Suncheeks 

Suncheeks are an extremely rare and beautiful mutation of the greencheek conure developed by our good friend Steve in the States. it has been gaining in popularity all over the world, and for good reason.  Greencheek conures are known for their playful and lovable personalities, and suncheeks have that incredibly bright yellow and red coloration that just makes them stand out like no other bird. Pet owners, pet shops and breeders in many countries have been eager to get their hands on the suncheek mutation, which is actually several mutations combined in one bird.  It is a sex-linked mutation, so breeders need to pair a visual female with either a visual male or a split male, which makes it an interesting bird to breed and work with, and pairings must be made carefully.  

We love our suncheeks, especially the ones we've bred ourselves.  They seem to have  


Mutation Grading System

The beauty of the Suncheek is astonishing.  The scintillating color combination of red and yellow in this bird is striking, but it is the red saturation on the front and face that is most in demand.  After consultation with breeders and experts in mutation colors, we have come up with a tentative grading system by which they can be classified by the red color in their plumage. Collectors and breeders can use this system to judge the level of red saturation of birds on the market. Of course, the red is deepest in fledglings, and, after molting, fades a little, but the red does not disappear.  Take a close look at the photos below to get a better understanding of the grading system.


 Grade A+

red-faced suncheeks

Super High Percent red faced suncheeks

Class A+ birds stand out from other suncheeks in that not only the abdomen is red, but also the breast and neck. In fact, red coloration from the neck to chest and belly is deep and extensive, and their shoulder/wing bends have a crimson splash as well. Some specimens have started showing peach on their head and their eyes are surrounded by a fiery mask. 

Close-up of suncheeks
Headshot of suncheek
Greencheek conure mutations
Suncheeks make great pets
mutation greencheeks
red-bellied greencheek mutations

 Grade A

suncheeks sunning themselves

High percentage  Red-faced Suncheeks

Birds of class A have a red face but coloration is a bit lighter than the A+ Red-Faced Suncheeks. The red from the chest is 85-95% full red.  The neck and breast still show significant amounts of red. The head color is normal, and while there still may be the presence of a mask, it is lighter and less distinct than in the super high percentage red-faced suncheek. Wing bends/shoulders may have a smattering of red as well. 

suncheeks with less red

Grade B

A grade B suncheek

 Suncheek

Class B suncheeks are characterized by a more sparsely scattered red markings on the breast, while the abdomen is still richly colored. 

Suncheek showing bright yellow

Original Full Yellow Suncheek

foundation stock suncheek

(Foundation Stock)

Still an extremely beautiful bird, this is the original breeding stock of bright yellow suncheek having most of the red on the abdomen.  They can produce offspring with more red, such as the grades mentioned above.  This example has very little or even no red markings from the neck to chest, around the eyes or on the shoulders. 

References

Martin, Terry. (2002) Colour Mutations & Genetics in Parrots.  South Tweed Heads: ABK Publications.