Posted by Beth Anne Quinlan, PhD Avian Sciences on 5/23/2020 to Companion Birds
As I began to consider other birds as my next heart bird, I re-visited bird videos from the past. Some of the cutest videos I have seen on the internet are those that feature caiques dancing or engaged in other fun activities. If you haven’t seen them, be sure to visit our Facebook page where you’ll discover a number of bird videos that we’ve seen or been sent through the years as well as pictures and an occasional coupon. One of the members of our bird club brought two caiques to a recent meeting where I was given the opportunity to interact with them and I found them absolutely fascinating.
In the United States, there are two sub-species that are commonly available as pets—the White-bellied caique and the Black-Headed caique. Both are relatively small birds, with lengths of nine to ten inches. Both are beautiful!
The Pros of Caique Ownership
Caiques are often called the clowns of the bird world. They are intelligent and energetic birds that require a lot of toys to keep themselves busy, especially those that they can demolish with pride. Caiques will create their own entertainment with any available materials and can therefore be left at home (caged, of course) during the work day. Their playful nature will easily keep their owners entertained and laughing. Caiques can learn to whistle and make clucking noises, but have a limited ability to mimic the human voice and many do not learn to “talk”. They learn tricks readily. Caiques form strong bonds with their owners, which is of particular interest to me.
The Cons of Caique Ownership
Caiques have a willful or stubborn nature. Caiques have a vocalization that is relatively high-pitched. Many caiques show their displeasure with a situation through the use of their beak by “nipping”. In homes with other birds, the owner must keep a watchful eye out since they tend to have an aggressive nature toward other birds.
I know that generalizations are just that and all birds should be considered on an individual basis. That having been said, because there are other birds in my home, I regretfully must cross caiques off my “short list”.
Already have a caique but were hoping to find a special gift item with a caique on it? Then make sure you check out our offerings here.