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Sun conures take flight at Delaware Museum of Natural History

Katie Peikes
Delaware Public Media
Sun conures enjoy playing in a basket in their cage at the Delaware Museum of Natural History.

The Delaware Museum of Natural History has debuted four vibrant birds called sun conures they’ll use as a teaching tool this summer.


The sun conures are very energetic. They eat fruits, vegetables and a special pellet diet designed for conures. When they’re not eating, they love to chew on soft wood, paper and pretty much anything they can find.

As Delaware Museum of Natural History’s Scout Camp Coordinator Cathy Perrotto puts it, “they’re never boring.”

But they do get needy. Leave them alone in a room, and they start squawking.

On a Thursday morning, Perrotto played with the birds. She held out a piece of paper to one of them, and a brief game of tug-of-war commenced.

“They are very social, so they need to have constant entertainment,” Perrotto said. “It’s like having a child in the family, honestly.”

The four sun conures hail from a tropical rain forest in South America. They are siblings and just under a year old. And just like most siblings, they do tend to fight.

“They have disputes sometimes over sharing food and the toys, but just like kids they’re learning to get along and to socialize,” Perrotto said.

One thing the museum wants to hammer home with visitors is while these birds are common pets, they’re actually endangered in the wild.

“People don’t realize it,” Perrotto said. “People take them out of the wild to sell as pets.”

The museum got the birds through a partnership Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections in Dover.

Credit Katie Peikes / Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media
A sun conure enjoys its perch.

Now that they’re at the museum, the conures will serve as living ambassadors to teach children about bird anatomy, behavior and evolution.

Staff will also hold events this summer where families can make the birds toys out of pieces of cardboard, wood and paper.

The birds will be at the museum for the summer, but it’s undetermined how long they’ll stay once the season is over.


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