I’ve had my caique since before my ten year old son was born.
The other day, as the three of us were hanging out together, it occurred to my son that the parrot was older than he is.
He had never really thought about it before, but is certainly getting to that age where he is asking these sorts of questions.
He knew how old the caique was, but how long do they actually live?
I decided to look into it and find out.
So, how long do caiques live?
Domestic caiques are long lived, and can live for as long as 40 years. Their average lifespan as pets is anywhere from 27 to 40 years. In the wild, is not likely to be anything like this long, and a long lived wild caique would do well to reach 20 years old.
So, there’s an important distinction to make between wild and domestic caiques.
For lots of obvious reasons, domestic pets live a lot longer than wild animals.
Parrots in general, though, are relatively long-lived animals even in the wild.
You can expect a pet caique to be with you for as many as 4 decades, so make sure you know what you’re getting in for.
Let’s look further into this.
How long do caiques live as pets?
The age range will still vary quite a lot, even as pets.
Different owners will have their caique on different diets and even behave differently around them, all of which can alter their life expectancy.
In general, though, a caique will live anywhere from 30-40 years.
More accurately may put the lower end of average around 27, since a lot of caiques do tend to die around this age.
Many live on to be much older, and this can also be affected by the sex of the bird.
Females often tend to live longer.
If fed well and exercised and enriched well, your caique can live to be decades old.
This is quite common with parrots, and caiques are not even the most long-lived of parrot species.
Nonetheless, if you are thinking of a first time parrot, a caique probably is not the best option.
Behavioral issues aside, you may want to look for one that does not live for so long.
You must remember that the caique will bond to you over time, and breaking that bond can affect it forever if you were to give the caique up.
How long do caiques live in the wild?
The wild is, as you would expect, a very different story.
Life expectancy is much harder to study in the wild, but the fact is that it would be very rare for a wild caique to reach 30 years old.
Anything above that is simply unheard of.
While we have no data on the oldest wild caique, the simple fact of life in the wild means lowered life expectancy.
You might be thinking of the danger of attacks from predators or other imminent threats, and while these are certainly a factor, they’re not the most important thing.
The most basic fact is that in the wild, caiques spend most of their time looking for food.
Often, none can be found at all.
This lack of regular diet means their life expectancy is basically cut in half from the beginning.
In the wild, a caique would probably live 14-20 years on average.
What are the signs of a dying caique?
Most parrots tend to exhibit the same behaviors when they are close to dying.
They may puff up their feathers, and huddle up, as if in pain.
They may have discolored feces or discharge, or their feathers may appear limp and rough.
If they are retreating to be alone a lot, this is another sign they could be dying.
These behaviors can be quite subtle, and often indicate illness as well as actual death.
If you see any of these behaviors, if is best to contact a vet.
Who is the oldest living caique?
Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure.
Owners of caiques discussing the relative ages usually say that the oldest caique they have ever met is somewhere from 35-40 years old, with the higher end being very uncommon.
Caiques are not the most popular breed, so there are no specific examples of the oldest caique in the world as there are with other species.
But you can expect it to be around 40.
While there are, of course, many species who live longer, even among parrots in general, caiques are very long lived.
If you are thinking of getting one, be sure that you know what it is you’re getting yourself in for.
They will be around for a very long time, and you’ll need to spend many hours a week interacting with them.
If you are prepared for this task, then a caique will make a great pet.