Eclectus parrots have a beauty about them that attracts many, with their unique feathers and curious gazes. Native to the South Pacific, the Eclectus parrots are one of the few parrots that are sexually dimorphic. Males are an emerald green color, and females are often bright red with shades of blue. Male and female Eclectus parrots were once thought to be separate species because of their color differences, which is integral to their mating behavior. There are four subspecies of Eclectus parrots in aviculture readily available in the United States: the red-sided Eclectus, the Vosmaeri Eclectus, the grand Eclectus and the Solomon Islands Eclectus parrots.
When well-socialized, an Eclectus parrot can develop a large vocabulary, rivaling the African grey parrot and Amazon parrot in its mimicking ability. Eclectus can also learn a variety of tricks.
An Eclectus parrot is sensitive to vitamin-A deficiency and needs more fiber in its diet than other parrots. Jane and Scott of PrettyParrot.com, who have bred Eclectus for more than 20 years, said, "Eclectus have a longer intestinal tract than most birds, having spent thousands of years evolving their digestive system in an environment rich with fresh vegetation." They need a diet that has plenty of fiber, so an Electus parrot should be given seed only in moderation.
"Eclectus do best if their seed has been sprouted," Jane said. "If fed the proper diet, Eclectus drink very little extra water. Eclectus should get most of their moisture in their diet from fresh vegetation."
Depending on the subspecies, an Eclectus can become sexually mature anywhere from 2 1/2 years old to 5 years old. "The [Solomon Islands Eclectus] start exhibiting breeding behavior at a younger age," said Jane. "Typically the female can start laying eggs between 2 1/2 to 3 years old. The larger Eclectus can be in between 4 1/2 to 5 years old before they become sexually mature."
To discourage nesting behavior, Jane recommends not supplying the female Eclectus with a nest box and discouraging her from trying to make a nest under a couch or in other small spaces. If a female Eclectus does nest and lay an egg, Jane said they can obsess about tending to it and neglect their own health. "Take the egg away,” she said, “and she'll forget about it immediately."
Breathtakingly gorgeous and captivating, an Eclectus parrot is a delightful pet.
Listen to what a wild Eclectus sounds like!