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Recognising When a Parrot Does Not Prosper
By Eb Cravens

Back in the late 1980s, I was privileged to own one of the first female White-bellied Caique pets born and raised on the west coast of the US.  We were doing species pet behaviour comparisons at the time amongst dozens of hand-raised parrots in the free flight bird room of Feathered Friends of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I received baby ‘Zia’ from an expert aviculturist in Northern California, the first chick he had ever bred.  She was a little doll, let me tell you, and appreciably different than all the Black-headed Caiques we had so far kept and trained.

A year or so later, I approached the same breeder about obtaining several more of his Caique fledglings to bring to our shop, but I then received a surprising reply.  “I no longer have any Caiques”, he stated.  “They were not prospering at my facility and I passed them on to a better climate.”  Not prospering?  That was the first occasion I had ever heard such a description given to certain psittacines that someone owned.  At the time, I thought the phrase unusual, but have over the decades come to realise it was an extremely unselfish and far-sighted view, at the same time both pragmatic and compassionate.

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