PET BIRD PERSONALITIES (3): Caiques, Canaries, Cockatiels

Caiques

Caiques (pronounced ky-EEKs) are small, highly active parrots from South America. These intelligent little parrots have good appetites and a tendency to taste almost anything and everything around them. Noted chewers, caiques need to have plenty of toys to destroy.

They are also known to be strong-willed and may get out of control quickly unless their owners set guidelines. They are not shy about making themselves heard when the situation presents itself. Caiques need good-sized cages and time to interact regularly with their own-ers outside of the cage. Their diets should include fresh foods along with a good-quality seed mix or pellets.

Canaries

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Canaries are small cage birds originally from the Canary Islands off of Africa. They have been kept in captivity since the 1400s and are thoroughly domesticated. Breeders concentrate on different attributes in their canary lines.

Some breed canaries for shape and stance, while others breed canaries for their colorful feathers (along with the familiar yellow, canaries are available with white, red, orange, and brownish feathers). Still others breed song canaries for their lovely singing abilities.

If you want a singing canary, you will have to locate a male bird. Make arrangements with the breeder or store to return the bird if it proves to be a non-singer. Keep in mind that males sing to attract females. If canaries are kept in pairs, males won’t sing.

Cockatiels

Second in popularity only to budgies, cockatiels are also from Australia. These slender, crested parrots are known for their whistling ability and their gentle natures. The cockatiel’s small size and fairly quiet voice make it a good option for apartment dwellers who want a pet bird.

Cockatiels like to interact with their owners, but on the bird’s terms, not the human’s. They are good candidates for community aviaries and may be ideal choices for people seeking their first birds.

Cockatiels can be prone to night frights or thrashing episodes and feather picking. They also produce powder down, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Cockatiels need a varied diet that includes a good-quality seed mixture or pellets along with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some cockatiels are notorious for being seed-only eaters, so start your young birds off right!

A cockatiel’s cage should be roomy enough to allow the bird to exercise, or you should make arrangements for your pet to have regular out-of-cage play sessions, because these active little parrots need their exercise. (Source: Julia Rach Mancini: Why Does My Birds Do That?)

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