Black-headed Caique

The Black-headed Caique ( Pyrilia caica ) is a species of bird in the Psittacidae family. It is also called a caique parrot.

There is a possibility of confusion concerning the various correspondences between the Latin names and the French and English names of the species Pionites melanocephalus (or Pionites melanocephala ), the Mayport Caique, and Pyrilia caica (or Pionopsitta caica ), the Black-headed Caique.

According to the COI:

  • Pionites melanocephalus = Black-headed Parrot which could be translated as black-headed parrot  ;
  • Pyrilia caica = Caica Parrot which could be translated as Caique Parrot.

According to CINFO:

  • Pionopsitta caica = Black-headed Caique = Caica Parrot therefore Caique Parrot  ;
  • Pionites melanocephala = Caïque maïpourri = Black-headed Parrot therefore Black-headed Parrot .

Habitat for parrot

This bird lives in gallery forests and open forests.

This bird is approximately 23 cm long. It has a brownish-black head, hence its standardized name, which may lead to confusion with another black-headed caique:

the may rot caique ( Pionites melanocephala ). It has green plumage scaled with brown. Flight feathers and tips of rectrices are black.

This bird sports a golden-brown-orange collar that extends from the nape to the chest. The eye-rings are pale and the irises yellow. The beak and legs are greyish.

This species does not exhibit sexual dimorphism.

Juveniles show a green head with a barely visible collar.


It can be raised in particular in aviaries accommodating several pairs; the reproduction can also be done in isolated pairs, in large suspended cages, but with several pairs lodging next to each other.

In the wild

It happens to see in the wild small groups of 10 to 30 individuals outside the breeding season. However, some couples prefer to isolate themselves throughout the year.

In captivity, it is preferable that the couple have their own aviary because they can be very territorial and sometimes aggressive, especially during the breeding season.

Black headed caique lifespan

Around 30 years old, up to 40 in captivity.

Black-headed Caique diet

caïque parrot

In its natural state, the diet of this species consists mainly of fruits, berries, buds, and flowers.

In captivity, the types of diets are varied, between seeds, extrudates, fruits, and vegetables… For more information on an adequate diet, I advise you to refer to the corresponding articles!


The breeding season varies by country but generally takes place during the spring. In South America, the austral spring is from September to January.

In mainland France, the breeding season is from March to September. However, it is known that some pairs also lay eggs in the middle of winter (January or February), despite the metropolitan climate…

Sexual maturity is quite late, generally reached between 3 and 4 years of age. The laying counts on average between 2 and 4 eggs, incubated for 25 to 27 days by the female alone.

It will take 14 weeks for the young to leave the nest, and at least 17 weeks for full autonomy.

In general, the couple sleeps all year round in the hollow of their cavity which also serves as a nest during reproduction.

Black headed caique parrot

SOURCE: African Grey Parrot Pet