Caiques are divided into two species, each with five subspecies. Both the White-bellied Caique and the Black-headed Caique are not only some of the most colorful parrots, but they are also incredibly intelligent. They are not excellent talkers, but they enjoy learning new tricks and showing them off!
Caiques are brightly colored birds. They are solid-looking tiny parrots with short square tails. Both Caique species are commonly believed to be 9″ (23cm) in length, however some subspecies, such as the Yellow-thighed Caique, are slightly larger. They have an unusually long lifespan for a parrot of this size, frequently living for 40 years or more.
White-Belly Caiques have an orange-colored head with yellow lores, sides of the head, and throat. The back, wings, and breast are green, while the belly and breast are creamy-white.
On juveniles, the head is more brownish with black feathers dispersed throughout, the beak has gray marks near the base, and the eye is brown.
White-Belly Caique has two subspecies:
White-bellied Caique P. l. leucogaster – the White-bellied Caique has green thighs and flanks.
Yellow-thighed Yellow-thight Caique P. l. xanthomeria Caique has green thighs and flanks, but a yellow tail.
Black-headed Caiques have a mainly black head with orange-yellow cheeks, throat, thighs, and flanks. They also have an orange stripe across the back of their neck, which is edged by a few bluish feathers. Green on the back, wings, rump, and upper tail, and creamy-white on the breast and belly.
The tail’s tip is yellow. The beak is gray-black in color, while the eyes are orangish-red in color. The subspecies P. m. pallida has yellow on the throat, sides, and thighs, with a very white breast and belly. Their back neck band is a lot softer orange-yellow as well.
The underbelly of juveniles is yellower, all orange and yellow portions are paler, the beak is horn colored, and the eye is dark brown.
Caiques are exceptionally intelligent birds. They are some of the most beautiful parrots, with unusual feather coloration.
These are little parrots that thrive in captivity. They will quickly adapt to their new cage or aviary. They have charming and humorous personalities and are quick to learn new tricks. Though they are not good talkers, they may mimic sounds in their surroundings.
Though the Caique parrot is a playful and affectionate bird, it is not a starter bird. Caique birds enjoy being in command and will strive to be dominating. Caiques require continuous and hard training, as well as close interaction with their human companion, to develop into the magnificent companions they can be.
Caique Care and feeding
Bird Food and Water:
Provide, fresh food and water to your caique bird daily. Caiques live on the tree tops in the wild, eating fruits, berries, and seeds. In captivity, they are fed a healthy bird seed combination or pelleted food, as well as various fruits and vegetables.
Green peas, young dandelion greens, sweet corn, beet greens, carrots, broccoli, unsprayed lettuce, chickweed, dandelions, watercress, spinach leaves, endive, and sweet potatoes are some of the fresh items you can provide. Apples, peaches, apricots, bananas, pears, plums, raisons, and most other fruits are available. Avocado is poisonous to birds, so don’t feed it!
An occasional walnut is a popular special treat among most caiques. A cuttle bone or a calcium block, as well as gravel with oyster shell presented in a separate dish, are ideal calcium sources. Vitamins can be added to meals or drinking water.
Baths for birds:
Caiques adore taking baths! A shower can be taken with a hand-held shower sprayer or a hose with a fine spray head and lukewarm water. A bath pan or ceramic dish can also be placed at the bottom of the cage.
Trim their wings if you wish to discourage flight and prevent your pet from falling out of an open window or door. If the beak and claws are not worn down through climbing and chewing, they must be trimmed.
Handling/Training of Caiques
Caiques are quite intelligent. They enjoy learning skills and then showing them off, yet they have a strong will. To establish dominance over your pet, you will need to use a hard hand when taming it. They can become aggressive if handled timidly, thus they are not recommended as a first-time pet. Caiques, when properly nurtured, may make amazing companions.
To be able to handle and train your parrot, you must first build trust, therefore proceed carefully and consistently. Before attempting to manage a new arrival, give it a few days to grow used to you, your voice, and its cage. Because it is accustomed to human attention, a handfed infant does not require much taming and may often be handled straight away.
Caiques, like other parrots, like to be trained in the evening (as well as when you are entering or leaving the room). Each session should last no more than 20 minutes, with about an hour of rest in between.
Your initial objective should be to encourage the parrot to take a treat from you, which will allow you to gently scratch its head. When you gain his trust and can pet his head, you can focus on encouraging your parrot to step up on your hand.
These two processes can be quick in a hand-fed baby or take many weeks or more in an untamed bird, depending on the bird’s tameness.
Once your bird caique has overcome its shyness, you may begin working on behavior and trick training. The keys to success here are repetition and frequency. Almost all parrots can learn a few words or sounds. Caiques, in instance, are more adept at mimicking environmental sounds than human voices.
Always remember that taming and educating a bird requires patience; never ‘punish’ your parrot! This just helps to erode the trust you’ve worked so hard to establish.
The Caiques’ overall demeanor is one of affection and sociability. The White-bellied Caiques are usually seen in pairs, a family group, or a small flock in the wild, whereas the Black-headed Caiques are usually observed in family groups or flocks of up to 30 birds.
The Caique is a very social bird in captivity, and it enjoys associating with other birds and people. However, despite their generally loving disposition, some caiques, particularly Black-headed Caiques, can become irritable and snappy, and can be violent to other birds. They should never be left alone with other animals.
Because of their very social and active character, it is recommended that you obtain a pair if you do not have a lot of time to spend to your pet.
Caiques are considered to be friendly birds who like human company. They may use a human hand as a perch and may like being caressed or handled by people. They are gregarious birds who enjoy engaging with their owners in a lighthearted manner when given the opportunity. Caiques should be expected to vocalize if they feel ready, and their vocalizations are frequently loud enough to be heard from outside the cage.
They are amusing and entertaining birds who enjoy playing games and socializing with humans. They have an unique fondness for children and will readily connect with them. Caiques can be a handful, thus appropriate training requires an experienced trainer or bird owner.
Caique birds have a strong personality, however owners should be aware that they are known to bite when stressed or threatened. Caiques can grow aggressive if they are kept alone in a cage with no social connection with people. When left alone, they should be given plenty of toys or other distractions.