They're about the same size. Both start out green, and they both love a busy social life. And with their big personalities, both require a little more understanding and expertise than budgies or cockatiels. After that, the resemblances between quaker parrots and sun conures are limited.
The mostly grey and green to olive-green quaker parrots, or monk parakeets, have bright blue flight feathers. Quakers flock in large colonies in the wild and build nests from leaves and twigs. They frequently attach their nests together, creating apartmentlike complexes that can weigh up to 200 pounds. Every other parrot species nests in scooped out tree hollows.
The quaker's flocking nature, ability to adapt and habit of consuming food crops when released into the wild makes them illegal to own in some U.S. states, including California and Georgia. They live 25 to 30 years.
The Colorful Conure
The striking sun conure starts life green but as he ages becomes predominately yellow and reddish orange on his head and body, with green tail and wing feathers tipped by blue. Sun conures limit their flock size in the wild to about 30 birds. They enjoy a varied diet of fruits, berries and seeds, along with an occasional insect as a snack for extra protein during breeding time. They live 20 to 30 years in captivity. Unfortunately, their popularity as pets and declining natural habitat in their South American homeland has caused declining numbers in the wild.
A quaker needs frequent quality time outside of his cage, with plenty of training and socialization, so he has a chance to preen in the spotlight he craves. Your quaker can learn to talk as well as many larger parrots, including the articulate African grey. He also has the reputation for using his architectural skills to create little condos all over your home out of toothpicks or other handy items. Quakers need toys and then more toys to keep their inquisitive minds busy. These feathered interior designers like to arrange their toys and will often put an item back where it was if you try moving it.
Living With the Sun
The sun conure has a loud voice that doesn't take quickly to human speak, but some become talkative with patient training. The sun conure can learn plenty of tricks and does well in homes with lots of activity. Like many parrots, he needs socialization outside his cage to show off his full potential. He'll consider you his flock, and he'll miss you when you're gone. He should not be left on his own frequently. You can help relieve his boredom while you work by providing plenty of parrot-safe toys. Bits of fruit and other favored treats hidden in small containers scattered throughout his cage will occupy his time with a treasure hunt.
A medical writer since 1990 and successful home-based business owner for more than 14 years, Sandra King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She uses her formal education, professional insight and extensive volunteer involvement to cover topics on health and fitness, pets, parenting for a lifetime, building healthy relationships, conquering business basics and developing career goals.