Black-headed Caique

Black-headed Caique
Pionites melanocephala

Length: 9 inches (23 cm)

Weight: 130-150 grams

Life span: 20 or more years

Incubation: 27 days

Age at weaning: 10-12 weeks

Age at maturity: 2-3 years

Country of origin: Brazil, Equador, Peru, Bolivia

Natural habitat: Forests and savannas in tropical lowlands; only occasionally at higher altitudes.

Description: Crown and forehead black; lores green; throat and neck deep yellow; nape brownish-orange; back, wing, and upper tail coverts green; breast and abdomen white; thighs, flanks and undertail coverts yellowish-orange; tail gray with yellow tips above and olive below; eyes orange with bare, gray eye rings.

Temperament: The Caique is intelligent, curious and energetic. They are quite mischievous and can be destructive if not provided with appropriate toys. Caiques are acrobatic clowns who enjoy hanging, tumbling and rolling. Providing a well equipped playpen will help to focus some of the energy in these birds. They can be noisy and have a shrill whistling call.

Talking ability: Poor

Noise level: Moderate to loud

Cage requirements: 24" x 24" with bar spacing 5/8" to 3/4"

Interesting facts: Many Caiques develop the odd habit of sleeping on their backs--they appear quite lifeless until they suddenly scramble up to greet you!