Caique vs Conure: What’s Different Between These Birds?


Caique vs Conure

Choosing a bird for a companion is an excellent choice. These animals are relatively robust, long-lived, easy to care for, and entertaining. While there are plenty of pet bird species available at the pet store, many owners narrow their choice down to a species of conure or caique.

A caique is a beautiful bird that has a big personality. The conure is a more readily available bird with a broader range of species and color options. Both the caique and the conure have similar care requirements, needing a medium-sized cage, healthy diet, and plenty of social interaction.

Because conures are such popular birds, they are pretty easy to find at the local pet store. Conures will average about $300, but some unique species and colorations could be significantly more. Comparatively, caiques are not easily found and often fetch much higher prices. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for a caique.

Ultimately, both birds will be a significant financial investment once you purchase an appropriate size cage and maintain a diet of fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables. Before buying a pet conure or caique, make sure you are ready to commit to the time, patience, and financial burden these birds can create.

Which Bird Will Live Longer?

The conure and caique are long-lived birds that will provide years of companionship and entertainment. Conures can live up to 30 years in captivity, but the vast majority will only live to be about 20 years of age.

Comparatively, the caiques routinely reach about 30 years in captivity, with the oldest caique kept as a pet reaching the age of 34. Remember, both of these birds are incredibly long-lived and require a lifetime of care which could be a substantial financial and emotional responsibility.

Is a Caique or Conure More Colorful?

Several different conure species are found in the pet trade, ranging in color. Some species like the Sun Conure are strikingly bold with bright yellow and orange features. Others, like the Green Cheek Conure, are more subtle with greens and reds. Still, others, like the Half-Moon Conures, are darker green with more solid colors. Depending on how much coloration and pattern you want, the options are endless when it comes to the conure.

Although still a beautiful bird, the caique does not offer as much variation within the species. The two main types of caiques regularly seen as pets include the Black-headed Caique and the White-bellied Caique. Both of these birds have bright colors, including yellows, greens, whites, and blacks, but just don’t stand up to the wild variation some conures have. Overall, the conure is a more colorful bird, but it largely depends on the species.

Which Bird Is More Active?

The conure is a very active bird that needs plenty of exercise. The bird is intelligent and curious and likes the company of people and other birds. If you own a conure, be prepared to offer this bird plenty of one-on-one time and time spent outside the cage to keep the bird both mentally and physically stimulated. The conure will also need a slightly larger cage to accommodate activity and playtime while in its enclosure.

Comparatively, though, the caique is a much more active bird than the conure. This bird is lively, high-energy, and is incredibly intelligent. Aside from regular time spent outside the cage, the caique will need loads of toys to keep its busy brain occupied. Toys need to be a continuous stream of original and unique activities to satisfy this bird. You may also want to try several different types of toys to find your bird’s favorite. Aside from toys, your caique also likes to climb. Have plenty of horizontal perches within the enclosure to exercise this bird when it is alone.

Which Bird Has a Bigger Personality?

A conure is an affectionate and lively bird that has a big personality. This bird is very active and will quickly become a beloved family member. It is not unusual to see the conure hop and play with family members, especially when outside the cage. Although every conure species is different, the Green Cheek and Sun Conure tend to be particularly affectionate and loving.

By comparison, though, the caique has a bigger personality and is commonly referred to as the “clown” of the bird world. This bird will do anything for attention and is happy to play, roll, and flip around a finger simply to get a reaction out of people. The big personality does have some disadvantages, though. Although the caique has quite a sense of humor, this little bird can be quite a mischievous little bird.

Does a Caique Require a Large Cage?

Even though the caique is generally a small to medium-size bird, this is an extremely active and energetic bird. The bird’s health and overall mental well-being will suffer if the bird is kept in a too-small cage. At a minimum, a single caique should be kept in a 24 x 24 inch cage, by at least 30 inches high. This cage size is the minimum requirement for a single bird, and the best rule to follow is always to get the biggest cage your accommodations and budget can afford.

When purchasing a cage, you’ll want to ensure that the bars are made of strong steel to prevent the bird from escaping. The caique is extremely playful and intelligent and will quickly find a weak point of the cage to escape. You’ll also need to make sure the bar-spacing is small enough to prevent this bird from sneaking through. If you plan to house more than one caique, you’ll need a significantly larger cage to give the birds room to play and exercise.

Does a Conure Require a Large Cage?

There are a variety of different conure species that are commonly kept as pets. Each species will require slightly different cages to best suit the bird’s needs. In general, though, a medium-sized cage is best for a single conure. Compared to a round cage, these birds do better in an angular cage, like a rectangle. A minimum cage size for the conure should be 24 x 24 inches, with about 30 inches of height. A larger cage is required if you plan to house two conures together.

Where Is the Best Place To Buy a Caique vs. a Conure?

Conures are very readily available in the pet industry and can be purchased from most pet stores. Of course, finding a conure from a shelter or a professional breeder is always the best option to find a healthy bird. Because of their availability, the conure will not be as expensive compared to other birds and will usually cost around $300 depending on the specific type of conure.

Comparatively, caiques can be more challenging to find. Although both the White-bellied and Black-headed Caiques are bred in captivity, they are not as popular or as easily seen as conures. Expect only to be able to obtain a caique from a professional breeder. Because of their rarity, most caiques will be more expensive, usually costing between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the coloration and specific species.

Do I Have to Take My Bird to the Vet Regularly?

Caiques and conures are specialized birds that are regularly kept as pets. It is up to the owner to provide optimum care for the bird, including regular veterinary care. While most birds will not have to go to the veterinarian for a wellness check once per year, it is essential to take your caique or conure to the veterinarian if you notice signs of illness or injury.

Be on the lookout for a lethargic bird or a bird sleeping more than usual. You’ll want to ensure your bird’s appetite remains strong and there are no signs of illness. A bird might have cloudy eyes, discharge from the nostrils, or different colored feces when it is ill. Be sure to take your bird to the veterinarian if you notice any of these troubling symptoms regardless of species.

Related Questions

Where do caiques live in the wild?

Caiques are colorful birds that have been welcomed into the pet industry with open arms. In the wild, this bird is commonly found in South America. Black-headed Caiques can be found in northern Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Columbia, Venezuela, and Pero. Comparatively, the White-bellied Caiques are found in more southern regions below the Amazon River in Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil. Both species are found in the forest canopy.

How many types of conure breeds are there?

Conures offer endless possibilities with varied personalities, sizes, and colors available in the pet trade. Each conure species is likely to have its own care requirements, including various personalities, diets, and exercise needs. There are over 40 different species of conures in the world, and nearly 12 of these are housed as pets. Some conure species are readily available and found in pet stores, while others are very rare and can only be purchased from professional breeders.

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Pet Advisers Team

Our team is composed of pet care professionals, veterinarians, and pet owners. To date, we've conducted thousands of hours of research to publish the most accurate pet information. Most of the writers on our site are vets with 10+ years of clinical experience, ranging from small practice, to equine practice, academia, and surgery. Our goal is to help every pet owner get the information they seek about their dear companions.

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