Do Both Male and Female Sun Conures Talk?

The African gray parrot and other parakeets are better talkers than sun conures.
The African gray parrot and other parakeets are better talkers than sun conures. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Sun conures are known for their gorgeous plumage -- sunset red, yellow and orange mixed into green base coloring -- but neither males nor females are known for talking. If having a talking bird is important to you, many other parrots make better choices.

Not Good Talkers

Sun conures just aren't known to be great talkers; even the typical methods for training birds to talk aren't particularly effective with them. Some owners report they've had success teaching their sun conures a few words, but only a few. Sometimes the few words they do learn can be fairly clear, however. Although no species of bird is guaranteed to talk, if talking is the most important feature to you, sun conures are not the ideal bird for you.

Males Have Slight Edge

Male sun conures are slightly more likely to talk than females, which are quieter in general. In fact, people who have experience raising sun conures sometimes describe the females as quiet birds, a description not normally given to most parrots. Male birds of most species are known to be better talkers, both in the number of words they can learn and in the clarity of their speech. If you're set on owning a sun conure but you'd really like it to talk, getting a male is a better bet, though it's still possible it won't talk at all.

Other Vocalizations

Sun conures usually vocalize in many ways other than talking. They can screech as loudly and as often as much larger parrots, a trait that some owners -- and neighbors in close quarters -- don't find endearing. Owners can distinguish between their calls, though, and prevent or lessen their occurrences by keeping them from becoming bored. Males in particular are known to be territorial, almost like watchdogs, and may call out when strangers enters or they feel threatened. Avoid this by putting your birds' cage out of sight when strangers or other unusual events are expected. If you have just one sun conure, he may screech for attention. Give him plenty of different toys, rotating their use, and play with him outside his cage to help cure the screeching.

Positive Features

Sun conure owners find many other enjoyable traits that make up for their lack of talking. They are very curious and love to explore their environment. Watching them play with their toys -- especially rings and beloved bells -- and demolish chew toys is delightful. They will entertain by climbing up chains, hanging by one foot from the top of the cage and swinging back and forth. They are avid cuddlers and will snuggle into their owners' chests.

Birds Who Talk

If talking is an important quality in a bird, the blue crown conure is a better choice. The African gray parrot is widely considered to be the best talking bird and possibly the smartest species in the entire animal kingdom. Some liken their speech and understanding to those of toddlers. Simple parakeets can be great talkers, too, when their owners are patient and spend the time teaching them.

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