The diet of the Eclectus is one of the most complicated of all diets of the exotic companion birds. In the Wild they like to consume mostly berries and fruit, siding with berries the largest part of the time, causing them to lean towards “frugivores”, the fruit-eating species of the exotic birds.
“Other names they are called are “Kalanga”, “Grand Eclectus Parrot”, ” King Parrot”, ” Red-Sided Eclectus Parrot”.
They are described as 35cm, stocky, broad-winged, short-tailed and occurring from Sumba and the Moluccas through New Guinea to the Solomons and extreme northern Australia. Males are predominantly green with blue flight feathers, red flanks and underwing-coverts and red and yellow bills. Females are predominantly red with black bills, mauve-blue flight feathers, and most races also show purplish-blue flight feathers bellies and mantles. Females are generally more racially dimorphic than males and the species varies in size according to populations. The species is large and colorful and unlikely to be confused with any other parrot. The flight silhouette is unique with the short tail, broad wings and extended neck (the birds can look black in flight, especially in poor light). The rapid shallow wingbeats on wings held below the body axis, interspersed with short glides, are distinctive. Common and easily detected, even around habitation through much of its range. This is the only large New Guinea parrot that is either mostly green or mostly red. Papuan King Parrot is slimmer and longer-tailed. Red-cheeked much smaller.
In flight the voice is loud, hoarse and screech repeated continuously or in short bursts described as krraach-krraak, likened to that of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo but quieter and more croaking. In addition to various other alarm screeches, there is a mellow, horn-like tuwee tuwee, a bell-like chee-ong (perhaps as a prelude to copulation) and a metallic chuckling sound, apparently made by the female only.” (“Parrots”, Juniper and Parr, Pg.321)
These beautifully brilliant creatures are very misunderstood in so very many ways. Once believed that they didn’t possess the ability to “talk” like the great African Grey, we are now discovering that, given the opportunity, in a comfortable environment, this species will “talk up a storm”!
In formulating a domestic diet for the exotic companion Eclectus I prefer to use fresh organic foods consisting of blueberries, papaya, mango, lemons, slightly green banana, tender young greens, macadamia nuts, fresh rosemary, meal worms, cinnamon, ginger, fresh cilantro, parsley, flax oil (low lignan), hemp oil, and bee pollen and many additional ingredients.
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