My LOVE for Parrots Solomon Island Eclectus - Roxie & Paulie
On first sight of an Eclectus parrot many people gasp with surprise and ask if the bird is real. I get that a lot. With startling bright colors, and wonderful body stances these birds have a devoted following. Named more for their personalities than their coloration, it is interesting to note that they are different in many ways from other parrots. The name Eclectus is derived from the word eclectic because of the sexually dimorphic coloration of the male and female. I have had my male for 17 years. He goes everywhere with me, even to the drag races at the starting line. I take him shopping and sneak him in restaurants. My female is more nervous when being out in public so she mainly stays at home.
There are 10 or more subspecies of Eclectus Parrots, all strikingly beautiful, from the South Pacific. They are Asian parrot's that have been around for 10,000 years. Most other parrots have been in existence for only 3,000 years. Their natural habitat is low-lying plains, especially tropical rain forests. When food is abundant, Eclectus parrots gather in large flocks, forage together, and live in colonies. This accounts for them being a wonderfully social bird. Only a few of these subspecies are commonly available in aviculture, which are the Grand, Red Sided, Vosmaeri, and Solomon Island subspecies.
Roxie & Paulie Having a Lovers Spat
The two sexes of this species, unlike those of any other parrot, differ dramatically in color. The females, depending on the variety, are a spectacular combination of red, purple, maroon, blue and yellow; the males are almost entirely green, with red under the wings and on the side of the body, with a touch of turquoise on top of the "shoulders". Eclectus parrots have unique looking feathers, which are hair-like in appearance unlike the flat leaf appearance seen on most parrots. They also feel like hair too. Due to this different feather structure, Eclectus parrots enjoy being pet in the direction of the feathers, rather than against.
Eclectus as Pets
Eclectus' are very playful and enjoy hanging upside down in their cages and flapping their wings, and playing with toys. They are very tidy parrots and do not throw their food out of their bowls. They can be easily potty trained. If you have allergies, the Eclectus parrot will most likely not affect you like some other birds might since they don't produce feather dust. They have an oil gland rather than a dust gland for preening. Eclectus are very intelligent parrots and focus their eyes on their owner to closely observe every movement. They show interest in everyone and everything around them.
Roxie at 1 Month
The Eclectus Parrot is a wonderful pet with excellent talking abilities. They also love to mimic their favorite sounds, such as microwaves, laughter, opera, and sneezing. They love to sing, watch television and listen to the radio. Their speaking ability will be dependent upon the individual, its bond with its owner and how much time is spent speaking directly to the bird. Eclectus parrots are generally classified among the top three parrots for talking ability. Rivaling the African Grey and the talking Amazon parrots in clarity of speech and scope of vocabulary. Some Eclectus chicks learn their first word before they are weaned if the hand-feeder repeats a word to them often. Some males have melodious voices while others sound more masculine, but nearly all Eclectus females have the most charming sweet and seductive voice - full and throaty like that of a "southern belle opera singer." As with all parrot species, some birds may never learn to say more than "hello". Eclectus are quiet parrots that prefer talking in preference to screaming, but there are a few exceptions.
It has been reported that Eclectus have a longer than average intestinal tract to accommodate the high fiber diet that they require. They have been observed in the wild eating many types of fruits, flowers, and vegetable matter. The Eclectus digestive system seems to be extremely efficient at assimilating nutrients from foods. This probably is due to the high percentage of fibrous fruits and vegetables that make up their diet in the wild. These foods are "nutrient-sparse" foods as opposed to "nutrient-dense" foods such as pellets. Since they assimilate nutrients so efficiently, they can exhibit symptoms such as "repetitive foot clenching and wing flipping" if over supplemented or fed too many rich foods. Unless a vitamin or mineral deficiency is diagnosed with blood tests, they should not be supplemented with vitamins and minerals.
Pellets have a full complement of vitamins and minerals which can be too rich for the Eclectus system. Natural juicy foods of deep color including greens, sprouts, fruits and vegetables should be the mainstay of their diet. Eclectus require Vitamin A and they will assimilate all they need from colorful orange, yellow, red, and green foods like pomegranates, mangos, cantaloupe, carrots, red and green bell peppers, kale, collards, dandelion, and other greens. All parrots should be given organically grown produce whenever possible.
Let me know if you are considering the purchase of an Eclectus and would like more information about these beautiful parrots. If you own an Eclectus and would like to share your (good or bad) experiences with me about your parrot, please Contact me.