Eclectus are pretty special. They hold the record for being the most sexually dimorphic species of parrot in the world. The contrast between the male and the female is so marked they were considered two different species until the late 19th century.
In the wild
Eclectus parrots originate from Papua New Guinea, Solomon and surrounding islands and archipelagos. Eckies are an arboreal rainforest bird, spending most of their days foraging in the canopy in small family groups. During the breeding season, one mature male cares for numerous hens. Nesting hollows are scarce so once the hen finds a hollow, she rarely leaves, guarding her nest fiercely. She relies on her mate to provide sustenance for her and her offspring.
Parrot Haven Eckies
Parrot Haven Eckies originate from Papua New Guinea. Eclectus Roratus Polychloros, sometimes known as the Red Sided Eclectus, is found in the lowland costal region and highlands of P.N.G and surrounding islands and archipelago's.
(Eclectus Roratus Polychloros) The cock birds wing length is 250 - 264 mm. Their plumage presents as a rich green body coloration, red underside of wings and iridescent blue on their shoulders with dark blue on their primary feathers. There is some yellow in the tail and mature males possess a bright orange beak.
The health of a male can be determined through their beak colour. A bright orange beak indicates good health and condition. In our experience, captive males reach sexual maturity between 3½ to 4 years of age.
(Eclectus Roratus Polychloros) The hens wing length is 235 - 246mm. Their breast, lower belly and mantle is a stunning royal peacock blue with the rest of the bird being an iridescent maroon/red colour. The beak in mature hens is pitch black. Health can be determines through both plumage and beak coloration. In our experience, captive hen birds reach sexual maturity at about 2½ to 3½ years of age.
Eckies are wonderful companion parrots. They can be challenging at times, but that is what makes earning their love and respect so rewarding. They are the sweetest, smartest, most loving companion you could ever wish for. Their laid back nature is very endearing, but don't be fooled, they will give you a run for your money from time to time.
As adults, both the male and female are equally affectionate. However, their level of affection reflects directly on the time their owners spend with them. The old adage 'you only get out, what you put in' applies here. This is something Eckie owners should keep in mind.
Some parrot species are well known for only bonding with humans of the opposite sex; Cockatoos and African Greys are a prime example. Many people are aware of this and assume the same will apply to their Eclectus. I personally have not found Eclectus to be this way. Parrots will naturally have their favourite person and Eckies are no exception, but they are a very social parrot and are not prone to pair bonding. If they have been hand-raised and socialised correctly, they will not ignore people based on their gender.
It is vital that pet Eclectus are raised by a caring and professional aviculturist. The time and attention the breeder shows helps shape the young Eckie, preparing them for life as a companion parrot.
Our book 'The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots' provides detailed information about companion Eclectus.