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Meet My Parrots – Jasper and Gino the Black-headed Caiques

Shelley Spridgeon tells us about her Black-headed Caiques Jasper and Gino.

Why did you choose Caiques?

Hi, my name’s Shelley and I have been in love with Black-headed Caiques for a number of years due to their clown like nature and high sociable personalities.

I have always had rescue birds in the past which I’ve kept for over 30 years. This time, I decided I would have what I’ve wanted for many years and decided to get from a breeder as these are quite hard to come by where I live.

Jasper and Gino the Black-headed Caiques

Tell us about your Caiques

Jasper and Gino are DNA’d biological brothers. Jasper is 3 and Gino is 1. I got them when they were 11 weeks old. They bonded immediately which was lovely as this species can be hard to judge being very territorial.

What is their favourite food?

They love a variety of food (to be honest, they really aren’t fussy). This consists of a variety of vegetables and some fruit and good quality pellets which I use Harrison’s. Also the occasional sprouted seeds and a mixture of nuts (excluding peanuts). Pistachios being the favourite food. My boys will do anything for a pistachio! 

What is their favourite toy?

The boys have many toys to keep them occupied throughout the day. Their favourites being balls to roll around the floor together with or any natural wooden toy they can chew on to keep those beaks in trim.

Do they speak?

They are talkers which is not very common for Caiques but not unheard of either. They tend to be more whistler’s. Jasper has taught Gino all his phrases from “Hello”, “pretty boy”, “what you doing?”and “peekaboo”. They mimic our laughs too which then just makes us laugh even more.

Before we had Gino, we taught Jasper to whistle along to September song by Earth Wind and Fire which he also does a cute little bobbing dance to. He’s almost got the song, you can certainly tell what he’s whistling too anyway. He’s failed to teach Gino this one though but he has managed to teach him the McDonald’s theme song which is very cute.

Do you have any advice for new Parrot owners?

My advice to anyone thinking of getting a bird…there are no such thing as “starter birds”. They all require a lot of time and attention, company and a lot of time out of their cages. Do your research.

Know as much about birds and especially the breed as you can. Can you give up your candles? Room fragrances? Non stick cookware? The list goes on. Have you got room for their cage? They need as big as you can possibly get requiring lots of room to be able to spread their wings and play when caged. 

I could go on forever with advice but if you do your research and are committed to giving these beautiful creatures all your love and time (bearing in mind they can live for many many years), you will be very rewarded.

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