Incredibly beautiful birds, Eclectus Parrots are so sexually dimorphic that many people assume that males and females are actually birds of different species when they see them together. The striking colors of these lovely Parrots only serve to compliment each other's differences.
In the wild, Eclectus Parrots fly through the upper canopies of lowland forests in small groups or in pairs. They search for fruits, nuts, berries, nectar, seeds, blossoms and leaf buds. At night, Eclectus Parrots roost in large groups of up to 80 birds after a regular evening display flight. During flight, the Eclectus Parrot makes a repetitive screeching noise, but during feeding their calls are lower, and have been described as flute-like or wailing. They nest in holes in tall trees. In captivity, Eclectus Parrots do well in large or suspended aviaries having at least three and a half meters of length and one meter of width. They will need to be sheltered from the elements and are generally kept in pairs. Eclectus Parrots can be taught to mimic speech and hand-raised and co-parented parent raised chicks tend to make more docile pets than do entirely parent-raised chicks. These birds may be quite noisy although they are entertaining and rewarding pets.
The Eclectus Parrot grows to about 35 centimeters in length with a 240-millimeter wing span. Their lovely, glossy feathers have a hair-like texture, and the species is quite obviously sexually dimorphic. Male Eclectus Parrots are predominantly green. The feathers of the head are lightly tinted with yellow, while the under-tail coverts are also yellow-green. The under-wing coverts and the sides of the body are red. The bend of a male Eclectus Parrot's wing is blue, and the primaries, though edged in green, are also blue. The tail feathers are tipped in olive yellow, and are green. Toward the edge of the tail, they darken in color to a blackish green and finally blackish blue at the very tip of the tail. The feathers themselves are tipped in yellow white. Male Eclectus Parrots have orange or yellow irises, and their bills are red with a lower tip. The lower mandible is blackish, and the feet are a dark shade of gray. Female Eclectus Parrots are red in color. Their iris is more yellowish than the male's, but the feet are gray and the bill is very dark gray or black. Female Eclectus Parrots have brownish-red backs and wings. The undersides of their breasts, the abdomens, the sides of the body, and the band across the back and nape of their necks are violet in color. Sometimes, the upper breast is also violet. The bend of a female Eclectus Parrot's wing is blue-violet in color, as is the edge. A darker shade of the same color covers the under-wing coverts. Female Eclectus Parrots have dark blue primary coverts and outer secondary feather webbing. Their tails'
upper sides have yellowish-red edging, which is rather blurred; the underside of the tail is a more orange-red color and shows yellow edging.
Although Eclectus Parrots were once native to Ambon, northeast
Australia, New Guinea, Ceram, Buru, Indonesia, the Moluccan Islands, Haruku, and Saparua, they are now extinct on Ambon as well as Saparua and Haruku. In the 1980's, they were, however, one of the most commonly found birds in the Moluccan Islands and they are quite popular in aviculture. In the wild, they live in stands of tall trees in addition to forests at low altitudes.