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I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.

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7:30 p.m. 2012-09-18

diet is not the whole story for lowland tropical species

I'm not a vet, so I'm just going on a hunch here, but I think the reason that my Peachfronted Conures have such great plumage at their advanced age has a lot to do with the fact that they do have access to natural sunlight. Now, don't stick your birds right under a blazing hot sun. In the wild, they would be free-flying right to a nice tasty bit of shade. But natural, indirect, rather strong sunlight does seem to be an important part of the life of parrots from open, lowland, tropical areas. Of course, it also helps that they're South American species. I think the African species can be even more sensitive to a lack of sunlight. We all know about African Greys and their issues with calcium. But even the little guys seem to benefit from some natural light.

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