White-Bellied Caique: Traits, History, & Care (with Pictures)


The White-Bellied Caique is a beloved member of the parrot family. This unique bird is popular due to its white belly and playful spirit. Combining all the traits that make people love other members of their family, these amazing creatures are often known as the comics of the parrot family. Although endangered in the wild, this lovely bird has become quite popular for those seeking to adopt a bird as their pet.divider-birdcage

Species Overview

White-Bellied Caique Close Up
Image Credit: Birdie : a White-bellied Caique #5,miscpix, Flickr, Attribution CC 2.0
Common Names: White-breasted, Yellow-thigh, or Apricot-headed Caiques
Scientific Name: Pionites Leucogaster
Adult Size: 9 inches
Life Expectancy: 30 years

Origin and History

Due to activities in their habit, the White-Bellied Caique is considered an endangered species at home in the wild. The natural habitat of the White-Bellied Caique is the upper region of South America. Preferring life in the humid regions of the Amazon River, this species prefers to spend time with their flock, often ranging from 25-30 members. If not with their flock, these birds are not a fan of alone time and will rarely be seen alone.

Temperament

In most instances, a White-Bellied Caique is full of energy and wants its owner to take part in their comical ways. Unfortunately, when not being paid enough attention, this bird species are known to get slightly aggressive. Owners may find themselves falling victim to nips and bites if their bird feels neglected. To avoid these issues, spending lots of time interacting with these birds is important.

The White-Bellied Caique craves attention and wants to bond with its owners. When proper time is spent with this species, you’ll find yourself receiving cuddles and love daily.

White-Bellied Caiques have been rumored to show their territorial nature when exposed to birds of different species. Although mostly known for their fun, loving nature, some owners do report that when sharing space with unfamiliar birds they may fight or become overly aggressive.

Pros

  • Comical and fun to watch
  • High-energy that offer hours of entertainment
  • Considered cuddly and easy to bond with

Cons

  • Becomes aggressive when ignored or bored
  • It May be territorial when it comes to other species of birds

Speech & Vocalizations

Although other members of their family are famous for their vocal abilities, the White-Bellied Caique prefers keeping the talk limited. These birds can speak a few words such as names or small phrases but prefer to stick with loud whistles and other bird sounds. Their mimicking is quite endearing when it comes to these types of noises.divider-birdcage

White-Bellied Caique Colors and Markings

The White-Bellied Caique is considered one of the more beautiful members of the parrot family. Measuring at 9 inches from head to toe, the white breast of this bird balances perfectly with the many colors it exhibits. Typically, these birds appear green in color. Their forehead crown is usually an orangish-yellow. The primary feathers of this species are bluish in appearance with grey or pink feet and a simple horn-colored beak.

You can include a bullet list of the most common variations:

  • White breast feathers that appear ruffled
  • The Head appears orange on top and yellow near the nape of the neck
  • Blue colored primary feathers
  • Horn colored beak
  • Pinkish or grey feet

Caring for the White-Bellied Caique

Caring for the White-Bellied Caique depends mostly on the time owners have to spend with their new friends. A socially active bird, White-Bellied Caiques enjoy being with a partner of their species when possible but in most instances shouldn’t be paired with other species of bird.

Due to its hyper nature, this species of bird needs adequate space to move around. When choosing a cage, keep this in mind. During the hours of play they exhibit throughout the day, the White-Bellied Caique will hop and crawl around their enclosure non-stop. Be sure to choose a cage that is sturdy and dependable to offer proper protection for your bird.

Toys are also quite important to this species of bird. If you hope to keep their wild antics under control, plan on having multiple toys in their cage and on hand for change-outs. This will allow you the opportunity to watch playtime when you cannot actively take part in keeping your bird company.

Common Health Problems

The White-Bellied Caique can be considered an all-around healthy species of parrot. Although possible for them to suffer from common parrot ailments, in most situations, this doesn’t happen. Normal problems like feather plucking and beak swelling may take place if not properly cared for. Unfortunately, however, they are known to contract polyomavirus quite easily.

Polyomavirus most commonly affects birds under four weeks of age. This virus causes gastroenteritis which can easily damage a bird’s liver, kidneys, and in the end, their heart. In most instances, this virus is considered deadly if not caught and treated extremely early.

Luckily, for those who adopt a White-Bellied Caique, a vaccination is available. If you want to keep your new pet healthy, plan on getting all needed vaccinations immediately upon adoption.

Diet and Nutrition

Water is crucial for a healthy pet. Keeping a full cup of clean, fresh, water in the cage will ensure your bird avoids dehydration. When offering your White-Bellied Caique water make sure it has been boiled and cooled or use filtered water. This ensures a clean source of drinking water at all times.

Providing your White-Bellied Caique with high-quality foods is important to their health and well-being. Introducing a great pellet mix to provide 50 to 70% of their diet will get your bird on the right track early on. Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and quinoa are among their favorites.

White-Bellied Caiques also require a good diet of seeds. When feeding, these seeds should be soaked for a bit. This makes them easier to eat and avoids issues with chewing. Offering small amounts of seed to your White-Bellied Caiques will help keep their diet balanced. When choosing seeds, avoid using normal seeds from the local store. You may unintentionally add unwanted fats and preservatives to your bird’s diet.

Like with any bird, the White-Bellied Caique needs a mix of fruits and veggies to stay healthy. When offering these tasty treats, make sure they are sliced or chopped well to avoid issues with chewing. If your bird prefers, you can even offer them pureed fruits and veggies to make life easier.

Exercise

The White-Bellied Caique is an energetic, loud, and playful bird. In most instances, you’ll find they easily keep themselves in great shape with their constant and playful antics. If you want to keep your bird engaged and healthy, toys are a great way to offer additional playtime for good exercise. If you notice your new companion isn’t as playful and energetic as they once were, moodiness or depression could be the problem.

Where to Adopt or Buy a White-Bellied Caique

With the love of the White-Belled Caique on the rise, finding the perfect one for your home isn’t difficult. By stopping by your local pet store, parrot breeder, or even parrot rescue you may find a companion White-Bellied Caique waiting for you. When buying or adopting a bird, thoroughly research the background of the seller to ensure they are treating their animals humanely.

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Conclusion

The White-Bellied Caique is easily one of the loudest, most playful birds you can add to your home. These birds want to be your companion while looking beautiful in the process. With a little love, lots of attention, and the ability to handle the extremely loud antics these birds bring to your life, you and your White-Bellied Caique will quickly become inseparable.


Featured Image Credit: White-bellied Caique, Peter Stubbs, Flickr, Attribution CC 2.0





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