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Cockatiel, Blue-headed Pionus or White-bellied Caique?

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Cockatiel, Blue-headed Pionus or White-bellied Caique?

Postby LillyC575 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:08 pm

My husband and I have the opportunity to add a baby cockatiel, baby blue-headed pionus or baby white-Bellied caique to our family. Our birds will be housed separately. The new addition will also be quarantined before introduction. My question is, which species should we get?

We adopted our 3 year old Senegal parrot about a year ago. He wasnt trained or socialized much. We have worked with him a lot over the last year so he has come out of his shell and is becoming increasingly affectionate(in his own senegal parrot way). He will let us give him scritches on the cheek, wants to ride around on our shoulders constantly, steps up pretty much 100% of the time and likes to take showers with us. He has picked my husband as his main squeeze though- definitely one person birds.

We love our little guy so much, however, we would like a slightly easier species next. We understand that all parrots are a lot of work and that any species we get can turn out to need a lot of work...if that is the case we will deal with it as we are completely committed and devoted. Just wondering which of the 3 I listed will be a little bit easier in terms of training and affection?

Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Cockatiel, Blue-headed Pionus or White-bellied Caique?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:45 am

Well, the three species you list are very different from each other. For one thing, a lone cockatiel is always going to be a sad bird because aviary species, in general, and tiels in particular are very flock-oriented birds so they are never happy just with a human. Ergo, unless you are willing to acquire two of them, you should not consider this species.

White-belly caiques are wonderful birds (I have one myself - I also have a black-cap one) but you have to be very careful about their diet because they need very low protein and they can be a pain in the neck with their vocalizations (they make this PEEEE PEEEEEE PEEEEEE call that sounds like a smoke alarm - and it's so loud and strident that it makes one of my dogs howl as soon as he hears it).

Pionus are all wonderful birds, too! I've never had a bluehead but I had a bronzewing and she was the sweetest thing (but she was also very sick) but they can be pretty noisy during breeding season. And they do need high humidity and this is a problem for furniture and such.

Now, you mention that you want an affectionate and easy to train bird but I don't know what you mean by 'training' because different people give it different meanings. I don't train any of my birds in the sense that I don't have training sessions, teach them tricks or give them any kind of food reward when they do something I ask them to do but they know a lot of phrases and commands and are pretty obedient because I teach them as I go along (same as you would a child). If you want formal training sessions, I am afraid that the species you chose are not very good for it... Parrots might be all parrots but that doesn't mean that they are all the same. The bird you have is a senegal and all pois (poicephalus) are similar in the sense that they are all one-person birds and the ultimate companion so they learn very well. But cockatiels are aviary (flighty) and pionus and caiques are pretty independent birds that don't particularly like being touched more than a scratch to their heads every now and then and, although they do bond deeply to people, they also do not have the same -what to call it? dedication? that senegals have to their owners - which would work out in terms of the senegal getting very jealous and attacking the baby. Which is another issue because you are going to have to be very careful about this and keep the baby separate until it has mastered flight and can get away from the senegal if (which is going to be more a when than an if) it attacks it.

Personally, I would recommend you adopt an adult bird that can hold its own with the senegal and one that likes you better than your husband because if the new bird chooses your husband, you will have a battle royale in your hands until they learn to get along -which they will if you persist but it will take time. And this is aside from the fact that there is a huge overpopulation problem with pet parrots and that there are hundreds of thousands of them that have no home of their own...
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15762
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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