Eclectus parrots look like they are straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! Their feathers have a fur-like appearance and their colors are bright red for females, and bright green with a ‘candy corn’ colored beak for males. Aside from their mesmerizing appearance, these parrots can also be great companions.
Eclectus parrots come in a variety of sub-species, including the Grand Eclectus, the Vosmaeri, and the Solomon Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratus solomonensis) which is the most commonly found Eclectus in captivity. Originating in the Solomon Islands, this bird is prized for its stunning appearance and great pet quality. A little harder to find than some of the other parrots of this size, the Solomon is easily recognizable once you do find one — you can’t miss an Eclectus! Their feathers do not have a distinct outline like the feathers of other birds; Eclectus parrots look as if they are covered with a fine fur, and along with their day-glow colors, the effect is astounding.
Eclectus are dimorphic, meaning that there are visual distinctions between the sexes. Males are a bright green and have a horn-colored beak, with a splash of bright blue on the wing and a bright red underwing. The females are a stunning red with a deep violet belly and a black beak. In fact, because of these differences, these birds were not bred successfully for many years because breeders were putting males with males and hens with hens! It wasn’t until a couple of decades ago that someone realized that the green birds were male and the red birds were female.
Native Region / Natural Habitat
Eclectus parrots are native to the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, New Guinea, northeastern Australia and the Moluccas. Their wild diet is comprised mainly of fruits, such as pomegranate and papaya, as well as figs, flowers, leaf buds and some seed.
Care & Feeding
Eclectus parrots are very active and need a spacious cage and plenty of out-of-cage time to interact with you. Be sure to buy the largest cage that your home and budget can afford — these birds can become restless and unhappy when confined. Playful by nature, an Eclectus parrot will need a multitude of toys designed to be chewed and destroyed, such as those made of soft wood. Be sure that your Eclectus gets plenty of attention and activity. Eclectus can keep themselves busy, but need you to offer the stimulating objects to give them “jobs” to do.
Ecelctus parrots have a longer digestive tract than other bird species, and some aviculturists believe that because of this, they especially need a low-fat, high-fiber diet that is not overly fortified with vitamins and minerals. This can help avoid fatty tumors from developing, as well as to prevent vitamin and mineral toxicities. Eclectus parrots generally benefit from more fruit and vegetables (especially those higher in Vitamin A) in their diet, as well as pelleted food. Many Eclectus enthusiasts recommend feeding pellets that are free of artificial colors/dyes.