Eclectus Parrots

What should you expect from your Eclectus parrot?

Eclectus parrots are in high demand as pets, primarily because of their beauty. They are generally calm in captivity, especially in the presence of strangers. They may exhibit a pensive nature when considering novel items or situations in a secure environment. However, individuals may be playful and rambunctious when they are comfortable with family members. To a greater degree than other companion birds, they may be fearful of anything new. This fear may be reflected in the high incidence of feather picking, especially in timid males.

Male Eclectus parrots tend to be more docile than females, especially when hand-raised. Both genders have mimicking ability, although the male may be a better talker.

There are reports of Eclectus parrots developing a nervous habit of toe tapping or wing flapping. The cause is unknown, but if the birds are otherwise healthy, the conditions usually abate with time. There have been some suggestions that this behavior in an Eclectus may be associated with preliminary infection with a viral disease. Working with an avian veterinarian, such as you will find at Saukville Veterinary Clinic, is paramount, as early therapy has been considered a potential success.

What do Eclectus parrots do all day?

Toys offered to Eclectus parrots must be free of toxic metals, hooks, sharp objects or small, easily consumed components. Fresh cut branches from nontoxic trees may be offered. Check with local authorities for recommendations of safe trees. Eclectus parrots need to feel they are a part of the group. They are nosy and interested in what is going on around them. Eclectus parrots are very curious and will investigate anything new in their environment.

Are Eclectus parrots tame?

Young, hand-raised Eclectus parrots adapt readily to new surroundings and handling procedures. They should be exposed early in life to novel situations (car travel, veterinarian visits, and multiple visitors in the household, other household pets) so that they are well adjusted to these events. Discipline, leadership, patience, hooding (covering the head), a sense of ritual and the offering of rewards are necessary to modify the behavior. Even then, they are not completely trustworthy with strangers and may bite for no apparent reason (especially the female).

Why should the wings be clipped?

Eclectus parrots that are allowed unrestricted freedom in the home can encounter numerous physical dangers or toxins; therefore, wing clipping is recommended. The goal of clipping the wings is not to make the bird incapable of flight, but to prevent it from developing rapid and sustained flight and to prevent escape. An Eclectus will require additional trimming 8-12 weeks after the start of a molt cycle.

How can you keep your Eclectus parrot healthy, happy and safe?

  • Give lots of attention.
  • Feed a fresh, high quality, toxin-free, pelleted diet
  • Limit supplementation to small amounts of chopped vegetables or fruit per day.
  • Grit is not necessary with modern captive diets.
  • Provide clean, fresh, uncontaminated water.
  • Remove and replace food and water containers twice daily to maximize activity in a healthy bird.
  • Provide an occasional opportunity for bath, shower, or misting (at least weekly).
  • Avoid spraying house with insecticides.
Housing for your Eclectus parrot should:
  • Be as large as possible.
  • Be clean, safe, and easy to service.
  • Be constructed of durable, nontoxic material.
  • Contain variable-sized perches made of clean, nontoxic, pesticide-free tree branches.
  • Have food and water containers placed at opposite ends of the enclosure.
  • Avoid having perches located directly over food containers.
  • Offer occasional opportunity for protected outdoor exposure to fresh air, sunlight, and exercise.
Things you must keep away from your Eclectus parrot:
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Hot cooking oil
  • Overheated, nonstick- coated cookware
  • Leg chains
  • Sandpaper-covered perches
  • Tobacco and cigarette smoke
  • Chocolate, avocado, salt, alcohol
  • Toxic houseplants
  • Pesticides
  • Easily dismantled toys
  • Dogs, cats, and young children
  • Cedar, redwood, and pressure treated wood shavings
  • Sources of lead or zinc
  • Plug in air fresheners

For more information visit: Association of Avian Veterinarians, Good Bird, Inc.