sun conure eye ring developing dark patches

by Robin Switzer
(Ames, Iowa)

dark section on eye ring on Sun Conure

dark section on eye ring on Sun Conure

Our sun conure appears to be in good health, but his formerly all-white eye rings have turned dark gray on the frontal portions of both eye rings, covering about 10% of one eye ring and 5% of the other.

It is discolored only, not raised or deformed, and his eyes otherwise seem fine. This change has occurred over the last month. At first I thought he had damaged the eye by crashing into his cage one day while flying in low light conditions, but now I see it in both eyes. Is this normal, if not, what could be the problem? Could it be from newspaper ink? Thanks.

Comments for sun conure eye ring developing dark patches

Click here to add your own comments

May 06, 2018
Conure white eye ring turning dark
by: Hulabird

Due to extensive renovations in my home in Hawaii, I have moved all my birds outside. They've always been indoor birds with the perfect white rings. Now my suns, jendays, and green cheek conures white rings are all turning dark. I equated it with getting so much more sun. That has been confirmed here good enough for what I need to know. Happy its not a problem!

Aug 10, 2016
Yep, I think from the Sun
by: Heidi

I wrote in asking a year ago because my conures got dark splotches quickly. I realize it's because they were outdoors way more. After I moved and didn't have the outside play area for them anymore, they lost all the dark patches & the area around their eyes are all one light color again!

Aug 09, 2016
Grey spots on eyes
by: Anonymous 2

I agree with it. Wing because of the sun. Our conure has always had white. This summer has been the first that he has been outside everyday, and started to get the spots.

May 21, 2016
gray spots on sun conure eye ring
by: Anonymous

IN the wild it is normal for sun conures [also known as sun parakeets] to have gray, not white, eye rings. It's mostly only in domestic birds that you'll even see a white eye ring, though it's possible to see white eye rings on birds in the wild if they are escapees from captivity.
Some people claim the white is a sign of impurity or mixed breeding but this is not true.
Here in Florida, sun conures that were pet birds but which have escaped almost always lose the white eye ring - the skin darkens over a year or two, perhaps due to exposure much more full sun and UV than they would normally get as a pet. Maybe it is melanin as in humans.
The only thing I don't know about is if the transition is a gradual darkening or a spotty one, because I've never been able to observe a complete uninterrupted transition. All I have seen are the birds I breed, whose eye rings are always white, and a flock of 3 feral ones that infrequently visit, which when younger had white eyerings. The following year when they visited their eye rings were dark and they had added 2 more individuals to their number, either chicks or new escapees. I suspect they were offspring as their eye rings were also dark. The folllowing year there were 8 individuals, all with dark eye rings.

Jul 20, 2015
by: Heidi

My Jenday Conures (ages almost 3 & 4) both have this too all the sudden & my Avian vet didn't know & didn't think it was an issue... but it's really weird to me and I would like an answer!! So please reply or let me know if you ever figured this out! When I search online, all I can find is others asking the same question.... Thank you.

May 31, 2013
My sun conure
by: Kara Marie

My sun conure has the same problem. Did you take yours to the vet to get this checked out?

Nov 28, 2012
dark patches on my sun conures eyes
by: kaylah

lately my suncnure has developed dark patches on its white ring around its eyes ? unsure of what this means ? she does not come across as sick and eats poops and same personality ..... but once read that this was a sickness ? does anyone else know of this problem ?

Editor's note: You need to see an avian vet. In the future if you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, on our Parrot Questions page.

Oct 17, 2009
Dark spots on conure's eye ring
by: The Vet

It is difficult to tell exactly what this is from just a picture. A thorough eye exam will be necessary to determine a diagnosis. I do not think this is newspaper ink. Trauma is possible but less likely given that it is on both eyes. Your bird needs to be seen by an avian veterinarian.

Dr B

Click here to add your own comments