Grand eclectus parrot

Grand Eclectus Parrot

Scientific Classification

Common Name
grand eclectus parrot
Psittacidae (true parrots)
Genus Species
Eclectus (choice or select) roratus roratus (moisten, like dew; possible reference to shiny plumage)

Fast Facts

This is a relatively small parrot with extreme sexual dimorphism. Males are generally green with blue at bend of wing; red under wing and sides of body. The female's plumage is generally red with dull purple across upper mantle, abdomen, and lower breast.
Approximately 30.5 to 35 cm (12.2 to 14 in.) in length; 50 cm (20 in.) wingspan
Approximately 250 to 330 g (8.75 to 11.5 oz)
Feeds on fruit, seeds, buds, nectar, and pollen
26 days
Clutch Size
1 to 3 eggs
Fledging Duration
10 to 12 weeks
Sexual Maturity
4 to 7 years
Life Span
50+ years
Northern Cape York peninsula, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and the Indonesian Archipelago
Found in tropical rainforests and monsoon forests
Global: Unknown
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed

Fun Facts

Until the beginning of the 20th century, male and female Eclectus parrots were considered two separate species. This is due to the extreme differences in their coloration. Unlike most parrots, which have very little sexual dimorphism (noticeable differences between males and females), male Eclectuses' have bright green wings with red underneath and along the sides of their body, whereas females are mainly blue, maroon, and red. Male Eclectuses' beaks are yellow-orange and black; female beaks are completely black.

These highly vocal parrots are not only excellent mimics of human speech, they also produce a wide range of other sounds, including tones, coos, whistles, and laughs.

Eclectuses make their nests up high in tree cavities running deep into the trunk. During incubation, the female will sit on the nest, while the male brings her food. Once the chicks are hatched, the male will share rearing duties with the female, foraging for the chicks or watching the nest at night.

Dominant pairs of Eclectuses will have helpers (usually made up of older offspring or unpaired adults), which assist them in caring for the chicks.

Ecology and Conservation

Parrots play an important role in their habitat by helping to propagate new forest growth. Many of the seeds these birds consume are not digested and are passed in the bird's guano over new areas of forest. Many species eat fruit and nectar and are important in the pollination of various species of plants in tropical forests.

This species used to be largely hunted for its plumage, but habitat destruction such as deforestation and logging of their nest trees is the major cause for population decline today. Eclectus populations are also affected by the pet trade, in which they are highly sought after for their colorful plumage and their skill at mimicking human speech.

The U.S. Wild Bird Act forbids the commercial import of any bird listed by CITES which includes most parrots, which are endangered or threatened.


Forshaw, J.M. Parrots of the World. New Jersey. T.F.H. Publications Inc. 1978.

Marrison, C. and A. Greensmith. Birds of the World. New York. Dorling Kindersley, Inc. 1993. 

Parker, Sybil P. (ed.). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Birds II. Vol. 8. New York. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972.

Perrins, C. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications. 1985.

BirdLife International 2012. Eclectus roratus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22685022A39008524. Downloaded on 12 March 2020.

Photo Credit: Eclectus_Parrot_(Eclectus_roratus)_-pair.jpg. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Image by: Shiny Things. Year Created: 25 June 2008. Website: License: CC by SA 2.0.