Basic Information Sheet: Eclectus Parrot

Eclectus parrot – Eclectus roratus


Natural history

The Eclectus is a native of Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and/or the Solomon Islands. This species has also been introduced to Palau. Eclectus parrots have an extremely large range, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists their conservation status as “least concern”.


Class: Aves

Order: Psittaciformes

Family: Psittacidae

Eclectus roratus

E. r. roratus – Grand eclectus parrot

E. r. polychloros – Red-sided eclectus parrot

E. r. solomonensis – Soloman Islands eclectus parrot

E. r. vosmaeri – Vasmaeri electus parrot

Physical description

The Eclectus parrot is a medium-sized parrot measuring 12-14.5 in (31-37 cm) in length. The iris is grayish.

Sexual dimorphism

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.


  • The diet of the free-ranging Eclectus consists mainly of fruits, figs, nuts, flower and leaf buds, as well as some seeds.
  • Feed companion birds a varied diet including a formulated diet, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Since psittacines hull seeds before ingestion, they do not require grit. In fact, some individuals will overeat grit when ill putting them at risk for impaction.
  • All-seed diets are deficient in protein, vitamins, and minerals including calcium and vitamin A.


  • Many texts suggest a minimum cage size of 24 x 36 x 48 in (61 x 91 x 122 cm), however Eclectus parrots need plenty of room to play and climb so bigger is much better.
  • Cage bar spacing should range from 0.75-1.5 in (1.9-3.8 cm).
  • Perch diameter should measure approximately 1 in (2.5 cm).
  • Unless birds are exposed to natural light, consider offering a full-spectrum light to reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency.


  • Highly intelligent, relatively quiet birds.
  • Sexual dimorphism may extend to behavior and ease of training. Female Eclectus behavior may range from assertive to aggressive so these birds are only recommended for experienced companion parrot owners. Males can sometimes be more timid.
  • Foraging is an important part of normal daily parrot activity. Teach and encourage pet birds to play and forage.

Normal physiologic values

Heart rate (beats/min) 340-600 107.1 F
Respiration (breaths/min) Approximately 25-45
Body weight (g) 375-550
Life expectancy (years) 30-40 Maximum life span  reported:  50-60y
Sexual maturity (years) 4-6
Weaning age Approximately 3 months in Other subspecies wean between 4.5-6 months of age.Weaning age varies with the individual, and should never be based on a pre-determined time period.
Solomon Island Eclectus
Fledgling age (days) 72-80
Mean number of incubation days 28-30
Average number of eggs laid 2 (1 in rare instances)
Target environmental temperature Mimic natural environment Household temperatures of 70-80°F (21-27°C) are generally acceptable, however healthy birds can tolerate hot and cold temperatures.
*Routine avian examination generally does not include measuring temperature.

Anatomy and physiology

Eclectus plumage lacks barbules, which gives their feathers a softer appearance.

Anatomic traits of Order Psittaciformes include:

  • Communication of the right and left nasal sinus
  • The only avian tongue with intrinsic muscles
  • Simply syrinx
  • Craniofacial hinge of beak is a synovial joint
  • Ceca absent
  • Gall bladder often absent
  • Zygodactyl foot:  two toes pointed backward and two pointed forward


Eclectus parrots may be restrained by holding the thumb and forefinger under the mandible and securing the outer wing with the remaining three fingers. Use the opposite hand to hold the feet.


Use a 25-gauge needle and a 1 or 3-mL syringe to draw blood from the right jugular vein.  Collection of up to 1% of body weight is acceptable in healthy patients.

Preventive medicine


Intramuscular (IM) Reasonably safe, most accurate.Inject middle of muscle mass. Ideal location –Pectoral muscle mass
Subcutaneous (SQ) Large volumes can be injected, poor absorption. Location:  Inguinal or precrural fold
Intravenous Effective, narrow safety range. Right jugular vein or brachial vein is most commonly used.Alternative option: superficial metatarsal vein.

Important medical conditions

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Beynon (ed.), Peter. BSAVA Manual of Psittacine Birds. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1996. 7-9, 37. Print.

Carpenter J (ed). Exotic Animal Formulary. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO; Elsevier Saunders; 2005. Pp. 278-279.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Appendices I, II, and III. Valid from Apr 27, 2011. Available at: Accessed June 8, 2011.

Finkelstein A. Normal cloacal temperatures in multiple avian species. Proc Annu Conf Assoc Avian Vet;  2004. P. 383.

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Harrison GJ, Harrison LR. Clinical Avian Medicine and Surgery, Appendix 4, Philadelphia; W.B. Saunders; 1986. P.662.

IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. IUCN Red List Web site. 2010. Available at Accessed June 12, 2011.

Lafeber Company. The Soloman Island Eclectus. Lafeber Pet Birds Web site. Available at: Accessed June 13, 2011.

Low R. Parrots in aviculture: A photoreference guide. Pickering, Ontario; Silvio Mattachione & Co; 1992. P. 97-98.

O’Malley B. Clinical Anatomy and Physiology of Exotic Species. Edinburgh: Elsevier Saunders; 2005. Pp. 156-157.

Tully TN. Birds. In: Mitchell M, Tully TN (eds). Manual of Exotic Pet Practice. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2008. Pp. 256.

To cite this page:

Pollock C. Basic information sheet: Eclectus parrot. January 8, 2012. LafeberVet Web site. Available at