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Jenday Conure vs. Sun Conure: What’s the Difference?

Nicole Cosgrove

August 3, 2021

Both the Jenday and Sun Conures are gorgeous birds. Either would make a beautiful addition to your home—literally! These South American species stand out for their vibrant colors that give them a similar appearance. They are part of the same genus called Aratinga.

The term conure is something of a misnomer. The scientific literature refers to these two birds as parakeets. While Jenday and Sun Conures are similar, there are some stark differences between the two that can affect their suitability as pets.

Our guide will discuss how each species differs and what you can expect if you invite one of these birds into your home.divider-birds

Visual Differences

Jenday Conure vs sun visual
Credit: (L) Arthur Chapman, Commons Wikimedia | (R) rutpratheep0, Pixabay

At a Glance

Jenday Conure
  • Average adult size: Up to 12”
  • Lifespan: 30+ years
  • Interaction: 1+ hours a day
  • Care needs: Intermediate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Vocal: Moderate
  • Trainability: Affectionate, loyal, playful
Sun Conure
  • Average adult size: 10 – 13”
  • Lifespan: 30+ years
  • Interaction: 1+ hours a day
  • Care needs: Intermediate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Vocal: Moderate to loud
  • Trainability: Intelligent, playful, eager to please

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Jenday Conure Overview

Baby Jenday conure_pixieclaire001_flickr
Credit: pixieclaire001, Flickr

The Jenday or Jandaya Conure prefers the wooded areas of northeastern Brazil. Its alternative name means “small parrot,” which is an appropriate description of this colorful bird. Like many avian species, the Jenday Conure became a popular pet because of the illegal capture and trade of these animals.

That prompted the government to pass the Brazil Wildlife Protection Act in 1967 to protect this bird and many other animals affected by the pet trade. The Jenday Conure occupies a relatively large range in its native land. It is a social bird that prefers to live in flocks.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Jenday Conure as a species of least concern. Nevertheless, many states require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) or other documentation if you move into a new place with an exotic bird, including:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware

We suggest that you do your homework before moving to a new state. Restrictions often apply to dogs and cats, too.

Personality / Character

The social nature of the Jenday Conure makes this bird an excellent choice for a pet—as long as you have the time to spend interacting with it. That’s especially true if you only have one bird. Remember that they typically live in flocks, making this trait a hard-wired one.

As a pet, the Jenday Conure is a playful and affectionate animal. They enjoy being handled. It’s an excellent way to bond with your parakeet. He’ll thrive on whatever attention you give it. This bird is also intelligent and able to learn a few tricks that can make pet ownership more rewarding.

Housing

A Jenday Conure needs a larger cage than you’d get for a Budgerigar or Canary. We recommend getting one that is at least 3’L x 2’W x 2’H. That will give your pet enough room to stretch its wings without injuring them.

Your pet will also need two or more perches of varying diameters, depending on the size of the cage. That will prevent your Jenday Conure from getting sores on its feet by mixing up the pressure points. You must also add food and water bowls, along with some toys, to keep your pet entertained.

Like other birds of its size, the Jenday Conure has an insatiable desire for chewing. That’s one reason you must supervise any time outside of the cage. Otherwise, these parakeets can be quite destructive. However, they usually aren’t biters because of their affectionate personality.

Training

The Jenday Conure is easy to train, which is another reason why it makes such a delightful pet. Consistency is the key to building trust and bonding with your pet. Treats are an excellent way to speed up the process. It will provide the social time that your conure craves.

The Jenday Conure isn’t much of a talker when it comes to learning words. It can whistle and scream if it doesn’t get enough attention. However, this bird excels when it comes to mimicking sounds in your household, such as the doorbell or a ringtone on your phone.

Jenday Conure_Pthistle_flickr
Credit: Pthistle, Flickr

Health & Care

The single best thing you can do to ensure the sound health of your Jenday Conure is to put its cage in a draft-free area. Remember that they are neotropical birds that enjoy a warm climate in their native land. The parakeet enjoys a variety of foods, from fruits like mangoes to commercial bird diets.

