sam_eye1.jpg (34581 bytes)           The Caique Site


Picture Archive

If you have a unique picture of a caique, and would like to post it here, contact me at the Caique Site.



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Three co-parented chicks and their parents. The parents are at opposite ends of the stand. I reared these chicks by a method I call "rotational co-parenting." First, I only left two of the chicks with the parents until their eyes began to open. Then I further reduced the number of chicks left with the parents to only one, but rotated the chick I left with the them. I would leave the oldest with the parents for a 24 hr period, then replace it with the next oldest, etc. so that each chick spent only a third of its time with its parents. When they began to wean and trying to fly, I put them all back with the parents. The result are chicks that can be both excellent pets and still be completely comfortable with their parents. To produce pet quality co-parented chick my old way. i.e. by leaving it with the parents, I could only co-parent one chick at a time and I had to devote 20 minutes to handling it every day.


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Very yellow caique. This yellow-thighed caique (P. l. xanthomerius) appears to be a new mutation. It is more than two years old, so it is not a juvenile phase coloring. It clearly is expressing less then the normal amount of melanin in its feathers. It is difficult to classify the type of mutation from the photo, but it is not sex-linked. The owner says he owns birds of both sexes with this coloration. The owner would like to know its value. (Photo used with permission of the owner.) 


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Kiwi at 8 months old. Young caiques are noted for their playfulness. When they feel secure, they will frequently lay on their backs. If this were an adult bird, this might not be play but a defensive posture. Wild caught birds often assume this position on the bottom of their cage. The defensive advantage is protection of the bird's back while allowing its powerful beak and claws to fend off an attacker.  (Photo by James Roach) 


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Julie of Caique Country USA provided this picture. It is a great picture of a white-bellied caique (Pionites leucogaster xanthomerius) chick with a green line of feathers under its eye. She notes that after this chick matured, both the black on its head and the green under its eye disappeared and it looked like a normal white-bellied caique. White-bellied caique chicks nearly always have a few black feathers on their heads. Because of this, we think the white-bellied caiques evolved from a black-headed form and the black feathers are considered an atavistic trait. The green under this chick's eye may be another atavistic trait since it is present on nearly every black-headed caique (Pionites melanocephalus). The chick on the far right is from a different set of parents. For a larger image, click on the thumbnail.


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This is Ripley and he belongs to Scott Blum. Ripley is thirteen years old and Scott purchased him as a black-headed caique. We do not know Ripley’s true sex, but since he has never laid any eggs we suspect he is a male. Ripley’s color pattern is one I have never seen before. Scott noted that the color of the feathers on Ripley’s head have been changing over time. The black feathers on Ripley’s head have receded into the shape of a broad chevron with yellow orange feathers in front and the typical apricot colored feathers on his nape. The feathers on Ripley’s thighs are a yellow-green. Even Ripley’s beak departs from the usual coloration. The top portion of the upper beak is pale flesh color, but in the commisure area it is dark. We do not know Ripley's heritage, but he may be a hybrid. When Scott emailed his picture, he did not realize that Ripley was such a special bird. Scott notes that Ripley is a delightful companion.


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Male white-belly caique with chick in nest box. He is not feeding the chick but beaking with it. They do this by placing their beaks at a 90˚ angle. I allowed the pair to co-parent this chick because they were not disturbed when I inspected the nest. You cannot allow all pairs to co-parent, but this one was very amenable to my intrusions.


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Color mutation of the black-headed caique. These are two pictures of what was probably a color mutation of the Black-headed caique. The owner provided me with these pictures and gave me permission to post them. Unfortunately, I have since learned that the chick has died. This is very unfortunate because it may have been the first confirmed color mutant of a caique. Dr. Terry Martin, author of A guide of Colour Mutations&Genetics in Parrots, thought it might be a greygreen or melanistic mutation. However, unless its parents produce another chick with the same trait, we will never know. I remain grateful to its owner for allowing me to post its pictures here.


Peeking out of the bin. When chicks are nearly feathered out most breeders place them in plastic bins at room temperature. I cover my bins with a towel to simulate the darkness of a nest cavity in the wild. They do not stay in the bins long before they start exploring their world. This chick is poking its head out because it knows it is feeding time.


The eggs caiques lay are not all the same size. The egg on the left was the first egg of a clutch of four. The egg on the right is the fourth egg laid. Notice the difference in size. Although they are about the same length, the first egg is much plumper.


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This chick has green cheek feathers forming symmetrical "mutton chops" on both sides of its beak. The juvenal featheration of caiques often departs from the expected. When this chick finally molts into its adult plumage, it will probably lose its green cheek feathers. (Photo by author)