Know what you are getting into if you are serious about a Caique...!

  • All Caiques come from South America. White-bellied Caiques are found mainly in Northern Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Black-headed Caiques are found mainly in the Guianas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuala.
  • The White bellied Caique parrot has a mostly orange head,yellow thighs and cheeks,pink beaks and white chest. They have green backs and tails and a blue or violet streak on the inner wing feathers. When they are younger they have yellow scattered through their chests . Younger White-bellied Caiques also have more black feathers scattered in among the orange on their head. Both of these feathers will turn into their true colors after their big molt. Some people say that females are generally the ones with black spotted heads when they are babies but the only sure way to tell is a DNA test.

  • The Black Headed Caique parrot has a mostly black head. This feathers on the cheeks, throat, flanks and thighs are an orange-yellow and there is an orange band across the back of the neck with a border of bluish feathers. The feathers on the wings, back, rump and upper tail are green. The belly and breast feathers are creamy-white and the tail feathers are the tip are yellow. Younger Black-headed Caiques have more yellow on their underside feathers and their yellow and orange parts are paler.

The low down:
  • The general demeanor of the Caiques is one of affection and sociability. In the wild the White-bellied Caiques are generally seen in pairs, a family group, or a small flock, while the Black-headed Caiques will be seen in family groups or flocks up to 30 birds.
  •    In captivity they are very social, greatly enjoying interacting with other birds and people. But despite this overall affectionate nature some caiques, especially the Black-headed Caiques, can get rather grumpy and nippy and can be aggressive to other birds.

  •    Because of their highly social and active nature, if you do not have a lot of time to devote to your caique, it might be better to get two. They will still bond to you and will want alone time with you. Each caique has their own individual personality but in general they will be aggressive to  other parrots and birds outside of their species. They have Napoleon Syndrome all the way!
  • Caiques are very intelligent. They enjoy learning tricks and then showing off, however, they are very strong willed individuals. You will need a firm hand when taming your pet to establish dominance. If they are handled timidly they can become aggressive so are not considered a beginners pet. They also have the unique trait of playing on their back with toys in their feet, and can entertain themselves for a while, but they have the attention span of a fruit fly so be sure to change their toys every once in a while.

  • Caiques love a bath. A shower can be accomplished with either a hand held shower sprayer or a hose with a fine spray head and lukewarm water. You can also place a bath pan or ceramic dish at the bottom of the cage. In the wild they are in a humid environment so bath time should become a regular activity. In the winter they should still get a bath but if it is too cold,and as birds are sensitive to temperature, you can have them in the bathroom while you shower so they can absorb the humidity. Just make sure they are in a safe place like inside a carrier or portable cage.
  • A bigger cage the better 24' x 24"  x  30" is a minimum since hanging toys and putting perches take up more space than you think. A playpen on top is also very convenient so they can hang out and eat and play there. Make sure to clean the cage with a nontoxic spray, I use and organic all-purpose cleaner.
  • Water dishes should be changed daily if not twice since food and poo  gets in it. Pet stores and vets have different ideas about the diet. I got Baloo from a pet store that gave me a bunch of bags of treats and daily food that consisted of dried fruits,cheerios, popcorn,fruit jellies, nuts, and even white chocolate. The vet told me Harrisons Bird Food was the best bet and after doing some research,I agreed so Baloo is now converting to pellets. He also gets fresh fruits like strawberries,pomegranate, apples and pinapple as well as an organic mixture of corn,green beans,and carrots that I get frozen from Trader Joe's along with fresh kale and lettuce.  Of course if he had it his way it would be pomegranate all day and night!
  • The most important....LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!! Lots of playtime and attention! Get a carrier (I got a parakeet cage for Baloo, it's cheaper and more convenient for me) and let them sit on the patio and catch some rays! Watch TV with them! Hand wrestle! They need a lot of stimulation so change out toys regulary and make you own!


TOXIC foods:
 there are many toxic foods, for a complete list go here, I just compiled a list of foods that we are more likely to run into in everyday life...

  • Avocado
  • Apricot seeds
  • onion (small aount ok)
  • Garlic (small amount ok)        
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine(they get addicted too)                                                              
  • uncooked beans
  • uncooked rice
  • Mushrooms
  • egglant
  • Saffron
  • Tobacco(all forms of)
  • peach pit
  • Nectarine pit
  • Salt
  • Dairy products(they cant digest it)
  • potato plants
  • persimmons(this is still debated, some people do feed it,others dont)

Here is a list of the top ten hazardous foods with some details

1) Chocolate

Chocolate poisoning first affects a bird's digestive system, causing vomiting and diarrhea. As the condition progresses, the bird's central nervous system is affected, first causing seizures and eventually death.

