Caiques As Pets

Personality / Caiques as Pets:

These medium-sized parrots make captivating and loyal pets. There is little difference in personality between the two species, so which to choose is often decided by price and availability.

Pet owners love Caiques for their outgoing, fun, arobatic and lovable personality. The antics of a hand fed Caique are a constant source of amusement. They can be very trusting and can be taught to lay upside down in the palm of your hand. These outgoing energetic birds make great companions for households containing children. They do best when handled frequently by many different people and taken on a variety of regular “outings.”

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    They are very playful, entertaining, and very active. These parrots are also sometimes referred to as “the Dancing Parrot” for their habit of hopping and dancing, especially when encouraged by rhythmic clapping. They are considered by many to be the class clown of the parrot world.

    They are naturally curious and love to explore new objects – which could be a pen, a bottle cap or a new bird toy.

    ShadyPines - Black and White-headed Caiques

    Caiques can also react with unexpected fear or anger to new situations, objects, or even habitual practices such as being put down or back into their cage.

    Caiques may display territorial behavior, even toward people. Removing the Caique prior to cleaning the cage will result in fewer confrontations. To discourage beaking / biting, keep some toys handy andsubstitute the toy for your fingers. If the bird insists on chewing on you rather than a toy, some cage time may be appropriate.

    Caiques can be noisy, so this may not be the best choice for apartment dwellers. They may develop the habit of screaming for attention. They may get noisy in the morning when they are waiting for food or when their favorite person leaves the room. However, a caique does not approach near the volume of larger parrots such as cockatoos and macaws; and they don’t actually “scream” as much as whistle. With a little bit of training, this behavior can be controlled.

    One way of gently disciplining your parrot would be to cover his or her cage for a few minutes immediately after excessive screaming, and only remove the cover after the parrot has quieted down. If you are consistent in this reaction, your pet will eventually figure out what the response will be if he screams — and will be discouraged to do so in the future. This being said, it is completely natural for birds to make noises — they communicate this way and it would really be counter productive to stop them from doing so. You can, however, teach him or her to talk. To call you, instead of yelling, and this will give your pet another way of communicating with you that is far more agreeable to your ears.

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      As Caiques are extremely intelligent, which presents the owners with the challenge of keeping them entertained and mentally stimulated. Next are some resources to help you with that …

      Training and Behavioral Guidance:

      • Pet parrots generally present challenges, such as excessive chewing – especially at certain stages in their life. They do discover their beaks as method of “disciplining us” once they are out of the “baby stage” and they can generally be somewhat naughty, and it really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. Undisciplined parrots will chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. They regard anything in your home as a “toy” that can be explored and chewed on; destroying items that you may hold dear or are simply valuable. Even a young bird that has not been neglected and abused requires proper guidance; this becomes even more challenging when it involves a rescued bird that may require rehabilitation.
        • Web Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training.

      The following webpages will be helpful in setting up your parrot’s space:

      General Care and Feeding:

      Pionites – Caiques


      The brightly-colored Caique (pronounced kye-eek).is endemic to the Amazon Rainforest of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela, and the Guiana highlands, where they can be found in the canopies of forested areas.


      The average length of an adult caique is 23 cm or 9 inches in length. They weight around 150 to 175 grams or 5.3 – 6.2 oz. Their average expected lifespan is 30 years.

      The Caiques are very distinctive and beautiful in appearance. They are often referred to as the “Seven-Color Parrot” because of their highly defined black, green, yellow, orange, white and blue feathers.

      The two major species are the Black-headed Caique (Pionites melanocephala) and the White-bellied Caique (Pionites leucogaster), both of which are endemic to South America.

      Caique wing feathers produce a distinctive flapping sound in flight.

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        Diet / Feeding

        Their natural diet consists mainly of fruits and seeds.

        White-bellied Caiques

        Species and subspecies

        • Black-headed Parrot, Pionites melanocephala. There are two subspecies, with birds between them intermediate in color:
          • Black-headed Caique (P. m. melanocephala). East and south of range.
            • Orange legs and undertail, nape (back of the neck) deep orange, belly white.
            Pallid Parrot/Caique (P. m. pallidus). West and north of range.
            • As Black-headed Caique, except all orange plumage replaced with yellow. Breast and abdomen whitish.
        • White-bellied Caique, Pionites leucogaster, has an orange-yellow head, a white belly, green wings and back, bluish primary feathers, a horn-colored beak, and pink or grey feet. There are three subspecies:

        There is little difference in personality between the two species, so which to choose is often decided by price and availability.

        Typically, the White-bellied Caiques are more expensive than the Black-headed Caiques — largely because the latter is more common.

        Prices can range from $500 to $1500, depending on source and area of the country.

        Buying directly from a breeder will be cheaper than purchasing a caique at your local pet store. Below you will find breeders listed.

        Black-headed Caique as pet

        Caiques as Pets – Personality Traits

        Housing Your Caiques

        Care and Feeding:

        Black-headed Caique and White-bellied Caique


        Class: Aves … Order: Psittaciformes … Family: Psittacidae … Subfamily: Psittacinae

        Genus: Scientific: Pionites … English: White-bellied Caiques … Dutch: Witbuikpapegaaien … German: Weißbauchpapageien … French: Caïque … CITES II: Endangered Species

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          The Popular Caique Parrot wearing the EZ Bird Harness

          ShadyPines - Black and White-headed Caiques


          Pallid Caiques

          White-bellied Caiques

          White-breasted Caiques: Please see White-bellied Caiques

          Yellow-tailed Caiques

          Yellow-thighed Caiques

          Photo of author

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