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.

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

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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