eclectus parrot diet

The Ultimate Eclectus Parrot Diet Guide

Revised: 2.24.2024

Eclectus parrots need a special eclectus parrot diet.  Don't make the mistake of feeding your Eclectus Parrot the same food that you feed an African Grey Parrot or an Amazon Parrot. 

Eclectus parrots have special dietary requirements. With a longer digestive tract eclectus parrots are believed to have the propensity to overdose on food dyes, preservatives, and vitamins and minerals, resulting in feather picking and destruction, toe tapping & behaviors such as screaming & aggression. is dedicating to helping you support your eclectus parrots diet.

What is special about Eclectus parrots?

SUBSPECIES: Eclectus parrot, Solomon Island eclectus parrot, Grand eclectus parrot, yellow-sided eclectus parrot, Vosmaeri eclectus parrot, blue-bellied eclectus parrot, red-sided eclectus parrot, dusky eclectus parrot

ADULT SIZE: 17 and 20 inches, weighing 350-500 gm

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 30 to 50 years

Eclectus parrots are one of the most beautiful and  unique species of parrots. One unique thing about them is that the males and the females look completely different. In fact for a long time, it was thought that the male and female were completely different species of bird.

Another unique thing about eclectus parrots is the behavioral differences between the male and a female. In the wild, the female eclectus spends up to 9 months living in a hollowed-out tree rearing her young while a variety of male suitors court her and breed with her.  This is called cooperative breeding. It occurs when two or more birds of the same species share in the care and rearing of the young.  It only occurs in 3% of bird species.

Some people have proposed that Eclectus parrots have a longer digestive tract than other hookbills. They speculate that this causes the bird to absorb toxic levels of dyes, vitamins, and preservatives during digestion which can damage feather structure and color and cause various disorders such as toe-tapping and wing-flipping.  That is why it is so important to do research on eclectus parrot food.

Is an Eclectus parrot a good pet?

Eclectus Parrots make wonderful pets! They are described as having a gentle temperament, as being affectionate, and as being fairly quiet. 

It is thought that the males are more agreeable while the females tend to be a bit bossy. Wild female Eclectus have long hormonal periods which can be problematic in a captive situation.

What Is The Best Eclectus Parrot Food?

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. While each subspecies might have a slightly different diet depending on their geographical location, eclectus parrots prefer fig-type fruits in the wild. 

Wild Eclectus Parrots require a dramatically higher calorie intake than their captive cousins. Captive parrots are just not as active as wild parrots. And, they’re less likely to be rearing clutch after clutch of chicks.

Most avian vets recommend that a substantial percentage of Eclectus parrot food should be formulated pellets, preferably organic brands. They know that planning for and prepping a huge variety of fresh plant-based foods takes a lot of time and energy and a lot of people prefer the ease of feeding pellets. Plus, a lot of people are simply unsure of how to get their feathered friend to eat veggies.

The perceived value of a plant-based diet is trending up. People are more aware than ever how nutrient dense plants are. But, to successfully feed your eclectus parrot you'll need to do a lot of research and planning. According to Karmen Budai, author and proponent of raw food diets, ”A large part of the eclectus diet should be green plants, sprouted seeds, nutritious fruits, and healthy nuts.” 

There is a general consensus amongst eclectus enthusiasts that eclectus parrots thrive on a rich and varied diet accompanied with 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.


eclectus diet

We know that putting the time and energy into supplying your pet with a premium diet makes all of the difference in the world with their disposition, health, and feather condition.

If you're planning on switching to a substantially plant-based eclectus parrot diet, first, get a bird scale and start weighing your bird weekly.  That way, you'll be sure to notice if our bird begins losing weight with the dietary switch.

Second, get a bird-specific cookbook to guide you in choosing a range of nutritious bird chop ingredients as you are making the switch.  They are invaluable in helping you take advantage of the synergistic nature of combining ingredients for the best nutritional value. You'll love the fun recipes plus the deep dive into parrot nutrition. 

What fruit and vegetables can Eclectus parrots eat?

Remember that no single vegetable or fruit will satisfy the nutritional requirements that an eclectus parrot needs. Feeding a rich variety of raw plant-based foods is critical. Take the time to teach your eclectus to eat a wide variety of plant-based foods.


 Feed fruits rich in antioxidants and those that tend to be lower in sugar. This would include many kinds of berries, apples, apricots, melons, cherries, cranberries, coconut, dates and figs, mango, palm fruit, and fruit peaches and pears, pineapple, and more. feed citrus fruits sparingly due to their acidic nature.


Color is key for the eclectus diet. feed your eclectus parrot artichoke, bell peppers, broccoli, leafy greens, orange carrots and sweet potato, cauliflower, pumpkin seeds, radishes, and more


Most people don't realize the nutritional value of herbs. but, a variety of herbs can add important nutrients to your eclectus diet. Center feeding basil, cilantro, cinnamon bark, dill, mint, lavender, and more. Some herbs like passion flower, red clover color lavender, and lemon balm also have calming properties. Add some UnRuffledRx Bird Calming Tea to provide our pet with nutritious, calming herbs.


Soak and sprout a variety of legumes, nuts, and seeds  to boost their nutritional value.

Please know that soup type beans are not safe to soak or sprout. The only safe way to offer these beings is to thoroughly cook them. If sprouting stick with beans like adzuki, mung, and garbanzo.

In conclusion, with a proper diet and care, your eclectus parrot can thrive and live a long and beautiful life. 

Related Posts:

Colorful Cuisine: The Ultimate Eclectus Diet

Eclectus Care Quiz 


Australia Zoo. (Year, Month Day of publication). Eclectus Parrot. Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors. Retrieved from

 Bingham, B. Harmony Animal Behavior, Dr. Scott Echols Series.

Cummings, A. M., Hess, L. R., Spielvogel, C. F., & Kottwitz, J. J. (Year of publication). An Evaluation of Three Diet Conversion Methods in Psittacine Birds Converting from Seed-Based Diets to Pelleted Diets. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, 36(2), 145-152. URL: 

Ford, S. Balancing Your Parrot's Lifestyle., Transitioning Pet Parrots Away From a Seed Diet.

Schwarz. D. What can African grey parrots eat?; 22 February 2021.

Stahl, S., & Kronfelt, D. (1998). Veterinary Nutrition of Large Psittacines. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Medicine.

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #EclectusParrotFood #EclectusCare