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Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) Species Profile: Diet, Housing, and Vocalization
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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There are 10 subspecies of the Eclectus Parrot:
Eclectus roratus roratus - (Grand Eclectus) southern Moluccas
Eclectus roratus vosmaeri - northern and central Moluccas
Eclectus roratus westermani - known only among aviary specimens
Eclectus roratus cornelia - Sumba and Lesser Sumba Is.
Eclectus roratus riedeli - Tanimbar Is.
Eclectus roratus polychloros - (Red-sided Eclectus); New Guinea and Indonesia
Eclectus roratus biak - Biak Is.
Eclectus roratus aruensis - Aru Is.
Eclectus roratus macgillivrayi - Cape York Peninsula, Australia
Eclectus roratus solomonensis - Admiralty Is., Bismarck Archipelago, & Solomon Is.

The color of the Eclectus varies by subspecies, and is most obvious in females. The Eclectus is known as the most color dimorphic parrot in the world. The females are a vivid red, and the males are usually a shade of green. The various subspecies have differences in size and color variations in wing feathers, feathers around the eye, etc. Because of the range of sexual dimorphism, it was once believed that males and females were two different species. The Eclectus Parrots were once kept and considered gifts from the gods in early Egypt because of their beautiful feathers.

The female is generally the more dominant and may temporarily show signs of aggression upon reaching puberty, usually around 18-24 months of age. She may also be aggressive toward an intended mate.

Quick Stats:   Eclectus Parrot
Family: Psittacidae
Origin: Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia
Size: 12"-14"
Coloration: Males: varies with subspecies, but generally translucent green with red underwings and a yellow to orange beak.
Females: varies with subspecies (greater variance than males), but generally red, mauve, and yellow, or red with a royal violet blue belly and underwings, deep maroon wings, and a black beak. Scattered gold strands give a translucent appearance to both.
Diet: 50% quality pelleted diet, 50% vegetables (e.g., greens, legumes, corn-on-the-cob); occasional fruit or nut. Use many varieties of vegetables, washed thoroughly. No avocados or fruit pits. See Basic Nutrition for Psittacines (Parrot Family) for more information.
Cage Size: Minimum of 4' H x 5' L x 3' W
Grooming: Trim nails, beak, and flight feathers as needed.
Compatibility/Disposition: Very intelligent, clean, and easily trained including "potty training." Eclectus roratus solomonensis (Solomon Island Eclectus) is considered the quietest and most docile of all subspecies and has a tendency to bond to the entire family rather than one or two members.
Vocalization: Varies, depending on occasion; includes a harsh screech, flute-like warble, and a sound mimicking the tolling of a bell. Great talkers and good at mimicry, including environmental sounds.
Playfulness: Playful and affectionate. Love a variety of toys and will exhibit acrobatic behaviors such as hanging and swinging upside down.
Life Span: Up to 20 years
Age at Maturity: 2-3 years
Nesting Sites in the Wild: Tree hollows
Breeding Season: Varies, depending on habitat. In captivity, can be year-round and prevented only by separation of the breeding pair.
Sexing: Exhibit the most extreme examples of sexual dimorphism of all parrots, with females having brighter and more diverse colors outside the typical green. Females also have a black beak.
Special: Plumage of the Eclectus is so fine as to appear more like hair than feathers. Fat intake should be limited to avoid fatty tumors, however, some fat is needed to break down and store the fat soluble vitamins A, E, and D. Also susceptible to a condition known as "toe-tapping" when fed an over-supplemented diet.
Click here for a pdf version of this article.  See related products at DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Supplies  
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