There are four main eclectus: the Solomon Island Eclectus, the Grand Eclectus, the Vosmaeri Eclectus, and the Red-Sided Eclectus. Macgillivray is the largest and vosmaeri is the second largest. The Solomon is the smallest. Only six Eclectus are available in US aviculture (the four main eclectus plus the Biaki and Macgillivray). Their diet is vegetable, fruit, legumes, and pellets (they do not eat seed in the wild). Diet must be high in beta carotene and vegetable protein. Its digestive system is larger than most parrots - larger proventriculus and larger intestines. They grow until two years old. The Solomon is the most calm and docile; quiet, non-chewer, non-screamer. They produce no feather dust because they have an oil gland rather than a dust gland for preening. Puberty is between nine and eighteen to twenty-four months. Quick, unexplained mood changes, some masturbation, screaming, courting activities are all behaviors that are found here. These pass and the Eclectus mellows out at two to three years old. Eclectus that are not socialized as an infant may dislike being touched and may feather pluck. Toi properly socialize an infant, the caretaker must hold the baby as much as possible and touch it all over its body, including underneath the wings and feet. Expose the infant to as much stress as possible. They produce all year long. They are from the South Pacific. The female Eclectus is dominant. When she reaches puberty, she becomes aggressive. They have two developmental growing stages. The first is the terrible twos. The bird learns about the pecking order. He may lounge or nip at his owners at three to five months old. The second, which we already discussed, is puberty. Hens are busy in the nest box while the male socializes and then returns to feed and care for his mate. There are three eggs per clutch. There are two developmental patterns. At five to seven months, there is a biting phase. They become moody and prefer to spend time in their cage alone; at this time they are easily irritated and they become withdrawn and introverted. At one and a half years old, the males try to mate with everything and regurgitate on random objects. Hens are sweet and affectionate one minute and snarky the next. They seek out nesting areas which they guard fiercely and source nesting material to shred. What can excite hormones are touching the back of the neck and back and tail. Many hens become intent on finding a nest. Use distraction techniques to deter her. The female is dominant because she chooses to accept or reject the male’s advances; she picks the nesting site; she incubates the eggs; she cares for the chicks. The male guards the nest area, but once the eggs are laid, he often is not permitted inside the nesting cavity. They do not solicit much touching or petting. They talk after one year. The bar spacing of the cage must be one inch. They need room to swing and flap. They are good for people who work eight hour days. They have a propensity for feather destructive behavior. Each subspecies has its own vocalizations, behavior, and developmental lines. The subspecies differ in iris color, tail length, color (male for shades of green), body shape, and size. With cross bred Eclectus you do not know what the developmental timeline is for the bird. Solomons mature much earlier than red-sided. Problems with maturity, pairing, mating, egg laying, and parenting skills are apparent. Eclectus babies do not have a strong feeding response (unlike macaws). Eclectus reach sexual maturity at two to five years old (Solomons reach it at two years old, Vosmaeri and Macgillivray at five to six years old). Eclectus mate inside the nestbox. There are two eggs per clutch (though the Solomon is sometimes known to lay three). Common disorders include feather picking, hypovitaminosis A, PDD, Chlamydiosis, bacterial infection, annular toe deformities, female aggression, wing flapping and toe tapping.
Eclectus have excellent talking abilities. They also love to mimic their favorite sounds such as microwave ovens, laughter, opera, and sneezing. Our Eclectus sing, watch television, and love to listen to the radio. They are adventuresome and love to explore new places and people. Ours understand many commands such as kiss, eagle, there’s a birde, fly, jump, come here, no, and up and naughty. The speaking abilities of the Eclectus will depend upon the individual bird, its bond with its human, how much time is spent speaking directly to the bird, its health, status, age and a number of other circumstances.