Caiques are medium-sized parrots native to the Amazon Basin, that are known for their extremely colorful plumage. They have a solid-looking body and short tail. Basically, there are two species of caiques: the White-bellied Caique and Black-headed Caique.
The White-headed species has a yellow and orange head, green wings and tail, and white abdomen with pink legs. The Black-headed species has a black head, orange cheeks, green streak under its eyes, bright green colored wings, and upper tail feathers. The lower side of their body is beige colored, with gray legs and beak.
Do Caiques Make Good Pets?
Other than their beautiful plumage and playful personality, the fact that they are very easy to train makes them highly popular as pets. You can easily teach a caique to lie upside down on your palm and play dead. When you encourage them with rhythmic clapping, these birds will jump around like they are dancing, which is why they are often called the 'dancing birds'. These parrots are known to develop a strong bond with their owners.
Additionally, they love to explore new things, are able speak a few words, and can be kept alone or in a pair. They do tend to act stubborn at times, and demonstrate territorial traits―even with humans―and therefore, you need to make sure that you remove the bird from its cage before you clean it up ... or else be ready to be at the receiving end of an aggressive caique.
If you are keeping a caique as a pet, you will need a 2-feet cage to house it. These medium-sized parrots are very active, and you will have to take them out of their cage for about an hour for daily exercise. Unlike other birds, caiques prefer walking to flying. They have strong legs, and thus, they love to jump and hop. They will hop around the house and explore new things. On your part, you need to make sure they are supervised at all times. These parrots have quite a reputation for destructive chewing, and therefore, you need to make sure that you provide them durable toys.
As for their diet, you should ideally feed them fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans, and supplement the same with high quality extruded pellets. They should be provided fresh water at all times. Do not feed them avocado pits, raw onions, potato chips, candies, alcohol, rhubarb, etc. You can also provide your pet a bird bath with lukewarm water.
Some Interesting Facts
- Caiques were once prized for their dancing; the male species especially.
- They have childlike personalities, and are very curious and mischievous in nature.
- As they are quite intelligent, they can be taught to do tricks. They can be potty trained as well.
- At times, they sneak into their owner's hair and rub themselves.
- Caique chicks are deaf at birth, and can only start hearing after they are 3-weeks old.
- At times, they make a whirring sound resembling a helicopter when they fly.
- Caiques have a lifespan of about 20 years.
While there is no denying the fact that these parrots make good pets, you do need to take one thing into consideration beforehand―their notorious high-pitched shrill. So, if you think you can put up with it, then caique is a perfect pet for you.