Texas, United States
Posted Oct 27, 2008
I had two male black-headed caiques come in as rescues. They were clutchmates and had never been separated. I found them to be quite friendly taking into consideration that they had never been separated. As a general rule, if a parrot can bond with another parrot, they are not very likely to have much to do with people. These two guys, though, were pretty awesome! Rather than the side-to-side swaying walk usually exhibited by a hookbill, Caiques hop - and they are adorable when they hop! *L* They did mimic a few words and had unusual, funny little voices. To explain my rating system a little bit, I rate all hookbills as a '3' in the "cost to own" section because they should be fed home cooked meals made with fresh ingredients and not put on a diet of pellets and never, ever given seed. I don't count the cost of the bird as a "cost to own" because virtually all hookbills are grossly overpriced. If you want one badly enough, you have to take the attitude that the cost of purchasing one is just part of the road to ownership. I did not find the black-headed Caique to be an exceptionally trainable bird; however, this could have a lot to do with the fact that they didn't have need of humans as they had one another. When allowed out of the cage to play with the people, they were entertaining and liked to show off; they tolerated me better than any household member, so that may be an indication that they tend to be a one-owner bird, which is often the case with any hookbills. If you're looking for a bird with exceptional mimicking abilities, then the Caique isn't for you. If you're wanting a small companion parrot with entertainment value, then I believe a young, handfed Caique would probably fit the bill very well. Though the two I had went through two mating seasons while they were with me, I did not find them to be more than moderately aggressive when compared to parrots generally. They can be quite loud in their shrieking, so a noise-sensitive family member isn't likely to enjoy them being part of your flock.