Monday, May 14, 2018

CAIQUE PARROT - The Clowns of the Parrot World

Black-headed Caique - Photo: Wikimedia
Caique - Strange name for a parrot isn't it. The correct pronunciation of Caique is: "ky-eek" or "kah-eek." Yes, this word also means a sailing vessel and darned if we know what that has to do with birds (not to be confused with Kayak). They are intelligent, curious, stubborn, affectionate, fearless and devoted. They are sometimes referred to as "clowns" because of their amusing antics. There aren't many parrots that have the same personality with the exception of the Lorikeets/Lories.

A Caique may not be the bird for you if you are looking for an excellent talker. Many do learn to talk but they tend to speak in a low almost whispering voice, but; do learn to use words properly, Like-Good Morning, How are you, etc. They do learn to whistle tunes quite well. They are not verbally interactive like Quakers or African Greys, for example.

These little birds (either the Black-Capped or White Bellied Caique) are just little playing machines. They love to lie on their backs and play with whiffle balls or other foot toys. They are agile and interactive. They love to be loved and are not noted to be screamers, squawkers or nervous birds. Once introduced to bathing or showering, they absolutely adore it. They will splash and cavort in a glass cake pan or perform their acrobatics while on a birdie shower perch. Showering time can be a great bonding experience for your Caique. Take them in the shower with you. All you need is a good shower perch. Make sure the water isn't too hot and have fun. They love drying off time, just as well. Wrapping them in a fluffy towel before letting them preen is the highlight of their day.

Caiques sleep in tree cavities in the wild, and while our pets are several generations from the wild, that need is still there. Provide them with a Birdie Bungalow or a roosting box to sleep in and they will be happy campers. Because these little acrobats love to climb, their cage should be one with more horizontal than vertical bars. The spacing should be no more than 3/4 inch and the cage no less than 24x24x24. They need to move around and enjoy lots of very well supervised out of cage time. A tree made of manzanita or java wood with lots of branches is ideal for them. They benefit from lots of hanging toys and swings to play on.

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