Noise level and routine for a sun conure?

Ezekiell

New member
Jan 31, 2016
111
3
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
Māui (white bellied caique)
Hi everyone.

I have been considering adding a sun conure to the family, moreso as my own pet rather than a true family pet (my mum is nervous around birds), and I wanted to get some advice from some experienced bird owners.

As I have been told many times that sun conures are noisy, I have spent a lot of time listening to youtube videos of these birds calling, and also gone down to my bird shop to listen to/handle some sunnies. Honestly, the noise doesn't bother me at all. But I am worried that I will bring a bird into my house that will learn to scream because it will be alone for most of the day.

I'm a bit of a homebody so I know that I will have time to play with the bird in the evenings and let it out for breakfast before I have to go to work. At the moment, I have a lot more time and flexibility to allow for this as I work part time for myself and am starting uni. However, I know that this schedule will change to a slightly more rigid 9-4 arrangement after I complete uni.

So my questions are:
1. Will a sun conure adapt ok to being home alone during work hours (with toys and the radio on)?
2. Will being home alone make my sunny more likely to become a screamer or is that really dependant on how well I teach it to be independent?
3. Will about 4-5 hours a day of out of cage time, mostly in the evenings, be ok for a sunny?

Also, I work on Saturdays and my mum has said that she won't allow the bird out if I'm not there. But she does talk to our dog and will talk to the bird out of habit, so will that be ok if I make it part of the routine? There is also the possibility that the bird can come to work with me and sit out with the reception girls that day too...
 

Kalel

New member
Jan 2, 2015
473
4
Canada
Parrots
Sun conure named Lemon (nickname Moonie) hatched August 28, 2014, BFA Professor Green hatched August 22, 2014, Macaw Flash hatched Sept 15, 2007
Hello. I will try to answer your question as well as I can. First thing I must say is, as much as the sun conure will be "yours", I personally believe that birds are inevitably a part of the family whether you intend it to be or not. First of all, he needs to be in a busy area such as a family room. Secondly, he WILL scream. Regardless of how well behaved he is, a sun conure will scream and boy oh boy can it be piercing. To the point that your ears will ring LITERALLY if he happens to be on your shoulder or near you. Also, with their needs such as clean water, food, making a mess, they are hard for other family members to ignore when you are not home (not that they should be ignoring them of course). As much as they will crave attention from the family when you are gone, they will likely need a quick water dish change if it's soiled. I kid you not sometimes we change Lemon's water 5 or 6 times in one day. Or if they make a mess a quick vacuum or wipe down near the cage, etc. So, unlike a snake or fish, a bird is way more part of the family. I think being home alone during work hours, yes. Most bird owners do that and the bird adapts without problems. To your second question, I would say being home alone isn't necessarily going to make your sunny a screamer, but the excitement of hearing you open the door when you get home may drive him nuts with screams of joy. Mine does that sometime, but depends on his mood. If he's super excited, look out. If he was just in the middle of a nap, he may just chirp and chatter. I think 4-5 hours a day would be ok. As always, the more the better.

Again, if your mom is talking to the bird when you are not home I think that's OK. As long as he's not alone in your room. Being around your mom and the dogs will actually go a long way towards decreasing the chance of him screaming. If you can take him to work with you, you would have one happy little bird. I love that idea if it is indeed doable. Would do wonders for socializing him.

Please know that I am not trying to discourage you. I just want you to really know the truth of what you are getting in to. What made me a bit nervous is it seems like mom may not be fully on board with getting a bird. If that is truly the case, I would definitely reconsider a sun. They are lovely and I wouldn't trade mine for the world, but they are loud and not happy when left alone (at least mine is that way). I get sad that they are rehomed frequently due to their loud calls so I am doing my best to tell you it how it is. Good luck!
 

Skittys_Daddy

Well-known member
Jan 6, 2014
2,172
57
Lewiston, Maine
Parrots
Neotropical Pigeon - "Skittles" (born 3/29/10)
Cockatiel - "Peaches" (1995-2015) R.I.P.
Budgie - "Sammy"
(1989-2000) R.I.P.
Budgie - "Sandy"
(1987-1989) R.I.P.
The answer to questions 1 & 3 is yes. Number 2 is a bit more complicated to answer. Reason being is that this mostly depends on individual birds and their situations. Given that your sun won't "technically" be alone, it's hard to say. Suns don't like to be caged when other people are around, they prefer to be out and about socially. I realize this contradicts Kalels comments, but in all actuality we are both right since either situation can occur.

But if you spend a decent amount of time with them each day, caging won't be an issue. How your sun will react to your mom being around and not letting him out, I've no idea.

I live alone and RARELY have people over for a length of time (usually under 15min), so Skittles is not used to regular interaction with others while in home. He will attack them. He does not, however, attack people when he is out of the apartment with me, as long as they don't get too close to me.

Skittles is free flighted ALL day and if I happen to have to go out for a few hours or it's time to put him to bed, he is compliant. I can actually go to his cage door and say 'come on' and he flies over and goes in on his own most of the time, other times he just flies over and I have him step on my finger and then put him in his cage. They may be vocal for a bit once you leave but then they quiet down. But if they see someone walking around and ignoring them, well, that isn't gonna fly. So I'd just be very careful and observant of that situation.
 
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Ezekiell

Ezekiell

New member
Jan 31, 2016
111
3
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
Māui (white bellied caique)
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What made me a bit nervous is it seems like mom may not be fully on board with getting a bird. If that is truly the case, I would definitely reconsider a sun. They are lovely and I wouldn't trade mine for the world, but they are loud and not happy when left alone (at least mine is that way). I get sad that they are rehomed frequently due to their loud calls so I am doing my best to tell you it how it is. Good luck!

Yes, this is exactly what is worrying me too. My mum is very very childlike and has temper tantrums if I suggest even the slightest thing that she doesn't like. I have no idea why, considering I am 27 this week and have a job/career/education commitments.

I am taking my grandad to the bird shop today, and later my mum, so they can get some education about birds (the people at my local bird shop are wonderful and happy to talk to them with me), because they seem to think any bird is an ornament.

They may be vocal for a bit once you leave but then they quiet down. But if they see someone walking around and ignoring them, well, that isn't gonna fly. So I'd just be very careful and observant of that situation.
I should have noted that we kept canaries when I was young (they were males and sang very very loudly all day), and have bird sat budgies before which also were never quiet. I know this birds are different from a sun conure, but they were not allowed out of the cage but were constantly talked to and that made them calm down a lot.

Considering that, although this scenario is also dependant on the birds personality, is there some kind of training that I could do that could help the situation where I am not home, but mum is and the bird is caged to help it quiet? Like, something she can specifically say to the bird, like "Inside voice" command or something similar?
 
OP
Ezekiell

Ezekiell

New member
Jan 31, 2016
111
3
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
Māui (white bellied caique)
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Update: I have decided that I can't subject any species of bird, or any pet for that matter, to my household.

As mentioned, I took my grandad to the bird shop today. After having myself address his concerns on the way there in the car, and having the keepers in the shop tell him exactly the same information, grandad didn't believe any of it. Whilst in the shop and throughout the trip home I personally was belittled and invalidated for providing expert information about bird husbandry, and the poor birds were described as disease ridden pests (cats, rabbits, hamsters also made that list).

I just feel that with this kind of attitude towards birds life in my house would be severely detrimental to any kind of animal and I don't want to have to rehome my new baby simply because of the family.

I do hope to get a feathered friend in about 2 years when I am definitely going to be moving out of home, and these people won't be a problem.

Thank you to everyone for your helpful advice about conures. :)
 

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