New York, United States
Posted Nov 30, 2008
I have 3 black headed caiques. Two are males, and 1 is a female. I did the rating on the toughest one, so that it would represent how caiques can be. Spencer was adopted when he was 5 1/2 years old. He is very aggressive with other family members, and will often dive bomb them to attack them. He is absolutely wonderful with me, will wrestle and play, but its very hard to have him in the same room as other people. He can not be trusted. He has learned a few tricks, but he also can get aggressive with the other birds as well. I do think overall they are highly trainable, but he doesn't speak english. He does mimic some whistles and beeps, and his vocalizations can get really loud at times. He was adopted with another male black headed caique, and they were a bonded pair. However after six months of having them, Spencer turned on Franklin. (the other male caique.) They are now seperated for life. They do get along if they are out together and supervised, but they can NEVER be left out alone together, or in a cage together, because Spencer will hurt him.
Franklin is a bit more unusual, in the fact that he is very people friendly, very trainable (no words though) and absolutly loves to meet anyone. He is very trustworthy with other people, and he is a bird I can trust even with little kids. He knows quite a few tricks, and eagerly learns more.
Kennedy is a baby still, I got her a few months ago from a breeder. She is fun, inquisitive, and even has a few words! She is still learning proper beak pressure, but she does get along great with the others and loves to play with them.
As far as cost and maintanence go, all of them need individual attention each day. They need a healthy diet, and create a BIG mess when they eat. They are extremely active, and need lots of toys. A caiques day is all about eating, playing, eating, and playing. They are very mischeivous and will get into anything they can. They are extremely smart and many times can figure out how to escape from cages. All food they eat they have a need to dunk, which means very frequent water changes.
They love to hop/fly off there cages and go on "walkabouts". Frequently following me into another room, or getting into trouble. One of the many reasons I never leave them out unsupervised. They are generally a very aggressive species that can make absolutly wonderful pets for the right people. However they should never be put in cages with other birds, especially of a different species. They can very easily hurt or kill another bird, even one much larger then them.
I think caiques are a wonderful, amazing, intelligent species, but can certainly be a handful if not given the proper boundaries.