Eclectus Parrot

Native To: Australia, Indonesia & New Guinea   
Adult Size: 14 in, 388-525 grams
Reaches Maturity:  1.5 to 4 years depending on subspecies 
Lifespan: 50 years or more with a proper diet and care                     

While there are 10 subspecies of the Eclectus Parrots; the four common pet Eclectus include:

  •  Red-Sided (Eclectus roratus polychloros)
  • Grand Eclectus (Eclectus roratus roratus)
  • Solomon Island (Eclectus roratus solomonensis)
  • Vosmaeri (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri).
This medium sized bird has a strong, solid body and is known to be calm and relatively quiet compared to other parrot species.  Eclectus bond very closely with their caretakers. Eclectus have fascinating plumage in both coloring and feather structure that almost appears like fur around the neck area.

Take The Eclectus Parrot Care Quiz


T  F

The male Eclectus Parrot has red plumage.


T  F

Baby Eclectus reach their adult weight at 7 weeks of age, but they reach their adult size at about age 2.


T  F

You should supplement your Eclectus parrot’s pellets with vitamins.


T  F

Loud noises and boisterous activity is scary for an Eclectus.


T  F

Eclectus parrots are so “easy going” that they don’t need a bird stand.


T  F

Eclectus Parrots are known to be good talkers and they enjoy interactive bird puzzles.


T  F

The Eclectus parrot has a super-efficient digestive system requiring a special diet.


T  F

The male Eclectus tends to be gentler by nature than the female.


1 -False:  The male Eclectus has green plumage and a horn colored beak while the female has red plumage with a black beak. As a matter of fact, it was once thought that the two genders were different species.

2  -True: Eclectus babies, like most bird species, grow to adult weight very early in preparation for fledgling.  Upon learning to fly, they lose about 10% of their weight and then slowly grow to adult size within the first two years.

3 - False: For proper eclectus parrot care, your Eclectus Parrot needs a carefully planned diet and this is an important consideration when acquiring one as a pet.  Eclectus do not do well on the majority of pellets.  The synthetic vitamins and preservatives, as well as food dyes can cause repetitive foot clenching, feather discoloration and other severe medical problems.  Never give your Eclectus food supplements unless specifically recommended by a board certified avian veterinarian. Your Eclectus needs a variety of organic, or carefully washed vegetables and fruits, including leafy greens, sprouts, soaked legumes and brown rice.  Include nutrient rich vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, corn, squash, peas, Healthy fruits such as green apple, pear, melon, and assorted berries are important.

  • 75-80% of Diet = nutrient rich fruits and vegetables
  • 20-25% of Diet = premium, organic, colorless pellets or Eclectus Specific Seed Mix such as Harrison’s Adult Lifetime Formula or Volkman Eclectus Food.
  • Provide a natural calcium supplement (never synthetic) such as cuttlebone.

4 - True: Mild mannered Eclectus parrots enjoy a quiet, predictable, safe, home environment. In nature, rather than engaging in the traditional “fight or flight“ behavior when faced with danger, Eclectus are known to freeze.  In nature, the Eclectus Parrot will often freeze when faced with danger, instead of flying away.Take this into consideration in your eclectus parrot care plan.

5 - False: Your Eclectus parrot may be quiet and mild natured, but it loves being out of the cage for both socialization and exercise.   Purchase a rolling bird stand so that your companion can join you in your day to day activities.  Talk to your parrot and interact with it like you would any family member.  These tightly bonding birds are flock animals that mate for life.  Also, encourage your parrot to play, chew, forage and climb around to satisfy its natural “parrot instincts.”  A tree style bird stand will offer your pet the socialization and activity it needs to be happy and healthy.

6 - True: Eclectus are very smart.  Yep – beauty and smarts in one package.  Talk to your parrot a lot using an enthusiastic voice tone and animated behavior and it may pick up some of your favorite or quirky phrases.  Sit down and teach your bird how to do bird tricks and puzzles to challenge its mind while it soaks up one on one attention.  Surprisingly, training for bird tricks makes for a pet that looks up to you and respects you – thereby making it a fun pet to be around.


7 - True:  The reason an Eclectus needs a specialized diet is because it is one of the only species of parrots to have developed a super-efficient digestive system which allows them to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the natural foods it eats.  Likewise, they extract the preservatives, dyes, synthetic vitamins and any pesticides much more efficiently than other birds do. When an Eclectus is presented with general parrot diets, they are literally “poisoned” by the additives, making the bird very sick.  The first signs of poisoning may be foot tapping, feather discoloration and feather plucking.

8 -  True: Who knew! The males tend to be gentler by nature while the female is dominant and relatively more aggressive than her male counterpart. Even so, Eclectus parrots are relatively calm and quiet by nature and they appreciate a calm home environment.  If your home is loud and boisterous, it may intimidate your mild mannered bird. Place your bird cage in an area away from loud kids and pets that provides a calm sense of security. 


What supplies do I need for my eclectus parrot?

  • Appropriately sized cage
  • A variety of perches, though a few should be natural branches
  • Bird puzzles, wood and foraging toys
  • Food & water bowls that are easy to clean
  • Water bowls
  • A plant-based bird food cookbook
  • Organic pellets
  • Shower Perch
  • Bird Stand

Eclectus Food

The strikingly beautiful Eclectus parrot is truly a "bird of a different feather" when compared to many other popular pet bird species. Native to the Solomon Islands, Sumba, New Guinea, the Moluccas, and northeastern Australia, there are several subspecies of this colorful parrot, although the exact number is a subject of debate.

What is dimorphism?

The most obvious difference between Eclectus parrots and many other parrot species is their dramatic sexual dimorphism. While most parrot species are monomorphic (males and females appearing identical), the dimorphic Eclectus parrots have males with bright green plumage and females are gorgeous rich red.  The actual feathers on these birds are also unique. There is a distinct hair-like quality to them which is visible upon close examination.

Pair of Eclectus Parrots

What is the disposition of eclectus parrots?

The behavior of these birds is also noticeably different, with most Eclectus having a somewhat stoic demeanor. They often stand upright and are rather sedentary compared to other parrot species of similar size. Many people who keep these birds also notice that they use their feet less often when feeding and playing, although they are certainly capable climbers. Proper eclectus parrot care will mean that you'll want to provide your pet with opportunities to exercise.

What should I feed my eclectus parrot?

With these unusual traits, it should hardly come as a surprise that Eclectus parrots also have dietary needs that separate them from other parrots. The Eclectus Parrot has a unique, relatively long digestive system so the bird tends to absorb and store nutrients more effectively than other birds.  For optimum eclectus parrot care ensure that your pet's diet is free from synthetic ingredients, additives, preservatives and dyes. Opt for organic, pesticide free fruits and vegetables. The symptoms of toxicity include feather discoloration, feather picking and "tic like" body movements like toe tapping and wing flapping.

While many common pet parrot species feed on the ground in the wild, the Eclectus Parrot is a bird of the treetops. Fruits and blossoms are eaten up high, but the birds encounter seeds much less often than an African grey, Amazon, cockatoo or macaw might in the wild. Wild Eclectus parrots have been known to feed on sandpaper figs, hawthorn, pyracantha berries and the colorful blossoms of bottlebrush shrubs.

What portion of your eclectus parrots diet should be pellets?

Eclectus parots have a tendency to become obese since they are often feed a seed only diet.  Only 20-25% of an Eclectus diet should be seed and/or organic pellets. The majority of its food should be  a wide range of clean, washed fresh sprouts, fruits and vegetables.

How do you make chop for your eclectus parrot?

Appropriate fresh foods include carefully washed apple, pear, strawberries, banana, kiwi fruit, grapes, as well as vegetables such as bell pepper, snow peas, green beans, sweet peas, carrot, celery, beets, and Swiss chard. Soak sprouts of mung beans and grey sunflower seeds. Chop a large variety of fresh fruits, veggies and sprouts into small pieces in a food processor to encourage your parrot to eat a variety versus one or two favorites. Again, the more variety, the better. It's a good idea to add a small portion of lightly cooked corn. A smaller amount of soaked and sprouted legumes and brown rice will also add variety and nutritional value. Provide these foods at a routine time and use the same basic ingredients daily, adding a small amount of seasonal offerings to provide variety. Proper eclectus care requires that you offer your pet a large variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and sprouts.

While the above fresh foods provide a good base diet, breeding birds may benefit from dandelions, including the roots and flowers.  Special treats such as guavas, figs, pomegranates, passion fruit, melon, papaya and mango are also rich in nutrients. Many Eclectus especially enjoy mangos and spend considerable time chewing the large seed. Eclectus also enjoys chili peppers in moderation. Other seasonal favorites include cherries, blueberries, cranberries and various squash.

Do Eclectus Parrots have special dietary needs?

Veterinary literature sometimes notes the tendency for these birds to be deficient in Vitamin A, but over supplementing any vitamins in a synthetic form can also result in illness. Instead, Eclectus parrot care will rely on the items in a fresh diet. Beta carotene (the precursor to vitamin A) is found in many common vegetables, such as peppers, sweet potatoes and dark, leafy greens such as chard or commercially grown dandelion greens. Make these items part of the diet.

Organic pellets such as Harrison's Blends as Eclectus food also have their place on the menu, Many breeders and Eclectus experts promote Volkman Eclectus Food, 

Think variety and fresh ingredients when mixing and feeding Eclectus food. By providing Eclectus the foods outlined here, they will thrive in captivity and become rewarding pets.

What food sensitivities do Eclectus Parrots have?

Eclectus parrots are especially sensitive to artificial preservatives and dyes, synthetic vitamins, and artificial minerals.  Beautiful and intelligent Eclectus Parrots require a vegan-like diet that their sensitive bodies can assimilate. Artificial ingredients, food colorings, and preservatives result in a bird that feels ill, itches, picks its own feathers, displays tic like behavior and is plain old miserable.  Feed your Eclectus Parrot well.  Supplement any Eclectus parrot bird food diet with a huge variety of organic vegetables, fruits grains and nuts. Consult your avian veterinarian if your parrot.

If you found these Eclectus Parrot Care tips helpful, please pass them along on your favorite social media platform.

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. With over 30 years experience, in a range of settings, she’s created thousands of successful behavior plans to help turn around challenging behavior. Diane got parrot fever in the ‘90’s and founded in 1998. Nowadays, focuses solely on Science-backed Parrot Wellness with bird collars for feather plucking birds, nutritional supplements to support avian wellness, and a range of educational materials to support bird behavior. Diane’s authored a number of books on supporting challenging behavior in birds.

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