Well, people aren’t really slaves to their Eclectus friends, though it can sometimes feel that way — this is a bird that often gets its way, not to mention daily cleaning of the famous “Ekkie mess” (which some claim is a myth — that Eclectus are no more messy than other birds — right!). Fortunately, these things don’t bother Eclectus people, who are happy to cater to their Eclectus pals.
“A prospective Eclectus owner should not expect a high-energy, clown-type of bird,” said Tiffany Batsakis from New Hampshire, who lives with a 12-year-old male Eclectus, Dundee. “If I were to give Dundee a human characteristic, I would definitely say he is an intellectual. He’s always aware of what is going on around him and pays attention to the conversations people have as if he’d like to join in. He always seems to be pondering something!”
“Someone looking for a pet to be high energy and playful often would likely be disappointed,” said Waldman. “They do have their moments, but generally they aren’t as active as, say, a macaw would be. My bird would rather sit quietly on my knee as I watch TV or work on the computer than be cuddled by or play with me.”
Just like people or other species of birds, each Eclectus has its own distinct personality, and someone thinking of making a friend of this bird should know that not all Eclectus are “quiet” or “calm.” The bird’s environment has a lot to do with how it behaves.
“Both of my birds talk, and talk a lot. I’ve been known to be fairly chatty myself,” said Thompson. “I have one bird who will go to pretty much anyone — and he’s sure that everyone comes here to see him — and one bird who is not at all willing to go to strangers, our resident hysteric. Everything new frightens Reba at least in the very short term. In spite of that, she is the one who will talk directly to people although she really prefers to whistle back and forth with them.”
“From corresponding with an Eclectus owner’s list online and from my own experience, I believe owners who have received their Eclectus as babies mold their bird’s characteristics into their lifestyle,” said David Benz of New Mexico. “These birds are very adaptable. Some are active and do tricks, others cuddle with one in the family, others are more independent, yet still like to be with a human at times.”
This sensitive bird is best living in a relatively cheerful household where negative emotions don’t run high.
“I do think that Eclectus pick up on stresses from their human counterparts maybe more than some parrots do,” said Sherry Rand of Montana. “I don’t think they are as sensitive as a grey, but in their own quiet way, pick up on emotions quite easily. I believe that those of us who are truly attracted to animals find that we are attracted to species that mimic our personalities to a degree.”
It may be true that fans of one species or another will get along well because they share the same inherent traits that attracted them to the species in the first place.
“I’ve only actually met in person a small handful of other Eclectus ‘parronts,’ but have many friends I’ve made over the past seven years through a couple of wonderful E-mail groups. This group of ‘Eclectus slaves’ come from all walks of life and covers a large range of age groups,” said Meyers. “We share a deep appreciation of nature and all the wonderful creatures that inhabit our planet. On the whole, I find my friends who are owned by these fabulous parrots to be creative, bright, compassionate, generous with their time and knowledge, insightful and well-rounded. Perhaps best of all, everyone has a great sense of humor.”
Page One | Page Three