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Home > Birds > Suncheek Conure: Facts, Origin, Pictures & Characteristics

Suncheek Conure: Facts, Origin, Pictures & Characteristics

suncheek conure

The suncheek conure is a color mutation of the more common green-cheeked conure. In contrast to the green-cheeked conure, which is almost entirely green with touches of red, blue, and yellow on its breast and tail, the suncheek conure is characterized by entirely red and yellow feathers, which give it the appearance of a sunset. In this article, we will discuss the specifics of this rare bird so that you can determine whether it is right for you and your family.


Species Overview

Common Names: Suncheek
Scientific Name: Pyrrhura molinae
Adult Size: 12 inches long
Life Expectancy: 15 years

Origin and History

The green-cheeked conure is a small species of parrot with origins in South America. In the wild, they’re most commonly found in Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina. The suncheek conure, however, is a color mutation of the same species that can’t be found in the wild. It was developed in the United States by a man named Steve Garvin. A color mutation is a bird whose coloration differs from what you would find in nature. Even though they look remarkably different, the suncheek conure is not a hybrid species or separate species from the green-cheeked conure.

Suncheek Colors and Markings

As opposed to the mostly jade-green coloration of the green-cheeked conure, the suncheek conure is entirely covered in red and yellow feathers. The location of the suncheek conure’s red markings differs from bird to bird. Some suncheek birds have red plumage that starts on their faces and runs down their abdomens. These birds are also known as red-faced suncheeks. Other birds will have a primarily yellow head with the majority of their red feathers located on their bellies and under their tails. The top of their heads may have a diluted quality, appearing a very light yellow color.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Suncheek Conure

Because suncheek conures are relatively rare, it could be a challenge to find one at your local animal shelter. Still, it can’t hurt to look. Unfortunately, people rehome their birds all the time because they do not realize how much work they will be. You can check a bird sanctuary or animal shelter near you, or search services such as Petfinder to locate birds within a certain search radius. If you are interested in the suncheek conure because of its coloration, you might also try searching for a sun conure or sun parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis). Note that the sun conure is not the same species as the suncheek conure.

If you are set on finding a suncheek conure, you will likely need to find one via a breeder. Make sure to do your research when looking for a breeder; plenty of breeders take advantage of the market for rare birds without concern for the health of their animals. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions about the breeding process and your bird’s health history. After all, one of these beautiful birds can go for as much as $2,000. For that kind of money, you want to make sure the bird you are getting is happy and healthy. If you aren’t having any luck finding a breeder, try inquiring with The Feather Tree. The shop is owned by Steve Garvin, who developed the suncheek conure.



The suncheek conure is a beautiful bird that can make an amazing pet. Like the common green-cheeked conure, it is a playful and affectionate animal. The coloration on the suncheek conure is gorgeous, but you also should remember that these birds are fairly rare and can be hard to find. At the end of the day, you should consider what lengths you are willing to go to and how much you are willing to pay to bring home one of these birds. Otherwise, many similar breeds can also make great pets such as the common green-cheeked conure or the sun conure.

Featured Image Credit: Archaeopteryx Tours, Shutterstock

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