For a long time, people believed the male and the female to be two separate bird species due to their vastly different appearance. In fact, they are the same species and hold the record for being the most sexually dimorphic species of parrot in the world.
The male is bright green, with an orange beak (as an adult), and rich green feathers across their body. Underneath their wings, you’ll see bright red, iridiscent blue and a darker blue. They also have a bit of yellow in their tale.
In contrast, the female is predominantly bright red, with peacock blue underfeathers. Their beak is black. Overall, they are slightly smaller than the males.
Currently there are nine subspecies of eclectus parrots, although there could possibly be more! It can be difficult to access some of the regions where the species live, which limits further knowledge of the bird.
Interestingly, they also make very good pets. They can form strong attachments with their human family, and will usually pick one person as their buddy. They are very intelligent and smart, and will imitate voices and noises. They learn quickly – words, phrases and sounds – and can even use those words in context! (some have been known to swear at just the right moment …)
Their diet is varied, and would rival that of a human! They will eat fruits, wild figs, unripe nuts, flower and leaf buds, and seeds. They require a high fibre diet due to their long intestine tract.
We love our Eccies!
If you’d like to get up close to one, and learn more about them – come and visit us! We have several here, including Brian and Juliet (pictured) – they are just magical to watch.