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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been wanting to get myself a parrot for quite a long time, and I have decided that enough is enough, I am going to pull my finger out and get myself one.

I had at first thought about getting a budgie or cockatiel, but after having a think, I expect that I would feel the need to want to step up to a more challenging bird sooner rather than later. I have been recommended to get a black headed caique, and after reading about them and watching quite afew videos of them bouncing about, I am completely sold on them! However I want to know more about them from people who currently keep them or have kept them in the past.

Firstly I work a normal 9-5 job, well actually I would be out from about 7-4ish, so can they amuse themselves in that time? I have been told I should get 2, but I am not 100% sold on that idea seen as I am not exactly experienced with parrot behaviour and wouldnt want to get in over my head. So basically, is it possible to keep a single black headed caique if I am out for about 8 hours a day?

Now noise could be an issue, I live in a flat so theres not much in the way of escaping the neighbours. I would hope that night time noise is minimal/zero? Day time noise could be an issue? I know they, like most parrots have a good set of lungs on them and can be very loud. But realistically how much noise could there be? Is it constant or just occasional?

How much difference is there between males and females? Are there pros and cons for either sex?

Whats differences (apart from colour) is there between the black headed and white bellied caiques?

I would prefer to buy a youngster direct from a breeder, does anyone know any breeds or can point me in the right direction? I guess its the wrong time of year for babies but it cant hurt to get my foot in the door of a breeder!

I realise this is a quiet sleepy corner of a reptile forum, and I am asking alot of possibly in depth avian questions, but for the life of me I cant seem to find any parrot forums that are any good! Can anyone point me in the direction of any? And any additional reading material?

Thanks : victory:
 

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Caiques are amazing parrots! I used to have a Black-Headed Caique.

Although I didn't have him DNA sexed, I was pretty sure he was male, because every 3 months or so, he'd have a hormonal rage, where he would fluff up, flash his eyes, & attack you if he got the chance. It only lasted a day or two, but it is a male Amazon parrot trait, & as Caiques are closely related to Amazons, I put two & two together & figured he was male.

They are very playful, cuddly, amusing & fun. I don't think they are particularly loud, but early in the morning & late in the afternoon are often the times of day when they will at their most vocal.

They are not normally picky eaters, & enjoy a varied diet. They aren't the strongest of flyers, but still enjoy a flutter when they've had enough of bouncy, jumping & climbing.
 

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Caique - I scream! - YouTube

That's an example of the noise they are capable of making. Every bird is different so you might end up with a quiet bird or loud bird. Part of it is the way they are raised- if you live in a quiet home they are less likely to be loud while a home with loud children, loud music/tvs will probably make the bird louder ( they want to join in the fun :lol2:). When our family were considering a parrot we looked into caiques as we were drawn to their playful nature. However what put us off was the fact that they can have mood swings and are "bipolar" which we didn't feel comfortable with around the younger members of our family. From my reading I've also heard that if you want a friend for your bird they must be a caique as they have a unique way of playing which other birds don't react well too. I must say I have never owned a caique but have met them before and have spent months reading about them so definitely do your own research and try and meet some in real life as no amount of reading can prepare you for them :2thumb:

I was just wondering what are you looking for in your bird? Colour, talking ability, playfullness or affectionate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Caiques are amazing parrots! I used to have a Black-Headed Caique.

Although I didn't have him DNA sexed, I was pretty sure he was male, because every 3 months or so, he'd have a hormonal rage, where he would fluff up, flash his eyes, & attack you if he got the chance. It only lasted a day or two, but it is a male Amazon parrot trait, & as Caiques are closely related to Amazons, I put two & two together & figured he was male.

They are very playful, cuddly, amusing & fun. I don't think they are particularly loud, but early in the morning & late in the afternoon are often the times of day when they will at their most vocal.

They are not normally picky eaters, & enjoy a varied diet. They aren't the strongest of flyers, but still enjoy a flutter when they've had enough of bouncy, jumping & climbing.
I remember I did ask you about them last year, but I seem to have misplaced the pm you sent me. I have been sold on them for quite awhile but it just seems like the right time for me to seriously work towards getting one.

The mood swings I can handle, aslong as its not every other day I guess.

Do they become vocal at sunrise? before sunrise? Or randomly in the morning? I am not so worried about myself, I am up every morning at 6am, weekends seem to never sleep past 7am, more worried about waking neighbours up etc

Thanks for your advice, if I do end up getting one I shall most likely pick your brains again :2thumb:

Caique - I scream! - YouTube

That's an example of the noise they are capable of making. Every bird is different so you might end up with a quiet bird or loud bird. Part of it is the way they are raised- if you live in a quiet home they are less likely to be loud while a home with loud children, loud music/tvs will probably make the bird louder ( they want to join in the fun :lol2:). When our family were considering a parrot we looked into caiques as we were drawn to their playful nature. However what put us off was the fact that they can have mood swings and are "bipolar" which we didn't feel comfortable with around the younger members of our family. From my reading I've also heard that if you want a friend for your bird they must be a caique as they have a unique way of playing which other birds don't react well too. I must say I have never owned a caique but have met them before and have spent months reading about them so definitely do your own research and try and meet some in real life as no amount of reading can prepare you for them :2thumb:

I was just wondering what are you looking for in your bird? Colour, talking ability, playfullness or affectionate?
Wow that is quite loud, I would hope that if I got a nice youngster then it wont develop to that point. I live alone, dont really have the TV very loud and rarely play loud music, so I consider my house to be almost whisper quiet! haha I wont know until I get one as to how vocal that particular bird will be.

I am trying to find people nearish to me so I can see if I can meet some and just see how they are in the flesh.

The mood swings I think will be ok, and I have heard they can be quite aggressively playful and have been warned to expect alot of blood to be shed from my hands!

What am I looking for, playfulness and affectionate mostly, the ability to learn afew tricks, alittle bit of talking/whistling (the odd word and tune here and there would be nice) and colourful would be nice but is not top of my list.
 

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So I have been wanting to get myself a parrot for quite a long time, and I have decided that enough is enough, I am going to pull my finger out and get myself one.

I had at first thought about getting a budgie or cockatiel, but after having a think, I expect that I would feel the need to want to step up to a more challenging bird sooner rather than later. I have been recommended to get a black headed caique, and after reading about them and watching quite afew videos of them bouncing about, I am completely sold on them! However I want to know more about them from people who currently keep them or have kept them in the past.

Firstly I work a normal 9-5 job, well actually I would be out from about 7-4ish, so can they amuse themselves in that time? I have been told I should get 2, but I am not 100% sold on that idea seen as I am not exactly experienced with parrot behaviour and wouldnt want to get in over my head. So basically, is it possible to keep a single black headed caique if I am out for about 8 hours a day?

Now noise could be an issue, I live in a flat so theres not much in the way of escaping the neighbours. I would hope that night time noise is minimal/zero? Day time noise could be an issue? I know they, like most parrots have a good set of lungs on them and can be very loud. But realistically how much noise could there be? Is it constant or just occasional?

How much difference is there between males and females? Are there pros and cons for either sex?

Whats differences (apart from colour) is there between the black headed and white bellied caiques?

I would prefer to buy a youngster direct from a breeder, does anyone know any breeds or can point me in the right direction? I guess its the wrong time of year for babies but it cant hurt to get my foot in the door of a breeder!

I realise this is a quiet sleepy corner of a reptile forum, and I am asking alot of possibly in depth avian questions, but for the life of me I cant seem to find any parrot forums that are any good! Can anyone point me in the direction of any? And any additional reading material?

Thanks : victory:

My family has a black headed caique. Now all birds are different and I have had a horrible experience with this one. It is very very loud, it will scream when its excited. It will charge and bite for no reason, it has literally ripped my finger open without provocation. It is very moody and very nasty. However, this all happened after he went through sexual maturity. Before this he used to be very sweet, I would play with him for hours on end with no problems. Then one day, he decided he hated me, and became very noisy and started biting.

I have talked to a few other people that also have nasty caiques, but I'm sure most are ok.
 

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Caique - I scream! - YouTube

That's an example of the noise they are capable of making. Every bird is different so you might end up with a quiet bird or loud bird. Part of it is the way they are raised- if you live in a quiet home they are less likely to be loud while a home with loud children, loud music/tvs will probably make the bird louder ( they want to join in the fun :lol2:). When our family were considering a parrot we looked into caiques as we were drawn to their playful nature. However what put us off was the fact that they can have mood swings and are "bipolar" which we didn't feel comfortable with around the younger members of our family. From my reading I've also heard that if you want a friend for your bird they must be a caique as they have a unique way of playing which other birds don't react well too. I must say I have never owned a caique but have met them before and have spent months reading about them so definitely do your own research and try and meet some in real life as no amount of reading can prepare you for them :2thumb:

I was just wondering what are you looking for in your bird? Colour, talking ability, playfullness or affectionate?
My Caique lived with a Sun Conure. They got on fine, & acted like a bonded pair, regurgitating for one another & preening.

I remember I did ask you about them last year, but I seem to have misplaced the pm you sent me. I have been sold on them for quite awhile but it just seems like the right time for me to seriously work towards getting one.

The mood swings I can handle, aslong as its not every other day I guess.

Do they become vocal at sunrise? before sunrise? Or randomly in the morning? I am not so worried about myself, I am up every morning at 6am, weekends seem to never sleep past 7am, more worried about waking neighbours up etc

Thanks for your advice, if I do end up getting one I shall most likely pick your brains again :2thumb:
Most parrots tend to start their morning vocals at first light.
 

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My parrots make noises when they hear noises...the Senegal is not that loud but he sometimes has shouting matches with the Lovebirds. I think Senegals are fab parrots btw, look into them! He never has mood swings and loves a cuddle.

I can't even watch movies in my room or listen to music because the birds make so much noise when they hear noise! :D

Don't know much about Caiques but I can leave my Sennie for hours, he doesn't mind, long as he comes out for several hours after I'm home! He doesn't have a parrot friend :p
 

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I think parrots do need other bird company, it does not necessarily have to be another parrot, a pair of finches or other small birds will provide some company while you are not in the house, leaving a radio on for some of the time is also another way of providing some stimulation. I've known too many over excitable Senegals to be a huge fan of them(they are the terriers of the parrot world) but the related member of the poicephalus, the Meyers is a beautiful bird and more even tempered, but less common in aviculture. I just love the pionus so they get my vote ;) If you want something playful have you considered a Lory? You could get 2 handreared ones, they would def keep you entertained. The only downside is the mess they make due to their diet! Don't rush to buy the bird, keep looking and asking :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for your advice and comments : victory:
I am stil of the opinion that a caique is right for me, not so smart that I cant provide enough stimulation for them. I have been warned about their diet causing a mess, I shall make sure that I am ready for that.

I have managed to find a breeder not too far from me and they have eggs due any day, and they hand rear the babies for a good 15 weeks, so they are fully tame etc this will give me plenty of time to get my research and stuff done :2thumb:

From the sounds of it, people who have had bad experiences with them could be down to their living environment and upbringing. So hopefully as I am being patient and sourcing one from a good breeder then the little one should be just fine :2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Progress report.....the breeder I contacted in January has had her pairs laying eggs and they have started to hatch! So all things being equal in about 3 months I will have myself a lovely new addition : victory:
 

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Look forward to hearing all about your new addition when you get them :) Will you visit during the rearing process. I have been lucky enough to do that a couple of times. it's lovely to see toddler parrots, clumsy and into everything :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Look forward to hearing all about your new addition when you get them :) Will you visit during the rearing process. I have been lucky enough to do that a couple of times. it's lovely to see toddler parrots, clumsy and into everything :)
The breeder recommends that I visit atleast once! Its good, gives them a chance to get to know me too. I think they insist on them being a minimum of 15 weeks old before going to a new home so Iam sure I will get a chance to visit atleast once, if not more. And they did comment that seen as I am top of the list that I get first choice of the chicks, or more like they get first pick of me! :lol2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So after months of research and waiting, and afew visits to the breeder to meet the babies and see them develop, I finally have myself two black headed caiques, two lovely brothers, just over 3 months old.

So far they have just been lovely, not too noisy, very playful and a joy to watch.

Here are some photos, its difficult to get a photo of them as they love cameras, phones and well anything so as soon as I get the camera one has a flutter towards it, and where one goes the other isnt far behind!

Meet Fruit and Nut







 

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Im glad you finally got them! And its great that you got 2, as they will entertain each other so much when you aren't able to. :2thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Im glad you finally got them! And its great that you got 2, as they will entertain each other so much when you aren't able to. :2thumb:
So glad I got two, they always have so much fun when they are out and about being naughty! And actually 90% of the time they are pretty content in their cage eating/playing/sleeping and are actually quite quiet.

Infact hardly any noise in the morning and throughout the day although its betwen 8-9pm that they argue over going to bed (normally one wants to go to bed and is sat there calling for the other, while the other is either eating or playing).

Give it afew more weeks and they should be fully settled in, and might actually be able to nail their landings! They are still so clumsy, pretty good flyers but really dont understand how to land yet :lol2:
 

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nice one glad you got them
I'm still searching for a female for mine he's called Eccles
 

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thanks have responded to some asking for a female
 

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got a 6 year old female coming next week
so happy
will take awhile for them to get use to each other will be caged next to each other
 

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Got a female at last she is the one on the right
a 6 year old

 
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