Do Sun Conures Like Music? (and How to Choose Tastes)
Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, John Lennon’s Imagine, and Justin Bieber’s Despacito prove music to be a defining feature of our civilization. But if you thought the affection for music was exclusive to humans, you couldn’t be more wrong. Some birds are almost equally fanatic about music. Of course, you may ask if sun conures feature among this band of music lovers.
Sun conures love music and will rhythmically move to a song they like. However, the type of music sun conures like tends to differ across each individual. Some sun conures have an affinity for pop tunes, while others lean towards classical music. However, scientists have discovered that most sun conures generally share a distaste for electronic dance music.
Intrigued? While sun conures are renowned for their big mouth and wealth of beautiful colors, you may not know that sun conures are party starters when the music comes on.
Read on to learn more about the musical tastes of sun conures and how you can maximize such to keep your conure more mentally stimulated.
What type of music do sun conures like?
There is variety in the preferences of music across sun conures. Some conures have been found to love soothing calm music that they can gently whistle along with. Others prepare pop to which they can pull off some Michael Jackson moves.
As you would understand, songs have their musical diversity, and just like you, each conure tends to have an exclusive musical taste.
However, the only shared feature in the musical preference of conures was their seeming dislike for electronic dance music.
How to know if conure likes the music you are playing?
As we established, there is no definitive blueprint to the type of music your sun conure will like. The best way to know which music appeals to its taste is by playing an assortment of songs and examining which it positively responds to most.
Get a diverse playlist, play the songs, and check out your conure’s response to each. You can know if it likes the music if you notice head bobs and synchronized foot movement.
If a sun conure really likes a song, it will move its feet up and down, often accompanied by bobbing its head.
You can also tell if your sun conure likes a song if it tries to mimic the sound or lyrics of the music. This is your sun conure basically singing along.
The typical sounds a sun conure makes when enjoying a sound include whistling, chattering, talking, or properly singing. If you notice your conure hissing, growling, or even screeching, chances are it doesn’t like that song.
Your sun conure’s body language can also suggest its satisfaction level with the sound you are playing. While your conure may not excitedly dance and whistle every time they like a song, the feathers could give a hint or two.
If your conure’s feathers are slightly fluffed out or loose, if your sun conure clicks its beak against its tongue, it could mean your sun conure is comfortable with the song being played.
Why sun conures hate electronic dance music?
Researchers were thrilled to learn that most sun conures (and arguably the parrot family) didn’t have a thing for electronic dance music.
This exciting study had researchers playing historic songs like Joan Baez, The Prodigy, U2, and Bach for these parrots.
They found that the birds responded more positively to classical music with a distinct voice. However, the birds appeared repulsed when The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers hit the radio.
Dr. Franck Peron of the University of Lincoln, one of the notable researchers in the study, reported that the birds started to scream, especially when the electronic dance music’s pop went really fast.
While scientists have not authoritatively established the reason behind such apathy, most suggest the irregularity in the music patterns of techno (and electronic dance) music and rapid rhythms made the songs uncomfortable for the birds to follow.
Do sun conures naturally dance to music?
Sun conures are enthusiastic parrots. Though a bit introverted (compared to African Grey Parrots and cockatiels), conures naturally respond to sounds they appreciate.
A sun conure would almost instinctively nod its head to a sound it likes. Researchers from Harvard University investigated this and found that sun conures don’t learn this from their handlers or from watching other humans.
This doesn’t mean the onset of any music gets your conures leaping enthusiastically. In most cases, it would take a while for your sun conure to catch on to the rhythm and follow it.
When it tires, it will stop dancing.
Can you teach your sun conure music?
This is a question we get asked often. Yes, you can teach your conure a song. This inevitably requires patience and consistent application.
Because sun conures don’t boast the exquisite vocal prowess of parrots like Macaws and Amazons. So the first step is consolidating your sun conure’s speech capabilities.
If your sun conure can speak better now, the next step is to identify a suitable location to train it to sing.
Sun conures are notorious for their tendency to be distracted. So ensure when you train your bird to sing a song, it doesn’t have much stealing its focus at that point.
Note that all these efforts would be wasted if your sun conure doesn’t like the song itself. If you have spent a while with your sun conure, you could already have an idea of the type of sounds it likes mimicking.
If not, you can play different songs and evaluate the bird’s reaction. From there, you can tell if it prefers high-pitched music or bass-oriented melodies.
As we have earlier advised, don’t rush the process. Else, you risk your sun conure getting disinterested or stressed.
Teach it a few lines of the song for a start. As it acclimatizes to those lines and then perfects them, you can add more words.
You could leverage musical editing software to edit the song. This entails selectively looping the song’s first lines, so they automatically repeat.
The more your sun conure hears the lines, the more they are ingrained into its memory.
As typical of training parrots, your song training sessions should be as brief as possible to sustain the sun conure’s focus levels and enthusiasm to learn.
Also, feel free to sing to the bird yourself. And you can further spice up the learning process with some moves.
Sun conures – more than anything – love copying their owners. Sing and excitedly move to the song, and the conure will replicate your energy.
Of course, ensure you are close enough (to its cage) for it to see you make those moves properly.
Lastly, ensure it is proportionately rewarded if your conure is getting the song right. This could be in the form of giving it toys if it gets its lines well.
This positive reinforcement model will increase the sun conure’s commitment to getting the song right.