Eclectus Parrot

The Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus is a parrot native to the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, northeastern Australia and the Maluka Islands (Moluccas). It is unusual in the parrot family for its extreme sexual dimorphism. The males of the species are bright green, having bright candy corn coloured upper mandibles and black lower mandibles, and blue or red tail and wing feathers; while the females are red headed and blue to purple breasted, with black beaks. All eclectus parrots have feathers of a smooth texture that have been compared to silk. Due to this different feather structure Eclectus parrots enjoy being pet one way only, with the feathers rather than against. Its worth noting that Eclectus parrots are reported to smell like honey.

The birds are 16.5 inches (42 centimeters) in length and weigh 0.9 to 1.2 pounds (440 to 660 grams).
Eight to ten subspecies of Eclectus are recognized. They originated from the Cape York Peninsula of Australia, the islands of Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, and New Guinea. Only a few of these subspecies are commonly available in aviculture.
They are:

  • Red-sided Eclectus (roratus polychloros)
  • Grand Eclectus (roratus roratus)
  • Solomon Island Eclectus (roratus solomonensis)
  • Vosmaeri Eclectus (roratus vosmaeri)

Male Female Eclectus imageGenerally among all the sub-species the hens remain the aggressor, while the males tend to be more cautious parrots. Most new Eclectus parrots are cautious, and they are known to enjoy being a part of the activity rather than the center of it. They are also reportedly very sensitive to colors, so it’s best to observe what you wear and try to keep your parrot comfortable.

The diet of the Eclectus parrot differs from other parrots, with their greater need for Vitamin A and they also seem to do well on a greater amount of fruit than other parrots. The Eclectus also needs higher Calcium levels, so you must monitor their diets carefully.
The diet of the Eclectus in the wild consists of mainly fruits, unripe Ned nuts, flower and leaf buds, and some seeds. A favorite fruit of the Eclectus is the pomegranate and papaya with seeds. In captivity, they will eat most fruits including mango, fig, guava, cherry, banana, any melons, stone fruits (peaches etc), grapes, citrus fruits, pears and apples.

It has been reported that Eclectus have a longer than average intestinal tract to accommodate the high fiber diet that they require. They have been observed in the wild eating many types of fruits, flowers, and vegetable matter. The Eclectus digestive system seems to be extremely efficient at assimilating nutrients from foods. This probably is due to the high percentage of fibrous fruits and vegetables that make up their diet in the wild. These foods are “nutrient-sparse” foods as opposed to “nutrient-dense” foods such as pellets. Since they assimilate nutrients so efficiently, they can exhibit symptoms such as “repetitive foot clenching and wing flicking” if over-supplemented or fed too many rich foods. Unless a vitamin or mineral deficiency is diagnosed with blood tests, they should not be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Even pellets which have a full complement of vitamins and minerals can be too rich for the Eclectus system. Natural juicy foods of deep color including greens, sprouts, fruits and vegetables should be the mainstay of their diet. They do not need vitamin A supplements or shots, as was thought many years ago. They will assimilate all the vitamin A that they need from the colorful orange, yellow, red, and green foods like pomegranates, mangos, cantaloupe, carrots, red and green bell peppers, kale, collards, dandelion and other greens. All parrots should be given organically grown produce whenever possible.

 Male Eclectus image  Female Eclectus image
Solomon Island Grand Vosmaeri Red-Sided
Size 30.5 – 33 cm 30.5 cm 34 – 35 cm 33 – 34 cm
Blue Eye Ring Present Absent Absent Present
Deep (Royal) Dull Purple Lavender Deep (Royal)
Ventral Tail Bright red Bright red Broad yellow Bright red
Vent Red Red Yellow Red

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