Social interaction is also vital to your Jenday Conure’s health. A neglected pet often develops bad habits, such as chewing, screaming, or even feather plucking. It’s another reason that toys are essential, too.

Jenday Conures are relatively healthy animals, provided you feed them a nutritious diet.

Signs of a sick parakeet include:
  • Lethargy
  • Poor appetite
  • Discharge from its eyes
  • Deformed beak

We suggest locating a veterinarian who specializes in birds before buying one. Routine health checks can ensure a long life for your feathered friend.

Suitable for:

The Jenday Conure is an excellent segue for individuals and families who want to move on from Budgies. This bird requires daily attention to keep it physically and mentally healthy. While it’s not as loud as some avian species, it may not be the best choice for apartment dwellers.divider-birds

Sun Conure Overview

sun conure-pixabay2
Credit: Garyuk31, Pixabay

The main difference between the Sun and Jenday Conures is their colors. The former takes after its name with bright yellow plumage on its head and body. Many birds also have a salmon-colored patch by their eyes, offset by a white fleshy ring. Their wings are mottled with a mix of yellow, blue, and green.

It’s a stark contrast from the yellow head, orange body, and green wings of the Jenday Conure. However, some experts believe that this bird is a subspecies of the Sun Conure, making them closer relatives than many may think.

The Sun Conure is more of an international traveler, with a range that includes Guyana, northern Brazil, and Venezuela. They also prefer wooded habitats of varying types, including palm groves. It forms large flocks of 10 or more birds. However, unlike the Jenday Parakeet, the Sun Conure is an endangered species, according to the IUCN.

Personality / Character

The Sun Conure shares many personality traits with the Jenday Conure. It is an active bird that is quite social with members of its flock, both avian and human. It is also playful and will find ways to amuse itself. This bird loves attention and can become an affectionate pet.

Like the Jenday Conure, the Sunny won’t tolerate neglect. That can lead to bad habits, especially screaming. The glaring difference between the two birds is that the Sun Conure is much louder if it gets upset.

Housing

The cage set up for the Sun Conure is identical to the Jenday Parakeet. The dimensions are the same, too. Bear in mind that you’ll need a larger cage if you decide to get more than one bird. The Sunny also needs the lineup of bowls, perches, and toys.

sun conure pair-pixabay
Credit: rutpratheep0, Pixabay

Training

The Sun Conure is an intelligent bird. You may find it necessary to get latches for the cage doors if it figures out how they work. The parakeet can learn a few tricks. It also has a talent for mimicking sounds. Unlike the Jenday Conure, it may pick up a few words.

The Sun Conure differs from the Jenday Parakeet in that it is sometimes nippy. Its larger beak makes getting bit painful, too. Regular social interaction can curtail this behavior.

Health & Care

Health care for the Sun Conure is the same as that of the Jenday Parakeet. Fruits and vegetables will add variety to its diet. You can offer it a commercial mix that will satisfy its needs for seeds and other treats. We recommend routine veterinary care to ensure your bird’s good health.

Suitable for:

The Sun Conure has the same need for attention for individuals and families that can provide what it needs. The loud voice of this bird makes it unsuitable for apartment dwellers, too. It’s a chatty one that likes to vocalize.

Because of its tendency to bite, the Sun Conure is more appropriate for the experienced bird owner who knows how to handle a nippy pet.

Related Read: How Much Does It Cost to Own a Sun Conure? (2021 Price Guide)

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Which Bird is Right for You?

Several things differentiate the two birds. The Jenday Conure is the quieter of the two species. However, that rests with the amount of attention you give your pet. Suffice to say that either one is inappropriate if you don’t have the time to spend with them.

The other consideration is behavior. The Jenday Conure is the more easy-going of the two. However, it’s also dependent on the time you spend with your bird.

We have to admit that we adore the color of the Sun Conure over the Jenday Parakeet. Unfortunately, that also becomes a factor with the price. You can expect to pay more for that colorful plumage. Either one will cost several hundred dollars.

Both the Jenday and Sun Conure are affectionate and loyal pets. The best thing is that you can enjoy their company for many years to come.


Featured image credit: Shiv’s fotografia, Commons Wikimedia

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.