I’m Proud to be a Flower-Eating Finger Biter

Barry here is a Black-Headed Parrot, aka Black-Capped Caique, or Pionites melanocephalus for you lovers of binomial nomenclature.

His handsome relatives like to hang out in humid forests north of the Amazon river and West of the Ucayali. If you can locate the Ucayali River on a map, call yourself cool.

And yes, Barry loves to eat flowers! Also pulp, seeds, more flowers for lunch and insects for a snack, followed by flowers for dinner.

See how buff his breast feathers are? This is a sign he’s been bathing, His belly is naturally white, but Barry bathes by rubbing his body against wet leaves, which, over time, imparts that nice, tannic, beige hue.

Boy or girl? This is a tough one, The only way to sex a Black-Headed Parrot is to spring for DNA testing or “examine it surgically” as the books say.

I’m not sure what surgical examination consists of, but if I were Barry, I’d bite the examiner’s fingers. In fact, if I were Barry, I might bite you too.

Barry loves to bite or, as ornithologists prefer to say, he “uses his beak more than other species.” They also describe the species as sociable —Black Headed Parrots are happiest hanging out in groups of ten or more, and are also quite “energetic.”

If you decide to adopt a Black Headed Parrot, you’ll want a BIG cage and plenty of toys. It also helps to be a detective, because Barry likes to hide.

PRO TIP: to find a hiding Black-Headed Parrot, cock an ear for noises such as smoke detectors, car alarms, clock buzzers and the like. Barry and his tribe don’t do human speech well, but they love to combine high-pitched noises and come up with ingenious new screeches.

All in all, Barry sounds like a fun friend and the life of any parrot party, but I’m happy with my cat.

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Proud to be a Flower-Eating Finger Biter, #2 of 2
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