My name is Darwin and I’m a charming, hilarious (not to mention handsome), Black Headed Caique.
I absolutely love people and attention, and will try and win over anybody I can by performing my famous trick: I hold on to the bars of my cage with my beak and then… I let go with my feet – dangling comically, swinging, and sometimes squawking with delight! The crowd goes wild! Or at least that is very much the plan… I do hope you will clap and make a fuss? This is currently my only proper trick, so I perform it over and over when there is someone that I’m trying to impress…
My dream is to find that special person who would like to spend lots of time talking to me, petting my head (I will preen you in return, of course) and perhaps teach me some more tricks.
I am a very clever bird and I absolutely love one-on-one attention! Sadly, the people in my safehouse have lots of birds to look after and don’t really have time to hang out with me as much as I’d like, or to teach me more tricks – although they do say I am hilarious and adorable!
I’ve had a bit of a complicated history and have been passed from home to home, my last proper owner moved to America and couldn’t take me. My safehouse family don’t know about everything that has happened to me, but they have noticed that – even though I act very brave – I’m actually quite nervous under the surface. If I’m worried, I will try to appear threatening and fierce, but when push comes to shove, I’m more likely to fall on my back, stick my legs in the air and yell for mercy, than anything else. Of course, I can and will give a bite in an “emergency”, but I almost always give some gentle warning nips first, to let people know I’m unhappy or scared about something.
I approach every new person with optimism and don’t care about their age or gender! Everyone is a potential new friend – as long as they are patient and gentle. However, I can lose trust in someone very easily if they are rough with me, frighten me, or ignore my warnings and force things on me. Even if we have previously been best friends for months, a “bad” event can make me lose all my trust! But, although it can take me several weeks, or even months, to find my trust in that person again, if they are patient, I will eventually get over it and everything goes back to normal. The last time this happened I refused to come out of my cage or let anybody touch me for three months! Now we are all the best of friends again, though. The walnuts really helped.
So, as you can see, I really need someone who has some experience with birds, can read body language, and will be patient and gentle, and not intimidated when I pretend to be fierce or get a bit cocky. Somebody who already understands birds and wants a really close buddy to spend lots of time with. In return I will adore you and shower you with affection and fun.
Like most caiques, I really enjoy exploring on the floor and would love to follow you around the home. You will have to keep an eye out to make sure I haven’t got underfoot whilst I hop along behind you! It’s also probably best if you don’t have any dogs, cats or small children, as I am not at all afraid of them. My other favourite thing is to ride along on your shoulder, so we can hang out together.
I am quite flexible about my routine and will keep myself busy with toys in my cage when there’s nobody around, although I do of course prefer to have as much time out of the cage as possible.
I’m usually a fairly quiet and peaceful birdy, but can get quite loud and persistent when I am excited about seeing people and want to get their attention. And then, I will show them my trick! I especially like showing new people, so they will like me and see how much fun I am.
I’m not usually keen on receiving showers with a spray bottle, but sometimes, the waterbaby mood seizes me – (often when it’s raining outside)! You’ll know, because I’ll start having an enthusiastic bath in my water bowl – and then a spray-bottle shower just adds to the fun and I will dance and sing (I hope you will too)!
I have a great appetite and will eat almost anything (or at least give it a try). I particularly love soft fruit and dipping foods in my water bowl to make soup! My main food is Harrison’s High Potency Coarse (a complete food), which I really like (especially dipped). Walnuts are my no1 ‘treat’ food, so make sure you have a stash of them handy please.
Somewhere along the way I have picked up a bit of lung damage, possibly from an infection in the past. I can get quite wheezy if I’m stressed or overexcited. It doesn’t really bother me and pretty much always settles on its own, though. I have a nebuliser, which I will bring with me, just in case it should ever get really bad. But my safehouse person doesn’t remember the last time I needed it.
I would be the perfect little companion parrot for an experienced and confident person who wants a really close and interactive relationship with that one special bird. I have a lot to give, but I’m probably not a “beginner bird” … I’m too smart, interesting and complicated for that! But that’s also what makes me so special.