pair of male and female eclectus parrots in wild


Scientific Name: Eclectus roratus

Other Common Names: Red-sided Parrot or Rocky River Parrot

Native Country: Australia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Maluku Islands

Habitat:  Rainforests and Woodland near coastal areas

Height (Head to Tail): 40-45cm, Large Size

Lifespan: 20-30 years

Weight: 390 – 430g

Eclectus – Appearance:

Eclectus parrots have extremely different colored plumage between males and females. In scientific terms, this is known as sexual dimorphism. Females are crimson red with patches of cobalt blue or deep purple on the nape, abdomen and wings. Males on the other hand are bright green with blue primaries and red underwings. Take a look at the image above, you will notice their beaks are also different. Males have a beautiful two toned orange to yellow gradient whereas the female beaks are charcoal. These birds are so distinct that when the species was first discovered it was believed the male and female Eclectus parrots were different species.

male eclectus parrot eating a nut

Eclectus Diet:

60% Pellets – Specialized pellets formulated for eclectus parrots. Popular brands include: Passwell Parrot Soft Food, Vetafarm Paradise Pellets, ZuPreem Smart Selects

30% Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – Banana, Cantaloupe/Rockmelon, Pomegranate, Papaya, Kiwifruit, Berries, Grapes, Watermelon, Oranges, Plums, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Softened Chickpeas, Corn, Mango, Spinach

10% Nuts and Sprouted Seeds – Almonds, Macadamias, Coconut, Pistachios, Cashews, Pecans, Hazelnuts or see our guide for sprouting seeds

Tip: Hide nuts inside toys to keep your bird entertained for ages

harrisons high potency pelletsHarrison’s Adult Lifetime Coarse 5lb
lafeber nutriberries tropical fruitLAFEBER’S Tropical Fruit Nutri-Berries 3lb
zupreem pure fun food pelletsZuPreem Pure Fun 2lb – Blend of Fruit, Vegetables, Nuts

Eclectus Essentials:

When bringing your little birdie home for the first time, you will need to ensure you have the basics sorted beforehand.

  • Bird Cage – Eclectus parrots are one of the slightly larger birds so it’s best to buy the largest cage you can afford and fit within your space. As a guide, the cage size should be at least 100cm x 80cm x 150cm (W x L x H). It’s best to line the cage with newspaper to easily clean their droppings/mess.
  • Cage Cover – any cloth that covers 90% of the cage so the bird can sleep in darkness e.g. light blanket or sheet
  • Perch – at least 4 perches, preferably sturdy natural bark branches to keep their nails naturally trimmed. It’s a great idea to have an external perch i.e. on top of the cage so your bird can explore out of the cage.
  • Toys – at least 4 toys to begin with for mental stimulation/entertainment; highly recommend foraging toys or those that can be chewed e.g. large rope knots, wooden blocks, beads, bamboo straws or swings
  • Bowls – 3x bowls (one for pellets/nuts, one for fresh fruit/vegetables and the other for water)
  • Bath – your Eclectus will need keep clean, so spray bottle or outdoor hose spray will do. If your bird is comfortable with the idea, you can keep a perch in the shower.

Note: Do not keep the perch directly under the shower head, let the bird make its move towards the water first and adapt to the water pressure.

Still not sure? Click here to download our 100% FREE bird care checklist here.

pair of female eclectus parrots fighting

Eclectus Behavior:

  • Socialization: Eclectus parrots are well adapted in captivity as they have a reserved and calm personality. However you should be mindful, these birds need ample amounts of out-of-cage time and bonding time with their owner. Failure to do so will result in your Eclectus self mutilating due to stress, lack of attention or entertainment. Just like any other parrot, if they feel threatened they will nip, so any potential owner must be willing to be patient. when training or bonding.

  • Vocalization: Although Eclectus parrots are apartment friendly, they can squawk and screech during the hours of sunrise and sunset. These parrots are one of the most intelligent and can be trained to mimic phrases and talk from a very young age.
male female pair eclectus parrots kissing on fence

Eclectus Breeding:

On average the Eclectus reaches sexual maturity at 2 – 3 years of age and are considered dimorphic breeds. Trust me, you’ll be able to distinguish the male and female pair from a mile away – just read our appearance description above.

Other requirements for breeding are mentioned below:


  • Horizontal rectangle shaped nest box made from strong untreated wood (min. dimensions 40x25x60cm – HxWxL) – horizontal nests are preferred as they resemble natural logs which would be used for breeding in the wild
  • Nest box filling – non-toxic wood shavings or saw dust; Eclectus parrots prefer high humidity when breeding so you may want to occasionally spray the nest box with plain water
  • Mating Partner: polygynandrous – more than one partner for life
  • Breeding Season: July – January (Southern Hemisphere)
  • Clutch Frequency: 3-4 clutches per year
  • Clutch Quantity: 2 eggs per clutch
  • Incubation Period: 24 – 26 days
  • Weaning: 3-6 months

Eclectus Health:

Common IssueSymptoms Causes
Psittacosis Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, vomiting, nasal/ocular discharge, diarrhea or pale green feces, breathing difficulties, conjunctivitis, minimal physical movement, tremorsBacteria: Chlamydia psittaci contracted via infected dried saliva, feathers, mucous and feces
Proventricular Dilatation Syndrome “Macaw Wasting SyndromeLoss of appetite, vomiting, passing of undigested food in feces, weight loss, overall body weakness, head tremors seizuresAvian Bornavirus (ABV) contracted through feces, saliva and other bodily secretions from birds – causes nerve inflammation
Feather PluckingForm of self mutilation by plucking their own feathers, leaving bald patches of skinBoredom, lack of mental stimulation, poor diet, illness, stress
Psittacine Beak & Feather DiseaseSharp, clubbed or abnormally short feathers, pigment loss in colored feathers, bloody feather shafts Beak & Feather Disease Virus (BFDV) contracted from other infected birds e.g. oral – parent feeding young or ingestion of virus particles in dust feces
AspergillosisWeight loss, lethargy, constantly fluffed feathers, difficulty breathing, cloudy eyes, droopy wingsAspergillus fungus: exposure to spores found in dust, mold, soil – mainly affects malnourished or immunocompromised birds
MalnutritionNasal discharge, sneezing, wheezing conjunctivitis, poor feather quality, weakness, egg binding, embryonic death Vitamin A or Calcium deficiency
WormsDiarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, malnutrition or blood in fecesAscaris roundworm or flatworms – eggs passed in droppings

Did You Know?

1. When the species was first discovered it was believed the male and female Eclectus parrots were different species

2. Eclectus parrots are known to “toe tap” in captivity due to a dietary deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Toe tapping is the involuntary movements of its leg causing a tap against the perch

3. The average purchase price for an Eclectus ranges from $700 – $2000 AUD (dependent on age)

Other Species of Interest: