Classification Order Psittaciformes, Family Psittacidae Scientific Name Eclectus Roratus Other Common Names N/A
Species Description The Eclectus Parrot is unusual in the parrot
family for its marked sexual dimorphism of the colors of the
plumage. The male is mostly bright green with a blue or red tail and
wing feathers; while the female is mostly red with a blue/purple
abdomen. The upper mandible of the adult male is orange at the base
fading to a yellow towards the tip, and the lower mandible is black.
The beak of the adult female is all black. Adults have yellow to
orange irises and juveniles have dark brown to black irises. The
upper mandible of both and male and female juveniles are brown at
the base fading to yellow towards the biting edges and the tip.
The diet of the eclectus in the wild consists of mainly fruits,
unripe nuts, flower and leaf buds, and some seeds. Two favorite
fruits are the pomegranate and the papaya (pawpaw) with seeds. In
captivity, they will eat most fruits including mangos, figs, guavas,
bananas, any melons, stone fruits (peaches etc), grapes, citrus
fruits, pears and apples.
The following ten Eclectus parrot subspecies have been determined:
Grand Eclectus (Eclectus roratus roratus)
Solomon Island Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus solomonensis)
New Guinea Red-sided Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus polychloros)
Australian Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus macgillivrayi)
Vosmaer's Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri)
Aru Island Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus aruensis)
Westerman's Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus westermani)
Sumba Island Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus cornelia)
Tanimba Islands Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus riedeli)
Biak Island Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus biaki)
Habitat In its natural habitat, the Eclectus nests
within hollows in large, emergent rainforest trees.
Distribution The Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus, is a
parrot native to the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, northeastern
Australia and the Maluku Islands (Moluccas).
Captivity Eclectus parrots are one of the more popular
birds kept in captivity, as either parent or hand reared. Unlike
many other species of parrot they are relatively easy to breed yet
difficult to hand feed. Nonetheless the frustration of hand rearing
an eclectus parrot can easily be outweighed by their character and
companionship if imprinted properly. For Eclectus in captivity, they
require vegetables high in beta-carotene, such as lightly cooked
sweet potato, fresh broccoli clumps, and fresh corn on the cob.
Fresh greens such as endive or commercial dandelion are a very
important in providing calcium and other nutrients. These birds
should not be fed avocado, chocolate, or high fat junk foods such as
French fries and commercially processed human foods such as pizza.
Parrots are unable to digest the lactose in milk. Spray millet is
one of the seed items they enjoy. A variety of soaked and cooked
beans and legumes, along with brown rice, provided in limited
amounts help provide protein to the Eclectus diet. Nuts and seeds
provide vitamin E, but should be limited in order to avoid too much
fat in the diet, as Eclectus parrots can become obese.
One must avoid feeding an Eclectus fortified foods such as pellets,
breads, pastas, etc. The Eclectus is sensitive to food additives,
food coloring agents and man-made vitamins. Feeding commercial
fortified products can lead to muscle spasms known as toe-tapping
and wing flipping, as well as allergic reactions including severe
itchiness leading to feather and skin damage.
Summary Parrots, also known as psittacines, are birds
of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order
Psittaciformes, found in most warm and tropical regions. The order
is subdivded in three families: the Psittacidae (true parrots), the
Cacatuidae (cockatoos) and the Nestoridae. Parrots have a
pan-tropical distribution with several species inhabiting the
temperate Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of
parrots is found in South America and Australia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved
bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet.
Most parrots are predominantly green, with other bright colors, and
some species are multi-colored. Cockatoo species range from mostly
white to mostly black, and have a mobile crest of feathers on the
top of their heads. Most parrots are monomorphic or minimally
sexually dimorphic. Extant species range in size from the Buff-faced
Pygmy-parrot, at under 10 g (0.35 oz.) in weight and 8 cm (3.2
inches) in length, to the Hyacinth Macaw, at 1.0 meter (3.3 feet) in
length, and the Kakapo, at 4.0 kg (8.8 lbs) in weight. They are the
most variably sized bird order in terms of length.
most important components of most parrots' diets are seeds, nuts,
fruit, buds and other plant material, and a few species also eat
insects and small animals, and the lories and lorikeets are
specialised to feed on nectar from flowers, and soft fruits. Almost
all parrots nest in tree holes (or nestboxes in captivity), and lay
white eggs from which emerge altricial (helpless) young.
Parrots, along with crows, jays and magpies, are some of the most
intelligent birds, and the ability of some parrot species to imitate
human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Trapping of wild
parrots for the pet trade, as well as other hunting, habitat loss
and competition from invasive species, have diminished wild
populations, and parrots have been subjected to more exploitation
than any other group of birds. Recent conservation measures to
conserve the habitats of some of the high-profile charismatic parrot
species has also protected many of the less charismatic species
living in the ecosystem.