-eastern South America: the north Brazilian state of Roraima, southern Guyana, extreme southern Suriname, and southern French Guiana.These little Conure Parrots can be very curious, active, and playful. They are wonderful climbers and even love to hang upside down from perches and cage ceilings to get their owners attention. They can be very loving and even cuddly to people they trust but are sometimes extremely aggressive to strangers.Sun parakeets feed on fruits, flowers, berries, buds, soft leaves and nuts. They may also consume insects.Due to high demand in the pet trade this once common species has declined dramatically during the last twenty years (J. Gilardi in litt. 2007). It has been heavily exported from Guyana during this time, leading its virtual extirpation from that country. Trappers from Guyana and French Guiana have since travelled over the border to Brazil to buy birds for export (T. Arndt in litt. 2007, L. Silveira in litt. 2007). An annual export quota of 600 birds was set by Guyana in the 1980s and it is thought that more than 2,200 were imported into the United States between 1981 and 1985 (J. Gilardi in litt.2007). Trade is ongoing, and due to the ease with which birds can be attracted to bait (e.g. corn) and the large distances they will travel it is easy to trap all the individuals in an area (J. Gilardi in litt. 2007). . Today it is regularly bred in captivity, but the capture of wild individuals potentially remains a very serious threat.
The Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis)