Black headed Caique
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

Home ] Up ] African Grey Parrot ] Alexandrine Parrot ] Antipodes Green Parakeet ] Barred Parakeet ] [ Black headed Caique ] Blossom headed Parrot ] Blue crowned Hanging Parrot ] Bronze winged Parrot ] Cape Parrot ] Derbyan Parrot ] Eclectus - Non Australian ] Hawk headed Parrot ] Jardine's Parrot ] Kakariki ] Malabar Parrot ] Masked Shining Parrot ] Meyer's Parrot ] Moluccan King Parrot ] Moustached Parrot ] Pacific Parrotlet ] Plum headed Parrot ] Quaker Parrot ] Red bellied Parrot ] Red Shining Parrot ] Ringnecked Parrot ] Senegal Parrot ] Slaty headed Parrot ] Thick billed Parrot ] White bellied Caique ] White crowned Parrot ]

. black headed caique
This page is Sponsored By:
Your Name, Your Address
Refer to "Advertise on web" web page
We specialise in xxxxxxxx birds / product
Contact us on: (0X) XXXX XXXX
or e-mail us @ .............
  • Scientific Name: Pionites melanocephala melanocephala
  • Common Name/s: BLACK HEADED CAIQUE
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin: Yes
  • Origin / Distribution:  North of the Amazon, South America.
  • Habitat In Wild: Lowland forests.
  • Status In Wild: ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Rare.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: 2 - 3 years
  • Adult plumage: attained at about 12 - 18 months
  • Best breeding years (estimate): Caiques may start breeding at about 2 years of age but others may not start until 3 years of age.
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 25 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: No
  • Availability: Rare. Specialist breeders.
  • Temperament: Can be noisy birds. Caiques have a playful nature, however some can be spiteful birds and bite their owners.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $12,000
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx 210 - 230 mm (or approx 10 - 11 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. ? gms (or approx. ? ozs)

Caiques can be treated the same as Amazon Parrots.

Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Caiques can be treated the same as Amazon Parrots. Strong wire mesh is required as these birds have strong beaks. Take care to place these birds well away from neighbours as the Black headed Caique can be noisy.

Minimum cage size should be 3 metres ( 10 feet ) long. Double wiring of the aviary will minimize the risk of injuries between neighbouring birds. Caiques love to bathe so keep a close check of the water bowl particularly in summer.

The Black headed Caique can be housed and bred in a suspended cage of about 3 metres (10 feet) in length. The nest can be internal or external of the suspended cage.

Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly. The birds will chew any flowers and fruiting bodies on the branches.

Diet / Feeding:   Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Non Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

Caiques can be treated the same as Amazon Parrots.

Require fruit, vegetables, corn, green leafy vegetables and nuts as well as a seed diet. Sunflower and safflower seed are favourites. Mealworms and other insects can form part of their diet. Soaked or sprouted seeds can be offered.

Fresh leafy branches should be offered. Caiques love to chew on fresh branches.

Nesting: A basic overview only.  Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

  • Nesting months: Late spring
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth 450 - 600 mm (or approx. 18 - 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 200 mm. (or approx. 8 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 200 mm square (or approx. 8 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. ? mm (or approx. ? inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx 4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box - Prefer a nest box in a darker part of the aviary.
    • Angle of log or nest box =  vertical or near vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Nest inspections should be undertaken with great care. Adult breeding birds can be aggressive. The hen may spend a week or two preparing the interior of the log or nest prior to laying.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening about 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 1 - 2.  Eggs per nest 2 - 4.  Incubation approx. 25 - 26 days.  Fledge approx 10 weeks.  Independent approx. another ? weeks. Both parent birds feed the young.

Prefer a nest box in a darker part of the aviary. Breeding birds with young should be closely monitored as they are often unable to raise all the young that hatch. Many breeders hand rear some of the young from each nest to minimize the loss of any young.

The Black headed Caique has a small gene pool. Try and obtain unrelated birds for breeding.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site. It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture

  • A/A Vol 58 No. 8 Aug 2004 Page 182 (Book review - Caiques - R. Low).
  • Australian Birdkeeper

Top of - black headed caique - Page

3 is one of the world's largest and most informative avian or bird web sites.  Copyright 2002 - 2008 inc.  All rights reserved.  Disclaimer:  This web site has been compiled from material provided from a large number of sources.  Personal experience and personal contacts have been used.  Results vary according to factors such as environmental factors, aviary design and the physical and genetic backgrounds of all living birds/animals.  Every endeavour has been made to ensure the accuracy of the material but no responsibility is accepted by  for the accuracy of the material on this web site. The intent of this web site is to provide a "care sheet"  format and provide general material only.  Readers should rely upon their own enquiries in making any decisions relating to their own interests.