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Handfed Eclectus Parrots





Meet Our Feathered Friend:

Eclectus Parrot



Common Name: Eclectus Parrot, Red-Sided Eclectus

Latin Name: Eclectus Roratus Polychloros

Native Region: Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and/or the Solomon Islands.

Average Lifespan: 30 to 40 Years

Average Length: 31-37cm (12-14.5 inches)

Average Weight: 375 to 550 grams

Song Type: Whistle, Mimic, Great Talker, Vocal Communicator

Interaction: Social

> The Eclectus Parrot is the most distinctive example of sexual dimorphism in the bird world. In fact for many years, biologists believed these birds to be two different species. The male is mainly green, while the female is a bright, ruby red.
> An Eclectus Parrots digestive tract is longer than that of most parrot species, having a larger proventriculus and longer intestines.
> Eclectus plumage lacks barbules, which gives their feathers a softer appearance.


Pet Profile

Eclectus Parrots look like they are straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! Their feathers have a fur-like appearance, and their colors are bright red for females, and bright green with a ‘candy corn’ colored beak for males. Aside from their mesmerizing appearance, these parrots can also be great companions. Eclectus Parrots are dimorphic, meaning that there are visual distinctions between the sexes. Males are a bright green and have a corn-colored beak, with a splash of bright blue on the wing and a bright red underwing. The females are a stunning red with a deep violet belly and a black beak. The Eclectus Parrot is the most distinctive example of sexual dimorphism in the bird world. In fact, for many years, biologists believed these birds to be two different species. These birds were not bred successfully for many years due to largely distinctive visual difference been the sexes. Breeders were putting males with males and hens with hens! It wasn’t until a couple of decades ago that someone realized they were the same species.

Eclectus Parrots are intelligent, gentle birds that become welcome members of the family due to their tranquil nature. They do not however, tolerate frantic activity or constant disturbing noises. Males are very sensitive and become upset or anxious with chaos around them. Females tend to tolerate loud and busy households better than males but neither really care for it. Female Eclectus parrots — even those kept as single pets — have strong nesting instincts and might be inclined to seek out nest sites in dark and enclosed areas around the home, such as in cupboards and underneath furniture. Females can be quite territorial, especially during breeding season. If you keep a male and female pair, the female will likely be the bossier of the two. The Sexual dimorphism of the Eclectus Parrot is believed to extend to behavior and ease of training. Female Eclectus behavior has been said to be more assertive than that of the slightly more timid male Eclectus.

The Eclectus Parrot can be very affectionate, especially the males, but you must limit this type of interaction and keep it a more teacher/student relationship. They become very imprinted and bonded to their humans and will confuse the relationship for a more intimate one if you know what I mean.

The females aren’t as hormonal but affection with them is on their terms. She will generally pick her favorite person and that’s her everything. These birds are very smart and can learn tricks so better to use time spent with them playing and teaching instead of petting or coddling. They have a very inquisitive nature and love to learn!

Did you know, that the Eclectus does not produce any feather dust because they have oil glands rather the dust glands so they are perfect for the individuals with allergies or asthma?!


Noise Level & Talking Ability

Eclectus Parrots generally are not prone to consistent noisiness, however they can be quite vocal when they want to be. The Eclectus can let out loud, harsh squawks and screeches. During flight, female Eclectus Parrots often give loud, ringing whistles which can sound melodic when a series of notes are given at different pitches. These birds are best suited for a detached house.

With the high intelligence of the Eclectus, it’s not a surprise they are excellent talkers! The Eclectus Parrot is capable of learning words, phrases, and mimics human speech easily. They can also mimic different voices and sounds within the household. Their vocabulary can be extensive, and their voice can sound surprisingly human!


Common Health Conditions

An Eclectus Parrots digestive tract is longer than that of most parrot species and have a much more complex diet. Eclectus Parrots are prone to vitamin deficiencies and mineral imbalances. A proper diet is crucial to an Eclectus Parrots health. Eclectus have been known to exhibit episodes of toe-tapping and wing-flipping-type muscle spasms, which is thought to be related to vitamin and mineral imbalances. Eclectus parrots might be more prone to feather picking (pulling out their feathers) compared to other parrots, which can be tied to medical issues and/or behavior issues. Eclectus parrots are also susceptible to avian polyomavirus, hypovitaminosis A and psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD). Eclectus Parrots have also been labeled a “weaker immune system” exotic so special defenses should be a precaution.



Eclectus Parrots have a longer digestive tract than other bird species and have special dietary requirement. With a longer digestive tract Eclectus Parrots are believed to have the tendency to overdose on food dyes, preservatives, and vitamins and minerals, resulting in feather picking and destruction, toe tapping & behaviors such as screaming & aggression. Many aviculturists believe that because of this, they especially need a low-fat, high-fiber diet that is not overly fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals. This can also help avoid fatty tumors from developing, as well as to prevent vitamin and mineral toxicities.

It is known that Eclectus Parrots are considered herbivores and frugivores as opposed to granivores. In other words, they eat mainly plants and fruits, not grains.  In the wild these birds feed in the rich plant life of the forest canopy rather than on the ground. Wild Eclectus Parrots require a dramatically higher calorie intake than their captive cousins.

A lot of time and planning will need to go into an Eclectus Parrots diet. Your Eclectus should be offered a diet primarily consisting of fresh plant-based foods, sprouted seeds, and nutritious fruits. Many Eclectus owners give their birds two to three main meals per day of fresh foods accompanied by high quality pellets that are preservative and dye-free.

As much as 80% of the diet should consist of raw plant-based foods that are high in fiber and low in fat. Refrain from supplementing your Eclectus Parrots diet with artificial vitamin and mineral supplements. Make sure to feed them premium pellets, preferably made using a cold press process that is free from dyes and preservatives. It is known that putting the time and energy into supplying your Eclectus with a premium diet makes all of the difference in the world with their disposition, health, and feather condition.

Click here to see an example of the diet we feed our Eclectus Parrots.



An Eclectus Parrots cage needs to meet the minimum cage requirements of 36" x 24" x 48" with maximum wire spacing of 3/4" to 1.5”. Eclectus Parrots are very active and need a spacious cage and plenty of out-of-cage time to interact with you. Be sure to buy the largest cage that your home and budget can afford — these birds can become restless and unhappy when confined. Proper toys and perches must be present in the cage. Each cage should have multiple perches with a variety of textures, materials, and diameters to ensure the feet of your Eclectus Parrot are well exercised and prevent bumblefoot and severe arthritis as your bird ages as well as promote grip strength. Playful by nature, an Eclectus Parrot will need a multitude of toys designed to be chewed and destroyed, such as those made of soft wood. Your cage should have a variety of toys which can include enrichment, shredding, foraging, natural, wooden, metal, and plastic toys. Eclectus Parrots are intelligent creatures and should have plenty of toys to challenge that intelligence. Choose stimulating toys such as foraging and enrichment toys. Providing overhead misters or shallow bowls for bathing are important for an Eclectus Parrots feather health. DO NOT put a mirror or fake bird toy in your cage as these have been shown to do more harm than good. We generally recommend housing handfed birds one per cage. If you house multiple handfed birds in the same cage, it is possible for the birds to remain friendly, but this requires a lot more time spent with each bird by their owners. 

​NOTE: Although the minimum cage size requirements are listed above, like with most birds, the more space the better.  Keeping in mind the wire spacing requirements, we suggest acquiring the largest cage your budget and space can afford. Length is more valuable than height.

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