Can Caiques Fly? (Find Out Here)

  • Time to read: 6 min.

Caiques are parrots that have become endemic (very common) in the areas within the Amazon. Small yet intelligent and curious, caiques are a very vocal species. Amidst all of that, can caiques fly?

Caiques can fly, but they do not do so often. However, when they fly, they produce a distinctive sound, unmistakably the buzzing sound of their wings. However, unlike most birds that migrate over long distances, caiques cannot sustain their flying. 

The small caique has a lot of quirks up its sleeve. Next in this article, we will “explore the Amazon” to observe that the caique is a documentary-Esque adventure-worthy parrot.

Can Caiques Fly?

The caique is a bird that is quite resourceful in many ways. Considering how it lives on the vastness of the Amazon, amidst predators through and fro, it still lives on. Many would assume that its ability to fly is enough to sustain its population, yet it’s not entirely that.

One discerning factor caiques have with other birds is that while caiques can fly, they cannot sustain flight over long distances. In fact, in terms of all aspects of flight ability, the caiques fall short of everything. It’s not fast enough (one could consider it slow), quite the clumsy flyer, and is small enough to be devoured by gliding predators. (del Hoyo, Collar, & Kirwan, 2014).

Caiques are not good with their wings. Instead, they utilize other body parts to survive harsh conditions like the Amazon Rainforest.

Can Caiques Fly? They Don’t Need To.

Caiques may not be the best flyers, but they are one of the best hoppers. And just because it hops and does not fly does not mean caiques are inherently inferior. 

Instead of flying through the trees, they hop from one branch to another, only flying when necessary. Caiques utilize their feet a lot, equipped with strong legs and feet.

Also, they utilize one other thing to maximize survivability: knowledge. You’ve seen birds fly over large distances, but flying might not be the best option available for caiques. 

According to an article published by the Oxford University Press’ journal “The Condor,” observing the energy expenditure of Hummingbirds throughout a twenty-four-hour period, flying takes a significant amount of energy. (Pearson, 1954)

How Much Energy Does A Bird Spend In A Task?

Activity NameTime Spent In 24 hoursEnergy Spent In 24 hours
General Daytime Activity12 hours and 52 Minutes6.88 Cal.
Perching10 hours and 32 Minutes3.81 Cal.
Flying2 hours and 21 Minutes3.07 Cal.

As you can see, hummingbirds* (used as an example) use just 3.07 calories to fly, compared to 6.88 calories doing day-to-day tasks. However, when you look and analyze the data thoroughly, it seems that birds use up a lot of energy just flying.

While birds may use twice the energy as flying in a twenty-four-hour period doing general daytime activities (6.88 calories vs. 3.07), you will also witness an odd ratio. While birds approximately use six calories to power a 12-hour daytime activity, they use as much as three calories to fuel a two-hour flying session! 

If the birds were to fly for twelve straight hours, they would use as much as 18 calories! That is more than three times the energy expenditure! That is a lot of wasted energy.

Now let’s go back to caiques. Caiques do not bother spending that much energy flying; that is too much waste. Instead, to travel from one place to another, they merely hop onto another animal’s back (preferably bigger than them, size-wise) and enjoy the ride.

Can Caique Parrots Talk?

Many people (especially non-pet owners) know parrots by their ability to talk, stereotyped as this viewpoint may be. However, as you already know, caiques are pretty quirky and unique. 

Aside from being unable to fly very well, caiques are also known for their amazing legs, characteristics not inherently expected with most parrots. As such, aside from can caiques fly, can caiques talk? We debunk myths and misconceptions!

Speech: The Difference Between Being Able To And Being Good

Can caiques talk? Yes, they can. However, can they do so well?

There is a significant difference between being able to do something and doing something well. Caiques can talk alright, but veterinarians and parrot fanatics can hardly herald them as good at doing so. Of course, when appropriately trained, a talented caique can speak well, but if you want a bird that can talk, there are vastly better options out there.

They also have a few tricks up their sleeve, and they can learn to whistle and utilize such talent. Moreover, they can cluck well. However, it would not be easy to call them “smooth talkers.” 

Sound: It’s Not So Much Of Peace And Quiet

Caiques are not very good talkers, but that does not mean they are quiet. Not by all means!

If you live somewhere secluded or in a house with enough space from your neighbors, then best not to expect the police to knock on your door at midnight for noise complaints. However, living with a caique on apartments, especially those with thin walls, can be quite the problem.

There are a few reasons why caiques emit such loud noises. Aside from can caiques fly, let us know why they are noisy at certain times of the day. (source)

Why Caiques Are Being Loud:

  • Caiques being loud is an instinct. If you can’t stand noise, you might need to rethink your decision to own a caique.
  • Your caique might be “singing.” Caiques can sing during sunrise and sunset to celebrate “the start of a new day” and the end of an old one.
  • They might be hungry. Try bringing your caiques food, especially during designated meal times. 
  • If your caique has no partner or toys, they might get incredibly loud. Boredom is a pain to deal with (well, emotionally painful, that is). It can sometimes get unbearable for your caique. If so, as intelligent as they are, make sure to stimulate them intellectually. Once in a while, you can bring them exciting toys to play with or socialize with them.
  • Caiques can have an incredible sense of danger. Suppose they think that there is impending danger. In that case, they will alert their peers, be it another bird, another animal, or you, the homeowner. In the wild, they do this to warn their flock.
  • They need your attention. Caiques can be incredibly loud for no reason- they’re not hungry, and they are not in grave danger. If so, they must be looking for attention, and if that happens, show them some love (don’t overly pamper, however).

Are Caiques Good For Beginners?

When it comes to responsibility, “the more intelligent it is, the harder it is to take care of.” There is a reason why being a housewife or a househusband is considered a full-time job. Kids are not easy to take care of, and they can drain you.

Thankfully, caiques are not as tiresome to deal with as kids. Still, they can be tiring, especially considering their intellectual competence.

Can caiques fly? Yes, but that should not be the only consideration for choosing a pet bird to own. Below we list why caiques are NOT for the faint-hearted.

Caiques Are Not For Beginners

  • Caiques need a lot of intellectual stimulation. They are not couch potatoes, and they can quickly get unsatisfied with inadequate exposure and socialization. When not equipped with enough intellectual training, they can have behavioral problems.
  • Oh, and another thing, they can have significant behavioral problems. They can throw tantrums, try to get out of cages, get territorial, and destroy things around the house. 
  • Caiques also harass other pets when not appropriately trained. This harassment might be a bigger problem when paired with some pets, especially with antagonistic pets such as cats or hyperenergetic pets such as dogs.

Summary

Can caiques fly? Yes, but they are not very good at it. Instead, they rely on their feet for transportation.

Another thing they do is to hop onto other animals and let these animals carry them. Smart!

Caiques are also not very good talkers. However, they can get noisy for a plethora of reasons. Moreover, caiques can be problematic around the house, especially for beginners.

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  1. del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G. M. (2014). Black-legged Parrot (Pionites xanthomerius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D. A. & de Juana, E. (eds. Last Accessed April 8, 2022.
  2. Pearson, Oliver., “, THE DAILY ENERGY REQUIREMENTS OF A WILD ANNA HUMMINGBIRD.” The Condor,  Vol. 56, Page 360. Last Accessed April 8, 2022.
  3. Causes of Excessive Screaming in Pet Birds and How to Reduce or Prevent It,” Pet Coach, Last Accessed April 9, 2022.