The Eclectus parrot is a bird native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea and nearby islands, northeastern Australia, and the Maluku Islands
- There is one species of Eclectus: Eclectus roratus roratus and about ten subspecies. 30 to 35 cm long depending on the species. 300 grams for the smallest species up to 900 grams for the Australian Eclectus, the largest of all.
- Distribution: Indonesia, New Guinea, northeastern Australia, the Solomon Islands, and the Moluccas. Completely disappeared from Ambon, Saparua, and Haruku.
- In nature, it is found in lowlands of forests near clearings, in savannah, and mangrove forests. It is arboreal. It is also unfortunately found more and more in cultivated areas, plantations and gardens.
- The Eclectus is not a very gregarious animal. In the wild, it is most often found alone or flying with a single companion. It has occasionally been seen in small groups of parrots, but large groups of several birds are very rare.
- It is the dimorphic coloring that makes this bird so special and surprising. The male has green plumage with some pale red under the wings. The upper mandible of the bill is orange and the bill is black. The female is predominantly red with a beautiful royal blue belly extending around the neck. The eye area is also blue in color. The bill is black.
- Another characteristic unique to this species is the texture of the feathers. It is closer to hairs than feathers. Because of this peculiarity, the Eclectus needs to keep its plumage always clean. Nothing is uglier than poorly maintained Eclectus plumage. Moreover, he himself does not tolerate that his plumage is soiled and can chew on his feathers or even try to remove them if they are oily or greasy.
- The beak of Eclectus is more tender than that of other parrot species. This beak is not intended to open or chip hard nuts. Oftentimes, the Eclectus cannot even open an almond shell to extract the nut. The beak of the Eclectus is used primarily to cut the hard skin of fruits or the skin of green nuts. It is also used to tear the leaves and the bulbs of the flowers, to bite berries and small fruits, and finally, to remove the husks of the seeds.
- In captivity, poor nutrition is the main cause of Eclectus health problems. He needs a wide variety of soft foods on a daily basis ( not just once a week when there is time … ). It needs a large intake of fresh foods rich in beta-carotene: carrot, sweet potato, green leaves, etc. His diet should consist of 50 to 80% fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Fresh fruits: apple, pear, melon, papaya, grapes, banana, pomegranate, mango, guava, tomato, kiwi, etc.
- Fresh vegetables: beetroot, carrot, broccoli flower, zucchini, red and green peppers, corn, etc.
- In addition, it is important to provide: legumes, nectar, and flowers, cereals ( brown rice, couscous, barley ).
- Surprisingly, this large bird has a particular fondness for very small seeds such as millet, parakeet, or canary seeds.
- It is best to offer the larger seeds ( sunflower, safflower, etc. ) that have barely sprouted.
- Cheese, bones, spirulina, bread, and all table foods.
- There are now feeds formulated exclusively for Eclectus on the market. The latter does not in any way replace the foods listed above, it is a supplement to the diet.
- It is best to avoid giving vitamin supplements to the Eclectus unless directed otherwise by the veterinarian.
- This bird is not too reluctant to try new foods.
- It is important to provide a balanced diet, the female of the species has a tendency to be overweight.
- The Eclectus carries with it the reputation, mistaken, by the way, of being a bad pet bird. As it was mentioned above, the Eclectus is not a gregarious animal, so it is normal that it does not seek physical contact with humans, which is absolutely not to say that it does not like their company. Only, it does not enjoy being touched or petted as much as other species of parrots. Sometimes he can tolerate this kind of affection, but never very intimately or for too long.
- It is important to touch the Eclectus a lot when it is a baby to teach it that it is pleasant to be petted. It is not a natural behavior for him.
- It is also not natural for him to create very strong bonds with his partner ( human or bird ). It is up to the human being here to provoke the creation of these emotional bonds.
- It does not cohabit very well with other birds ( even those of its own species ) and absolutely does not tolerate intrusion into its territory ( cage ).
- The male of the species has a milder temperament than that of the female. The latter is known to be moody and more territorial. In the eclectic world, it is the female who is the “boss”. Outside of the breeding season, the female can even be quite aggressive towards her male.
- In general, we can say that the Eclectus is a calm, kind, reserved bird. He is not known to be a destructive bird in a house. On the other hand, he loves to nibble on softwood.
- It is not a loud bird, but like all parrots, “he has his hours!” He has a soft voice, is a good talker, and can reproduce the human voice well.
- The Eclectus is a self-sufficient bird that is often self-sufficient. He loves to swing alone and play quietly with his toys. It is therefore not energy-intensive from the point of view of the attention it requires.