First European ornithologists to see eclectus parrots thought they were of two distinct speciesParrots of the World, Joseph Michael Forshaw
Unique Body structure, bright feathers and candy corn beak, you just cannot miss a Eclectus Parrot. A beautiful bird with excellent talking ability. They are smart, colorful, and relatively calm than other parrots. That is why their popularity is only increasing day by day, specially among apartment dwellers. They popularly known as ‘Ekki’ short of Eclectus.
Colors and Markings:
The male has bright green body color, a yelow stain on head. Its primary flight feathers have blue coloration. Under wings covert and flank have red color. Beak color is bright orange .
The female is mostly bright red. Darker hue found on back and wings. Black beaks and abdomain color is deep purple for most of the species but blue, lavender and red color is also found for some subspecies.
Eclectus feathers are typically not striped like those of many other birds; instead, they seem to blend brilliantly for camouflage in the rainforest environment where these birds live.
Size and weight
Solomon Island eclectus is smallest among other subspecies. Aruensis is largest. Solomons are more similar to timneh african grays. Ekkies are not short and stubby like african gray or amazon parrots. They are bit longish bird.
Solomon Island eclectus generally weigh: 350-400 grams,
the Red sided eclectus: around 450 grams.
the vosmaeri: around 550 grams.
the Aruensis: 550 – 600 grams.
Seperate cage is recommended for Each Eclectus parrot. They get territorial when hormon striks. Specially, females are cage territorial. In the wild, females never leave their nesting sites just to protect it from intruders.
Commercially available cages aren’t large enough for two eclectus. For single bird at least 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep cage is recommended. Select cage as big as possible as per your room space.
Set high perches made from soft wood like fir or pine. Ekkies cannot chew hard wood, so discard perches those are come with cage. Chewing prevents beaks from overgrowing and keeps them top condition.
Stainless steel cages are easy to clean. Powder coated cages are also fine. Check cage weight before buying one. heavy cages are difficul to move. Many discuorage cages produced in China. it would be wise to check product origin.
You will be needed three bowls. One for fresh food, one for seedmix/dried food and third one for water. Bowls should be wide engouh so that bird can find it’s favourite food items without throwing other items. Minimum six inches wide bowl is recommended. It is good to have two sets of bowl. So you can clean one set keeping other in the cage.
Bowls should always be in the holders. Empty holders are risky, since many birds will try to climb up to the holder. This may lead to wing and neck injury etc. So even if you are not feeding anything never left holders empy. Place empty bowl in it.
Eclectus loves to climb. They just love hanging rope. Few toys will keep them busy in the cage.
What to Feed your Eclectus
Fresh foods like vegetables, greens, fruits, sprouts will do. Sprouts are full of nutrients you can give it daily. Some birds like finely chopped veggies, some prefers big chunks. Special Eclectus parrot seed mix available in shops. Provide small amount of seed mix also.
It’s a good practice to provide fresh foods at morning. Keep it whole day. Remove at afternoon and replace with seedmix. Seedmix stays overnight.
Provide plenty of fresh water. Keep an eye whether water spoiled by your bird. Change water if there is any food items in water bowl. A drop of apple cider vinegar, acv, in the water will prevent bacteria growth. ACV is good for their stomach also.
Pellets with artificial coloring, added vitamins are big NO. Ekkies have longer and delicate intestine. They cannot process artificial colors and vitamins. These cause toe tapping and wing flapping problem. Organic pellets without any coloring are ok.
Limit high fat content foods like sunflower seed and nuts. You can use them as treat for training purpose. High fat causes fatty liver disease.
Commercial egg food or boiled egg should also avoided. Boiled egg causes blocked arteries and vascular diseases.
Eclectus parrot food list
Legumes (Soaked and cooked)
Sweet potato (lightly cooked)
Papaya with seeds
Walnuts (half is enough, source of omega 3 fatty acid)
Almond (shelled or whole, one piece is enough)
Eclectus Parrots have a long lifespan of approx 30 – 40 years. As they are in the aviary from late 70’s so exact life span cannot be determined.
Eclectus parrot Speech and Vocalizations
They have very clear voice. Females have a melodious voice like opera singers. They are capable of learning more than 600 words with meaning of some words. Can ask for favourite food items. Even some can sing a whole song. They can learn talking even before they have weaned.
Eclectus Parrot Health Problems
The following is a list of common health problems with Eclectus parrots:
Toe-tapping and Wing-flipping: due to added vitamins in the food.
Feather plucking: they are prone to Feather plucking (or self-mutilation). Keep them engaged with bird toys, rope.
Avian Polyomavirus is deadly to ekkies.
Another is Constricted Toe Syndrome, which causes circulation to be cut off to the bird’s toes.
They can also get Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, a viral immune system disease.
Neophobia: Although they are very interested to people they familiar but get stressed when see new people.
They are not recommended for homes with children because they do not like to be surprised and prefer a quiet environment.