Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
California, United States
Posted Feb 26, 2014
Caique owners swear that their pets are the most enjoyable, the most clownish and most active of the parrots. I had the pleasure of owning 5 of these guys and I agree, these are some funny and active birds -- with way too much energy, non stop curiosity, always on the move, and absolutely fearless.
These are relatively small birds, being around 10 inches on average (slightly bigger than the Green Cheek Conure). They hail from South America and are distinct from any other type of bird from that area. Caiques love to climb and love to "hop" around when on the ground instead of walk. They have the distinct, multi-colors with a black head and relatively smaller bills.
True to their nature, the caiques are super high energy, always getting into stuff and mischief. They are perhaps too curious (exploring the dog house for instance) or hopping under a parked car. My kids say the Caiques are their favorite as they climb all over you, destroy any toys you get them, and perform unbelievable acrobatics. The kids even put them on their shoulders and ride their bikes around the house with no problem.
Some negatives. These birds usually prefer one person or two person and can be aggressive to the non-chosen humans. When upset, these birds will let you know in no uncertain terms and they can have a very nasty bite (lots of power in their beaks) The Caiques are also aggressive with the other birds and bully huge macaws 3x bigger than the Caiques. Some people say the Caiques can get loud but the ones that I had relatively quiet, with spurts of animated noises. Two of my caiques barely spoke a word or two, but most do not talk. They can mimic certain sounds nicely.
Caiques are definitely one of the favorite parrots but it isn't a parrot for everyone.