2) Apple Seeds

Believe it or not, apples - along with other members of the rose family including cherries, peaches, apricots, and pears - contain trace amounts of Cyanide within their seeds. While the fruit of the apple is fine for your bird, be aware that in addition to the poisonous seeds, there may be pesticides present on the fruit's skin. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse and core any apple pieces that you share with your bird to avoid exposure to these toxins.

3) Avocado

The skin and pit of this popular fruit had been known to cause cardiac distress and eventual heart failure in pet bird species. Although there is some debate to the degree of toxicity of avocados, it is generally advised to adopt a "better safe than sorry" attitude toward them and keep guacamole and other avocado products as far away from pet birds as possible.

4) Onions

While the use of limited amounts of onion or garlic powders as flavorings is generally regarded as acceptable, excessive consumption of onions causes vomiting, diarrhea, and a host of other digestive problems. It has been found that prolonged exposure can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia, which is followed by respiratory distress and eventual death.

5) Alcohol Although responsible bird owners would never dream of offering their pet an alcoholic drink, there have been instances in which free roaming birds have attained alcohol poisoning through helping themselves to unattended cocktails. Alcohol depresses the organ systems of birds and can be fatal. Make sure that your bird stays safe by securing him in his cage whenever alcohol is served in your home.

6) Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a type of fungus, and have been known to cause digestive upset in companion birds. Caps and stems of some varieties can induce liver failure.

7) Tomato Leaves

Tomatoes, like potatoes and other nightshades, have a tasty fruit that is fine when used as a treat for your bird. The stems, vines, and leaves, however, are highly toxic to your pet. Make sure that any time you offer your bird a tomato treat it has been properly cleaned and sliced, with the green parts removed, so that your bird will avoid exposure to any toxins.

8) Salt

While all living beings need regulated amounts of sodium in their systems, too much salt can lead to a host of health problems in birds, including excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and death. Be sure to keep watch over the amount of salty foods your bird consumes.

9) Caffeine

Caffeinated beverages such as soda, coffee, and tea are popular among people - but allowing your bird to indulge in these drinks can be extremely hazardous. Caffeine causes cardiac malfunction in birds, and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyper activity, and cardiac arrest. Share a healthy drink of pure fruit or vegetable juice with your bird instead - this will satisfy both your bird's taste buds and nutritional requirements.

10) Dried Beans

Cooked beans are a favorite treat of many birds, but raw, dry bean mixes can be extremely harmful to your pet. Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemaglutin which is very toxic to birds. To avoid exposure, make sure to thoroughly cook any beans that you choose to share with your bird.

  1.     Its not convenient to run back and forth to the computer to figure out what is poisonous so be safe rather than sorry. This goes especially for plants since birds love to just run to one and chew on it and rarely do we know if it's ok or not. I have heard of birds doing this and owners, oblivious and think they are just playing, end up taking them to the hospital in a couple hours because they collapse or start vomiting.
  2. DO NOT USE TEFLON! The fumes are highly toxic as are any form of scented candle,air freshener or cigarette smoke. Be aware that even some hair dryers and straighteners have Teflon so call the manufacturer to make sure. Birds are very sensitive and when they get sick they dont show it because that is their defense mechanism in the wild. That is why when symptoms do show it is often too late.
  3. Use organic products to clean your home and his cage. This is not only better for you and the environment but your feathered baby as well. You can even make your own simple solution of water and vineger to create an all purpose cleaner.
  4. Organic fruits and veggies are the best to feed your bird since pesticides are toxic but if you cant just peel your fruit. I only eat peeled fruits even tomatoes so this is no skin off my back. It has been proven however that strawberries absorb the most pesticides so these should be bought organically.
  5. Be careful that your bird's toys are without loose threads and potential hazards that can get his foot or beak caught in. When a bird panicks it thrashes and usually gets more caught and can hang to death, suffocate, or bleed to death.

Fun Facts:                        
  • Caiques are not very good at flying and like to hop or run instead and have very strong legs 
  • In South America they are known as the "Dancing Parrot" and people will pay good $$$ to see them dance as people clap!
  • They aren't very good talkers either and are becoming popular as pets because of their funny antics instead, but can learn songs to whistle and talk in high pitched voices!
  • Caiques are generally canopy dwellers, spending most of their time in the tops of trees, foraging and playing, eating more fruits and nuts than vegetables
  • Caiques love to play on their back! They roll over,wrestle with your hand, tip over, bunny hop, and !juggle  toys with their feet on their back!