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the first parrot blog
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Eclectus, The Perfect Pet by Craig and Debra Johnson,J-Birds
Eclectus are the perfect pet for first-time parrot owners and families. Calm demeanor, low aggression, quiet behavior, excellent talking ability, moderate size and beautiful coloration make these birds one of the most desirable parrots in the United States today.
One of the unique characteristics of this species is the totally different coloration of males vs. females. Males are green with red and black under the wings. Females are red with shades of blue or lavender depending on the sub-species. This is known as sexual dimorphism and is more pronounced in Eclectus than any other species of parrot.
Subspecies. Four subspecies of Eclectus are readily available as domestic bred pets: Solomon Island (Eclectus roratus solomonensis), Grand (Eclectus roratus roratus), Red Sided (Eclectus roratus polychloros), and Vosmaeri (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri). Eklectos, in Greek means "choice or select," and roratus is from the Latin (ros, rorare) meaning "to moisten, as with dew." This may refer to their iridescent feathers.
The smallest of the domestic Eclectus is the Solomon Island at 12-13” and an average weight of 420 gm. The S.I. is the gentlest or least aggressive sub-species although all Eclectus are less aggressive than any other species of large parrots. Solomons are identified in the female by coloration of red and royal blue feathers with a slight orange tint at the edge of their red tail feathers. Female Solomons have a powder blue eye ring. Males are determined by size and weight.
Red Sided Eclectus are widely considered to be a regional variation of the Solomon Island. Red Sides are slightly larger than the S.I. at 13-13.5"and are slightly heavier at 440-475 gm. The body type of the S.I. and R.S. Eclectus is similar to a Congo Grey.
The first subspecies discovered was the Grand, hence its designation as the nominate sub-species. Grand Eclectus are the least common of the domestic subspecies. Contrary to popular belief the Grand Eclectus is not the largest of the species. At 12-13” they are similar in length to the Solomon Island but their weight is slightly heavier.
Vosmaeri Eclectus are the largest of the subspecies at 475-540gms and 14”. Female Vosmaeri are identified by a bright yellow band at the tip of their tails. This band is usually ¾ to 1” in width. Vosmaeri females are red and lavender as opposed to the royal blue of the Solomon. Vosmaeri and Grand Eclectus have a stocky body type similar to an Amazon.
Behavior. While Amazons, Congos, Macaws and Cockatoos are inquisitive and playful, Eclectus are gentle, almost docile, birds. Eclectus enjoy interaction with people and will sit quietly on a shoulder for long periods. They are also content to play quietly in their cage. Known as the ultimate “family bird”, Eclectus do not bond with a single family member over time. We find that they have their own unique relationship with each family member.
Eclectus can, as any large parrot, be provoked to bite. This is usually when they feel threatened or are afraid. Fortunately, if they are treated in a calm fashion, they rarely get agitated enough to strike. Females are slightly more easily intimidated from time to time. This is usually credited to periodic hormonal changes. Although marginally more aggressive than males, female Eclectus are less aggressive than other species of large parrots in general.
Environment. The natural range of the Eclectus parrot in the wild includes New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Indonesian islands and the Cape York Peninsula of Australia. Their habitat is densely wooded semitropical to tropical rainforests, with a maximum elevation reported about 1000 meters. These birds reside for the most part beneath the forest canopy.
As a pet, it is recommended that Eclectus be housed in a fairly large cage. A good size would be 23” x 32” x 50”. Eclectus are not as playful as other large parrots but they do enjoy a variety of bird toys and multiple perches within the cage. These birds strongly relate to their owner family as part of their flock and should be kept near the center of family activity within the home.
Diet. Eclectus’ natural diet includes fruits, nuts, seeds, berries, leaf buds, blossoms, nectar and leaf shoots. As a pet, their regular diet should include species-specific pellets, a smaller percentage of a commercial seed mix, and daily fresh fruit or vegetables. All Eclectus love peppers of any type. Habanero peppers are like popcorn to Eclectus.
Conclusion. Whether you are a first time parrot owner or looking for the perfect bird to add to your collection, the Eclectus is a great addition to your family.
- posted by J-Birds @ 2:39 PM |
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