Eclectus Parrot – Care, Facts & Profile
These parrots are very playful in a graceful way. The male is generally quieter than the female and a little less moody. The female is the dominant gender of the species. When the female reaches breeding age, she may become aggressive. It is instinctive and she will eventually calm down as she matures.
The males have a reddish-orange iris. Their hair-like feathers are green with red under the wings and a beautiful yellow and orange beak. The females have a light yellow iris. Their feathers are mostly red or mauve with a dark violet-blue mid-section and a black beak.
Most owners that have families that interact with their Eclectus parrot say they tend to bond to the family rather than just to one person, though they may still have a favorite.
Many Eclectus parrots have very good vocabularies, and a number of sounds that they mimic. There is never a guarantee that a parrot will speak. The more time you spend talking to you parrot them more likely it will have a good vocabulary. If a large vocabulary is important to you, then adopt a tame, older bird that already speaks.
The Eclectus parrot can be very loud when they want to be. A well-adjusted Eclectus will sit and play quietly most of the time. The noise is greater when there are two or more of them in the same room, or if they are not given adequate attention from their human flock.
I highly recommend that you spend some time with an adult Eclectus before you adopt one. If you can handle the noise, which probably won’t be often, then you will probably love having one in your home.
I can’t really say that these birds are known for cuddling, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to be petted and spend time sitting on you or playing with you.
Known Behavior Problems
Every Eclectus parrot has a different temperament, just like children. And, just like children, how they are treated and how much time you spend with them will make a difference in how they respond to you.
Unlike human children that eventually learn speech and have human instincts, Eclectus parrots respond to body language and the treatment they receive. The human companion has to cater to what makes the bird happy and not the other way around.
Owners that purchase an Eclectus parrot that has not been socialized well or whose breeder did not spend enough quality time with their parrot will say that they are nippy birds.
With all that said, it is reported that an Eclectus parrot that interacts with the family on a regular basis will love to be with that family. The female may go through a moody stage for a while when her hormones kick in, but she won’t become mean. She will just be bossy and you had better pay attention to what she does and does not want.
Another factor to consider is boredom. You need to provide plenty of toys for your parrot to attack and also some to destroy.
Because Eclectus parrots do not eat many seeds in the wild and are prone to fatty liver disease, their fat intake must be limited. They require a diet high in Beta Carotene and vegetable protein.
You need to add some fresh and/or dehydrated orange, red, yellow and green vegetables, legumes and some fruit, again preferably organic. Any chemicals or artificial coloring make their kidneys work hard to filter it all out. Who knows what may have been sprayed on all that stuff?
CAUTION: Never give your parrot alcohol, avocado or chocolate – these can kill your parrot! Also avoid asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, caffeine products, junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).
Our avian vet says, “Eclectus do very well on Harrison’s and Roudybush pellets as 65-70% of their diet and 30-35% fresh vegetables and other healthy treats. They should have lots of fresh vegetables.”
I suggest that you pick one that is organic and not artificially dyed. Anything artificial has to be cleansed by the kidneys before it can be used. A lot of pellets are just junk. We like the Totally Organics Pellets that we carry because they are 100% organic and they don’t even have artificial vitamins in them, a real benefit for Eclectus. This is important if you have a bird with allergies.
You should add some seed blend along with vegetables, beans, rice and a little fruit, again preferably organic. The Totally Organics All In One Seed Mix is a great choice! They can be fed dry, soaked or sprouted.
You will read a ton of stuff from so-called eclectus experts saying that you should not feed eclectus pellets, but they are not avian vets that have treated eclectus parrots for 30+ years and have seen the various health issues from NOT feeding Harrison’s pellets or a quality pellet diet.
When fresh fruits and vegetables are not possible, dehydrated fruits and vegetables are great! Many birds love to crunch on dried fruits and veggies.
The best thing about them is that they don’t spoil, so you can leave them in the cage for hours or even days. This is handy when you are trying to get them to accept fruits and veggies.
When you are going to be home with them, you can moisten them with warm water to provide fresh-like fruits and veggies. Boy does this come in handy when you are traveling or on an outing!
We provide bath water in the morning and sometimes in the evening on warm days, but we only leave it in there one to two hours so that they don’t drink nasty water all day.
Do invest in a water bottle. You will avoid lots of potential health problems by ensuring they have clean water to drink that hasn’t been bathed and pooped in.
If your parrot has not used a water bottle before, you will need to provide both a water bottle and a dish until you see that they are drinking from the bottle.
Lixit makes a glass water bottle that has a wire instead of a spring that keeps it on the cage if you are worried about safety. (Some birds get their foot or beak stuck in the spring attachment on other bottles.)
The absolute minimum for an Eclectus parrot should be 24 x 20 x 24 inches cage. If the bird is going to be caged most of the time, don’t buy smaller than a 36x36x60 cage.
Your Eclectus parrot will need a lot of different kinds of toys. Most will like foot toys and toys that make them think. They are very intelligent birds. Provide some safe wood toys for them to turn into toothpicks too.
Consider getting a cage with a playpen on top for them to play on when you are home. The more room they have the happier they will be. Our play top cages have a toy hook attached they are sure to enjoy.
Cages for Vet Visits and Outings
You need to consider what type of carrier you will use for transporting your Eclectus Parrot in. You never know if you might break down or may decide to take your parrot with you on a trip. Purchase a comfortable cage for these occasions.