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Eclectus For The Eclectic

Eclectus owners tell what it’s like to be owned by these rare beautiful parrots.

By Nikki Moustaki

Page 1 of 3

Why An Eclectus?
Beauty, charm, smarts — the Eclectus has it all. It’s not difficult to see why this bird is popular. But every pot has its lid, so to speak, and the Eclectus is not for everyone. This bird is more than a pretty face, though its fine plumage and intense coloration does a great job at turning heads.

An Eclectus displays beauty, charm and smarts
Owners rave about their Eclectus parrots, affectionately calling them "Ekkies."

“I think the person who goes for an Eclectus is first attracted by their vibrant coloring and perhaps is influenced by their speaking ability, said Jan Thompson, who lives with two Eclectus in Georgia. “If you go to a bird fair you will see an Amazon jumping and playing and having a good time, a grey sitting quietly, and the Ekkies sort of in between. They sit quietly, play a little and seem to be fairly gentle with visitors. I think that attracts a nonbird person easily.”

It’s true that the novice bird lover is often swayed by the aesthetics of the species, but most Ekkie friends have done the research on this species before taking the plunge, perhaps more so than people who buy or adopt another species. However, there’s something to be said about the remarkable appearance of the Eclectus — it’s quite eclectic indeed.

“Frankly, my husband had one qualification for our new bird. He didn’t want it to be green,” said Dawn Waldman of  Wisconsin. “I had narrowed it down to either a female Eclectus or an African grey. I found a good breeder with one available within a few hours of my home, so that’s what we chose.”

Barbara Sanderson, a glass artist and doggy day-care owner from Washington said, “A friend of mine has an Eclectus and introduced me to him. I liked many characteristics of the species, like the fact that they have hardly any dander and are relatively quiet, are easy to train and have good talking ability. Also, they are gorgeous, and the fact that the species is sexually dimorphic was interesting too.”

Jayne Meyers of California, who lives with 71⁄2-year-old Bink E Berde, a Solomon Island’s Eclectus male, said that she wanted a bird that was less likely to be a one-person pet, and she found that with her Eclectus.

“I was also hoping for eye-catching beauty, innate intelligence, an outgoing, friendly nature, maximum speaking ability with minimal screaming proclivities, and playfulness without rampant destructiveness,” she said. “Everything I read pointed to the gorgeous Eclectus. Most breeders I spoke with seconded the choice.”

Innate intelligence is definitely part of what makes the Eclectus a good companion. This bird is much more than a pretty face, and it seems that many people initially attracted to the species because of its appearance discover that fact in due order.

“Milo is very intelligent, and his ability to learn seems to be limited only by my inability to come up with new things to teach him,” said Cheri Chase from Central Texas of her male red-sided Eclectus. “He speaks more than 350 words, mostly in 75-plus phrases and sentences, and usually used correctly for the situation. He counts to three, knows four colors, and is now learning the difference between ‘big’ and ‘little.’ He knows ‘Bring it to me’ and ‘Put it in my hand.’”

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Reader Comments
My 2yr old Eclectus is called Victoria. She rules the house of 3 dogs and a cat. She knows her name and loves to say "Victoria where are you! She calls the dogs and asks me "are you alright" if she thinks i am upset.she plays a childrens piano and kees herself amused for hours with a cardboard box. We have conversations and she answers accordingly. Anything she likes is yumyum including my daughter! She goes to my phone and has figured out if she uses her tongue she can do all sorts of things. She asks me to ring yum yum and then gets all excited when she hears my daughters voice. She also loves to come and snuggle in bed with me. Her vocabulary is about 100 words so far but learns more all the time. A great companion and a joy to all
Hana, International
Posted: 10/12/2015 6:29:58 PM
I have always been drawn to these birds now I know why.
Nancy, Hinsdale, NH
Posted: 7/15/2009 3:54:41 AM
I really thought that this article was interesting and fun to read!
Kylie, Andes, NY
Posted: 1/24/2009 5:18:44 PM
Thanks for the interesting article!
Shandi, Kitchener, ON
Posted: 1/14/2009 6:49:09 AM
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