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Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is an amazing caique that was hatched at Shady Pines Aviary. Little Stevie was born without eyes. Gloria Balaban, of Shady Pines Aviary, was determined to find little Wonder a good home. What better home then a home that had already experienced the love and wonder of a caique? Stevie Wonder found his new home with Christine Eicher on Friday, August 17, 2007.

Christine writes:

"Little Stevie Wonder was hatched on May 25, 2007 at Shady Pines Aviary. As you can see, he was hatched without eyes. Stevie is developing like any other Caique chick, and, I think perfect every which way! Today is August 5, 2007 and Stevie will be arriving at his forever home from Shady Pines Aviary within a week or two.

Little Stevie the Wonder Caique arrived Friday, August 17, 2007! He is pure joy!!

Little Stevie Wonder's Baby Shower (August 7, 2007 to ??)
Little Stevie's Aunts, Uncles,Caique Cousins, and Parrot friends are throwing a cyber baby shower for him! The gifts they are sending make noise and have very rich textures. Very thoughtful gifts for a blind baby parrot!

I know that when Little Stevie the Wonder Caique arrives here at his forever home, he will want to have his thanks to his cyber friends on video.

Keep checking back to see all the wonderful presents Stevie receives and for the links to his video thank you cards.

Special thanks to Momma Gloria Balaban at Shady Pines Aviary for the Cyber Baby Shower and for choosing me to be the baby's new Momma!

Momma Christine

Little Stevie the Wonder Caique is settling in and seems very content in his forever home with me, Mamma Christine. Mamma Gloria and Daddy Ron, his breeders at Shady Pines Aviary, call every day to see how he is doing and to share their wealth of knowledge on weaning and fledging chicks."

Gloria Balaban says little Stevie hatched from normal parents who have raised chicks before with no previous issues. Stevie is one special birdie!

To see pictures of little Wonder, please check out his photo albums that are being updated almost daily by his loving mom.

Caique Diet

A good diet is the most important aspect of avian health, longevity, happiness, and being a good parrot owner. A bird on a poor diet with have poor plumage, overgrown nails, a flaky beak, and other health problems associated with lack of proper nutrition. What is considered a good diet for a caique parrot?

Caiques are different then other parrot species. Their long beak is adapted for getting pollen and nectar from flowers, and the juices of ripe fruits. In the wild, their diet is made up largely of fresh flowers, pollen, fruits, nectar, and grains. It has been noted that caiques eat the following foods in the wild:
Fruit of the Acai palm
Wild Figs
Seed from the American Muskwood
Seed from the Rubber Tree
Liana Flower
Guava Fruit

A complete list can be found at The Caique Site

What does this tell us about how we should adapt their home environments? Many caique breeders, including John McMichael and longtime bird owner Sally Blanchard, believe in substituting their caiques diets with lori nectar, to mimic the nectar they would naturally gather in the wild. Goldenfeast Lori Nectar contains all organic ingredients, and contains no sugar, unlike some other nectars, and is personally what I choose to supplement my birds diet with aswell.Caiques also have a natural higher fruit intake then other birds.They seem to thrive off the natural sugar highs. Because these birds have such a fast metabolism, and are constantly on the move, they can burn off the natural sugars much more easily then some other parrot species. Caique owners choose to supplement their birds with more fruits then veggies, although veggies are a necessary part of the diet as well. Whilst some bird owners choose to go the all veggie no fruit route for their companion parrots,people who own caiques should allow their birds fresh fruits.Some favorite fruits include:fresh papaya,mango,plum,nectarines,apple,oranges,and grapes.Other foods such as kale and spinach are readily accepted as well.

Since a large majority of caiques diets is composed of flowers, caique owners may choose to supplement their birds diets with fresh blossoms from bird safe plants. A Alist of safe plants includes common house plants such as: Aloe, dandelion, dogwood, gardenia, marigolds, petunia, thistle, yucca, white clover.A complete list of safe plants can be viewed at Planned Parrothood

To fulfill the need for pollen, caique owners can purchase bee pollen and add it to their birds cooked foods, or feed singly to the bird.

Another consideration to make is bugs. Yup, you heard me right. Bugs. Meal worms and crickets are a great source of calcium (as well as enrichment... can you picture a caique hopping after a cricket?). Some people choose to feed meal worms to their parrots in addition to their regular diet. 'Gutloading' the meal worm naturally (allowing the meal worm to gorge on vitamin rich foods, such as yams) is a good way to add calcium and nutrients to your birds diet. Feeding the mini meal worms is recommended, or meal worms that are not yet fully mature. Fully mature regular size meal worms develop pincers on their heads that, if swallowed properly by a bird could theoretically do damage to a birds crop. If you do buy the larger meal worms, as a precaution it is recommended that you remove the head prior to feeding them to your pet bird. Freeze dried preservative free meal worms are an alternative to live. Word of warning on the crickets.. many prefer to feed them dead, as ones who have tried to feed them live, the crickets have escaped and are still alive in the house! If you are not the 'live bugs' type, an interesting bird safe alternative is available... Bag O' Bugs

It is recommended that the base of your birds diet be compromised of a high quality pelleted food, supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, etc. I believe in supplementing with high quality seed, too, as you can see, caiques are natural seed and grain eaters in the wild. Feeding an organic pellet such as TOPS, Goldenfeast Golden Obles, or Foundation Formula, is a good start to great nutrition. Please refer back to our topic titled 'The Pet Food Recalls, and Your Bird' for more information on these food items.

Want more information on feeding your caique? Check out Caique Crazy where there is both a recipes section and a diet page, with information for you to explore.