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Background information for Eclectus Parrots

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Eclectus parrots originate from Australia, New Guinea and other South Pacific islands. Of the ten Eclectus subspecies, the three most commonly seen in captivity are the red-sided (Eclectus roratus polychloros), Vos (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri) and Solomon Island (Eclectus roratus solomonensis). Eclectus have the most pronounced sexual dimorphism of any psittacine: the males are green and the females are red. Scientists who have studied these birds in Australia have determined that this color distinction is related to their sexual roles in the wild. Females spend up to 11 months each season in their nest hollow, and their red color makes them less conspicuous against the tree trunk. However, males differ from females by spending a much larger proportion of their time foraging among the rainforest canopy. Their green color favors reduced visibility to predators against leaves. In captivity, eclectus females generally tend to be more aggressive than males, both in companion bird settings and in aviculture. In breeding situations, a female may sometimes even traumatize her mate.


Credit: Used with permission of the Zoological Education Network.
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