Mr. Monk and the Sun Conure

January 30, 2008

I’m watching TV today — an episode of Monk (Mr. Monk and the Red Herring) — and imagine my surprise when they feature a sun conure! On the show, Monk goes to a pet store and notices a bird. The geeky pet store clerk says, “You can have him for free. We can’t get rid of him, people keep returning him.” When asked what’s wrong with the bird, the guy says “he depresses people: he doesn’t talk, he just sits there and cleans himself.”

Aughh!!! This is such a huge pet peeve of mine (pun totally intended). An animal is not a toaster oven!! You don’t just return them because they aren’t as “fun” as you thought they’d be. When bringing home a new pet, you make a commitment to him/her. You don’t just exchange it.

This attitude isn’t just writers’ license on a television show; I see people say things like that all the time on the Internet. “Oh, he didn’t bond with my wife, he likes me better, so we’re thinking of returning him and getting a different bird.” Ugh!

Makes me very unhappy. Some people take the decision to bring home a bird much too lightly. (Good reasons NOT to get a parrot)

Oh, and that cage the bird was in (in the fictional pet store) was WAY too small. A conure cage should be at least 20″ in the shortest dimension. Stewie’s cage is 21″w x 32″l x 35″h and I’m actually of the opinion that it’s a little too small (even though I can fit my whole body in it). Once you put toys and perches in a cage, it really starts looking small, fast.

Here’s what a cage that size looks like; notice the conure standing on the door.



  1. Now that looks like a really fun cage! And I agree, people have no idea what they’re getting into when they purchase a bird. I have tons of people who meet my galah (rose breasted cockatoo) and love her to death, then say they want to go get their own. As if they’re expecting theirs to turn out just like mine! They have no idea the amount of work, time and training I have put into my own bird to get her to be as great as she is. And unfortunately, the bird is usually the one to pay for these mistakes.

  2. It has a ton more stuff in it now… I tend to add toys rather than replacing them. 🙂

    I recently set up a livecam of his cage and my friends tell me that they can’t find the bird amid all the toys! 🙂

  3. I completely agree that people need to learn how to think before they decide “oh let’s get a!…” Do you know how many people get black cats on Halloween. A lot of shelters bring all of their black cats to the back. However, if you watch monk, and understand it is just a show, you are supposed to get the pun that the bird is OCD like monk. And a lot of places that sell birds have them in “smaller cages” during store hours, then bring them to the back where the big cages are during closing. They work with the space they have. Remember it is just a show. But believe me I agree that sun conures to have appropriately sized cages. I know someone who bought a parakeet size cage when she got a baby conure. I almost punched her in the face. -__-

  4. What cage is that? I am trying to find a second cage for my conure and this looks perfect!

    • Stewie’s cage is an A&E Flight Cage. It’s a good cage. The HQ Flight Cage also comes recommended by a lot of conure owners; the HQ is very similar but has two doors in the front and some other minor differences. (Be careful not to get a knock-off as those are not of the same quality).

  5. how many sun conures can you fit in the cage you pictured?

    • > how many sun conures can you fit in the cage you pictured?

      No more than one bonded pair, but you’d have to know beforehand that they’re bonded and can share a cage without annoying each other. Otherwise just a single bird.

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