Pionites - Caiques

Pionites - Caiques

White-bellied Caiques

Black-headed Caique

The brightly-colored Caique (pronounced kye-eek).is endemic to the Amazon Rainforest of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela, and the Guiana highlands, where they can be found in the canopies of forested areas.

Diet / Feeding

Their natural diet consists mainly of fruits and seeds.


The average length of an adult caique is 23 cm or 9 inches in length. They weight around 150 to 175 grams or 5.3 - 6.2 oz. Their average expected lifespan is 30 years.

The Caiques are very distinctive and beautiful in appearance. They are often referred to as the "Seven-Color Parrot" because of their highly defined black, green, yellow, orange, white and blue feathers.

The two major species are the Black-headed Caique (Pionites melanocephala) and the White-bellied Caique (Pionites leucogaster), both of which are endemic to South America.

Caique wing feathers produce a distinctive flapping sound in flight.

Species and subspecies

  • Black-headed Caique (Pionites melanocephala melanocephala / Pionites melanocephalus) Black-headed Parrot, Pionites melanocephala. There are two subspecies, with birds between them intermediate in color:
    • Black-headed Caique (P. m. melanocephala). East and south of range.
      • Orange legs and undertail, nape (back of the neck) deep orange, belly white.
      Pallid Parrot/Caique (P. m. pallidus). West and north of range.
      • As Black-headed Caique, except all orange plumage replaced with yellow. Breast and abdomen whitish.

  • White-bellied Caique, Pionites leucogaster, has an orange-yellow head, a white belly, green wings and back, bluish primary feathers, a horn-colored beak, and pink or grey feet. There are three subspecies:

There is little difference in personality between the two species, so which to choose is often decided by price and availability. Typically, the White-bellied Caiques are more expensive than the Black-headed Caiques -- largely because the latter is more common. Prices can range from $500 to $1500, depending on source and area of the country. Buying directly from a breeder will be cheaper than purchasing a caique at your local pet store. Below you will find breeders listed.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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Black-headed Caique as pet

Caiques as Pets - Personality Traits

Housing Your Caiques

Care and Feeding:

Black-headed Caique and White-bellied Caique


Class: Aves ... Order: Psittaciformes ... Family: Psittacidae ... Subfamily: Psittacinae

Genus: Scientific: Pionites ... English: White-bellied Caiques ... Dutch: Witbuikpapegaaien ... German: Weißbauchpapageien ... French: Caïque ... CITES II: Endangered Species

ShadyPines - Black and  White-headed CaiquesSub-species:

Pallid Caiques

White-bellied Caiques

White-breasted Caiques: Please see White-bellied Caiques

Yellow-tailed Caiques

Yellow-thighed Caiques

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