Eclectus Parrot Click to enlarge image
Eclectus Parrot Image: unknown
creative commons

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    roratus
    Genus
    Eclectus
    Family
    Psittacidae
    Order
    Psittaciformes
    Class
    Aves

Introduction

Eclectus Parrots, Eclectus roratus, are noisy and conspicuous, calling as they fly and screeching loudly when disturbed.

Identification

The Eclectus Parrot is a large parrot (430-450mm including tail) with marked sexual dimorphism (the male and female are different).

The male:

  • is emerald green, with bend of wing blue, primaries deep blue, underwing coverts and sides of belly rich scarlet.
  • has a short square tail with central tail feathers green tipped with blue;outer tail feathers are blue tipped with white; underside of the tail is dusky tipped yellow.
  • The eye is orange.
  • The upper mandible of its bill is coral pink, but the lower mandible is black.
  • Feet and toes are mid grey.

The female:

  • has vivid red plumage, darker and duller on back and wings.
  • has a blue collar across the mantle and the bend of the wing and underwing coverts are bright blue, with a broad violet-blue band across the belly.
  • tail is red tipped with orange.
  • Around the pale yellow eye is a blue ring.
  • The bill is black.
  • The feet and toes are the same as for the male.

In flight for both sexes the blue-wing linings and orange tail are conspicuous.

Immatures resemble adults.

In both sexes the bill is dark brown-grey becoming dusky yellow towards tip.

Habitat

The Eclectus Parrot is found in the canopy of rainforests and in adjacent eucalypt woodlands.

Distribution

The Eclectus Parrot is found on Eastern Cape York Peninsula, from Pascoe River south to Massey Creek and inland to McIlwraith Range and is locally common. Also widely distributed from Solomon lslands west through New Guinea to Moluccas.

Seasonality

The Eclectus Parrot is a year-round resident.

Feeding and diet

  • The Eclectus Parrot feeds in trees on berries and other fruit, nuts, seeds and blossoms.
  • In the early morning pairs and small parties leave the roosting trees and move out into surrounding forest to feed.

Communication

Screeching squawking contact call in flight, but while feeding infrequently call 'chu-wee, chu-wee', also a variety of chuckling and bell-like sounds.

Breeding behaviours

  • Breeding Season: July-January.
  • Incubation is by the female over about 26 days.
  • Eclectus Parrot nests in a big hole 50cm to 6m deep in the trunk of a tall tree at the edge of or in a clearing in forest.
  • The eggs are laid on a lining of chips and decayed wood dust.
  • Both parents care for the chicks and seem to be helped in the task.
  • Reports state that up to eight birds of both sexes appear to attend the nests.
  • The young leave the nest 11-12 weeks after hatching.

Conservation status

Vunerable

Economic impacts

They may be adversely affected by fires late in the dry season which destroy nesting trees at the edge of the rainforest.