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The Solomon Islands
Eclectus Parrot

(Eclectus roratus)

(Printable Version - PDF file - Free Adobe Reader download)

Article supplied by George Bunney

The Solomon Islands Eclectus Parrot (cock on the right, hen on the left in the nest box)Copyright © Glenn Matheson (Glenn Matheson's birds)

Most Australian aviculturists have the Solomon Islands' Eclectus Parrot in their aviaries.

The hen is more colourful than the cock bird.  In most other bird species the cock bird is more colourful.

Young birds of eight months of age are the best proposition for bonding over the next two years.  I have found that more mature birds need twelve months to bond, especially if the birds are from different aviaries.

My observations are that the hen will start the courting, continuously bringing herself to the cock bird's attention.

If you are colony breeding and you have a bonded pair where the cock bird is the dominate cock bird of the group, the surplus hens will always try to bond with this male even to the point of breaking up the bonded pair and completely ignoring all other cocks in the group.  So it is best to bond Eclectus at eight months of age and when bonded move them to a flight in the aviary to mature.  This is more successful and is usually the standard practice for most species of birds.

A common complaint from bird keepers of Eclectus is the disappearance of eggs from the nest.  This is without doubt caused by the cock bird gaining access to the eggs and destroying them.  This habit is usual with young pairs with their first setting of eggs and will continue unless stopped.  The trick is to separate the cock from the hen when the eggs are about four days old and then reintroduce the cock back into the flight when the young birds are 10 days old.

When hand rearing birds one must examine the reason why?

If you are hand raising an Eclectus for a household pet you may take the young bird from the nest before its eyes open.  Thus the bird deems itself as human and 50% of these birds will never breed and always be shunning other Eclectus.

If you need to rear a young bird then take it from its mother when the pinfeathers appear on the crown of the young bird.

When hand raising there are three variations:

The crop needle, the crop needle with rubber tube and spoon feeding.

The latter is my choice.  I find the young less stressful, thus making a calmer bird.  I find the Veta Farm hand raising food quite good though I always have the mixture more fluid to compensate for dehydration.

I am not big on high tech, humidicribs etc.  The old cardboard box and foot warmer at 85o farenheit and disposable nappies are less fraught with mishaps.

The weaning of the Eclectus is fairly easy.  Start giving small squares of watermelon, husked sunflower seed, sliced apple, steamed carrot, thawed peas and corn amd this will have the young bird nibbling in no time.

All the above views are of that the writer.

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