|File:Black-headed Caique adult pets in cage.JPG|
|Black-headed Parrots, breeders.|
The Caiques // are species of parrots in the genus Pionites. There are two main species, the White-bellied Parrot (or White-bellied Caique) and the Black-headed Parrot (or Black-headed Caique). They are relatively small and stocky, with a short, square tail. Due to their very bright, pure colors they are considered among the more beautiful parrot species. Their typical weight is 150–170 grams. They can live up to 40 years.
They are endemic in the Amazon Basin in South America, with the Black-headed north of the Amazon River, and the White-bellied south. They are endangered and are listed on Appendix 2 of CITES as a species of least concern. They generally prefer forested areas and subsist on fruit and seeds. Caiques are generally canopy dwellers, spending most of their time in the tops of trees, foraging and playing. Caique wing feathers produce a distinctive whirring sound in flight. They are highly vocal.
Species and subspecies
- Black-headed Parrot, Pionites melanocephalus. There are two subspecies. They hybridize freely and individuals showing some level of intermediacy in colors are common:
- Black-headed Parrot/Caique (P. m. melanocephalus): Eastern part of its range. Orange thighs and crissum, nape deep orange, and belly white.
- Pallid Parrot/Caique (P. m. pallidus): Western part of its range. Yellow thighs and crissum, nape relatively pale, and belly tinged yellowish (often barely visible; belly normally appears "dirty white" in the wild).
- White-bellied Parrot, Pionites leucogaster. There are three subspecies:
- Green-thighed Parrot/Caique (Pionites l. leucogaster): Eastern part of its range. It has green thighs and upper tail.
- Yellow-thighed Parrot/Caique (P. l. xanthomerius): Western part of its range. It has yellow thighs and green upper tail.
- Yellow-tailed Parrot/Caique (P. l. xanthurus): Central part of its range. It has yellow thighs and upper tail.
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