Black-headed caïque, the clown among the parrots

The black headed caïque is known as the clown among the parrots. Caïques are loved by bird lovers for their open nature. Also the ability to make people laugh with their playful antics. The correct way to pronounce caïque is “kai-eke”, so don’t ask for “cake” in a bird shop, because then they could send you to the nearest bakery ?.

If the African Gray is the intellectual of the bird community, and the Macaw is the show beast, then the caïque is the clown. This medium-sized calamity maker will easily make you laugh.

Types of Caïques

black-headed caïque has as their special feature their somewhat woolly feathering. They occur in large numbers in their natural environment, the Amazon region. Two types of caïques are distinguished, namely:

  • Pionites melanocephala melanocephala – Black-headed caïque

  • Pionites leucogaster leucogaster – White-bellied caïque

In this species another subspecies is distinguished, namely the Pionites melanocephala pallida . The difference between the two birds is that with the Pionites melanocephala pallida all orange colored parts are yellow.

black headed caique


The black-headed caïque is found in the south-east of Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and much of Brazil.

The subspecies Pionites melanocephala pallida has its distribution area in South Colombia, south to Northeast Peru and Eastern Equador.

Appearance of a Black-headed Caïque

Both the black-headed caïque and the subspecies are 23 cm tall. There is no external difference between man and pop. Therefore, the only way to be sure about gender is an endoscopic or DNA test.

Character of a Black-headed Caïque parrot

Apart from the striking appearance of caïques, her personality is the main reason for the rise in popularity. Caïque owners are enthusiastic about this brave, active little comedian. Most bird owners will know that they will have to accept the good and the bad qualities of your bird. The caïque is a beautiful pet, but is not perfect. They can be stubborn and very obstinate. But they are so cute that it’s hard to complain about them. Be vigilant on your caïque if there are other birds in the house. They are known for bird-to-bird aggression and it may be necessary to take care not to injure the other birds.

Toys are a main part of the energy diet of the caïques. Caïques are always busy with their beloved toys, especially toys that can be demolished.

Caïques are sometimes called the clowns among the birds. This already indicates that there is a lot of fun to experience with these birds. They are not big kites, but rather acrobats who mainly jump, climb and clamber. They are very curious birds, which makes it easier for them to go to their caregiver and can become tame. Due to their playful nature, it is recommended to give toys to your black-headed caïque. A disadvantage of caïques is that they can make a fairly reasonably sharp sound.

caïque‘s character is summed up very playful.


The aviary must be at least 2 meters long and 90 cm wide and 90 cm high. The birds must have a frost-free stay. It is best that the temperature does not fall below 10 °C.


A light parrot mixture such as, for example, Expert Parrot Premium is sufficient. In addition, different types of fruit (apple, orange, banana, kiwi, plums, figs, etc.) and different types of vegetables (lettuce, spinach, endive, carrots, bird wall, broccoli) must not be missing. Occasionally a fresh willow branch or fruit tree branch certainly does not hurt, certainly not to get them in breeding mood. In addition, they also need grit, minerals, lime and water.

Breeding Black-headed caïques

The birds must have their nest box all year round because they sleep in it. My nest block has a bottom surface of 22 * ​​22 cm and is 40 cm high. The block is L-shaped and is therefore larger at the top than at the bottom. As nesting material I give hemp litter or wood shavings and lay extra willow branches here. They breed with me between March and May. The female lays 3-5 eggs and is incubated for almost a month (28 days), there is even a young one hatched from the egg after 35 days. In the beginning the female takes care of the boy alone, after a few weeks the man helps. After 9-10 weeks they fly out of the nest block. Then they are fed by the parents for another 3 weeks. Note that a black-headed caïque is breeding maturity at the age of 4-6 years, you would not be the first beginner to discard a couple after 3-4 years because they have not yet bred.

Buy Black Head Caïque

Sometimes I have a black-headed caïque for sale. These are young birds of my own breeding birds. For availability contact me. You can also find one on 2nd-hand (caique)

What is the price of a black-headed caïque?

The price of a black-headed caïque is between €200 and €450. The difference in price depends on whether you want a tame bird (hand rearing) or natural breeding. A natural breeding bird costs € 250 – 300. If he has to be tame, he has to be taken out of the nest and raised further by hand. A lot of hours crawl in here and that is why a hand-rearing bird is therefore more expensive, namely € 350 – 450. If you wish to raise it yourself by hand, a baby black-headed caïque also costs € 250-300

Where to buy a caïque?

If you can choose between breeder or trader, go for a black-headed caïque grower. Why shall I tell you? A dealer has many birds, this increases the risk of diseases and infections. As a breeder you only sell a bird to a trader if you have to and you do not want to sell the bird in your name. For example, birds that do not want to breed or birds that are not really tame will be made more easily to the store.

Caïque age

A black-headed caïque can reach the age of 30 with proper care. Of course it is something alive and can die earlier and also a few years later.

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