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