How to Breed Eclectus

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This female eclectus is red, while her mate is green.
This female eclectus is red, while her mate is green. (Image: frank wouters/commons.wikimedia.org)

Compared with some parrot species, eclectus parrots are easy to breed. They are the most sexually dimorphic (the male is green, the female red) of all the parrot species, so determining the sex of eclectus parrots is never a problem. Although the female may become slightly aggressive during breeding season, eclectus do not usually have the negative personality change other parrots exhibit when breeding. Put them together, give them a nest box and a quiet place, and nature will usually do the rest.

Things You'll Need

  • Bird cage (6 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet minimum)
  • 3 wood perches
  • Food dish
  • Water dish
  • Bird toys
  • 12-inch by 2-inch by 4-inch piece of wood
  • Pre-made nest box
  • Wood shavings, pine or fir

Prepare the cage by equipping it with the perches, food dish, water dish and toys made of wood that are suitable for chewing. Make sure the cage is not near other birds that are noisy. When breeding, eclectus don't mind other birds being around, but they do mind noisy ones.

Check the amount of light the cage receives. Eclectus need light to stimulate hormones necessary for breeding. If the cage is not near a light source, an ordinary lamp will do.

Put your pair of eclectus in the cage. Eclectus must be 2 to 5 years old, depending on the subspecies, before they are sexually mature. Make sure they have already been introduced to each other before putting them together in the cage. Watch for the eclectus to engage in mutual feeding once they are in the cage. This is a sign of bonding.

Put the 12-inch piece of wood in the cage. It can be laid on the floor of the cage. Eclectus like to chew on wood in preparation for nesting. Do not put the nest box in the cage until bonding is complete or else the female may begin staying in the nest box without mating.

Fill the nest box about 2 inches deep with the wood shavings. Put the nest box in the cage once mutual feeding has been observed and the pair is bonded. Position it high and toward the rear of the cage. The female will begin entering the nest box and preparing it for eggs. Both birds will start chewing on the piece of wood in the cage. These activities lead them to mating.

Tips & Warnings

  • The female eclectus will lay two eggs. Once the eggs are laid, the female eclectus will rarely come out of the nest box. The male eclectus will feed her during this time. The incubation period for the eggs is 28 days. Both parents raise the chicks together. Before starting any breeding program with a pair of eclectus parrots, ensure they are both the same subspecies. Crossbreeding should be avoided. A bird-safe tree branch can be put in the cage instead of a block of wood. This helps imitate conditions in the wild, where both birds would join in chewing wood to prepare a nest.
  • Separate the male and female immediately if they display any abnormal or extreme aggression.

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