Meet Tiki, Solomon Islands Eclectus
Aloha! Is what Tiki, our very curious young Eclectus might say as you walk into the room. He is a two year old Solomon Islands Eclectus that was born just outside of Austin, Texas in 2018.
The really interesting thing about Eclectus is that unlike other parrots is that an Eclectus is dimorphic. That means that the males and females have distinct colors, making it easy to know them apart. Males are a bright green color with some bright blue and red feathers around the wings and a very handsome candy-corn colored beak. The females are a darker red color with highlights of blue and a black or dark grey colored beak.
Tiki came to us when he was three months old and I elected to get him from a well-known breeder. While my thoughts have changed on this as I have worked with more birds, I decided to go this route because I wanted the parrot to grow up with the children. Parrots all have their own personalities and favorite people they bond with, but I felt like we would have a better chance of being adapted to the sometimes loud and fast-paced world of children if they weren't already used to another routine. Now, my preference would be to adopt as there are so many birds that don't get the attention they need and I have yet to find a bird that is too difficult to work with, it just takes patience and attention.
Tiki's age definitely shows through, he will try to get into anything he can-the world is his toybox. He also loves to scavenge anything he can find, so hiding treats can keep him entertained for hours. He loves to be right in the action, so no matter what you are doing, expect a friend to appear on your seat back, a perch, or sometimes right on your shoulder to check things out.
What's it like to live with an Eclectus?
An Eclectus is a medium sized bird, I would say at least three times the size of Cinnamon Bun, the cockatiel. He is actually very quite 90% of the time and likes to chatter away to himself, but in the morning he loves to let you know that the sun is awake and boy, everyone in the vicinity knows. He also picks up words and whistles very fast an accurately, right now he sings "In the Tiki Room", likes to greet you with "Aloha", and will often ask "is Tiki a good boy?"
Right now we Tiki sleeps in a huge cage that is about 5'x7', but that isnt a requirement. This gives him ample room to stretch his wings and make short flights when he isn't hanging out with the family. We try to have our birds out and socializing throughout the day as much as possible.
With a bigger bird (especially one in it's terrible twos!) you will be guaranteed to get a nip now and again. Tiki is never aggressive with people, but sometimes he just likes to try things out and clamps down a bit too hard. Lately he has discovered that humans love to pay attention to these little black boxes and keep pressing them with their fingers almost like whack-a-mole, so its fun to try and grab one and make them pay more attention.
Bigger birds can also be a bit more destructive. Unlike small birds, they can definitely cause some damage with that beak. I have lost a few pairs of earbuds just by not paying attention and leaving them in the open.
How about training?
Tiki is a lot of fun to train, he picked up target training very quickly and can recall easily. He is stubborn though, if he does not feel like working he will just ignore you. Although he does get jealous if I work with Cinnamon bun or Kona instead.
What are his favorite foods?
Eclectus have a very unique diet and require lots of fresh fruits and veggies to keep him healthy and his colors vibrant. He LOVES a nice raspberry or blackberry mixed into his chop.
His favorite treat is actually a nutriberry, and he will do just about anything to have one.
What about favorite toys?
Tikis favorite toys are probably the ones in other birds cages. You will find him trying to figure out ways to remove them and keep them for himself. However, he also really likes puzzles, so we have a small toy cage that we hide treats inside and he loves to figure out how to extract the precious.
Who does he like the most?
It actually changes day-to-day, some nights Tiki like to snuggle up right under my chin (Michael), but then others he will sit on Lisa's arm and perch up on one foot.
What about medical care?
Like Cinnamon, we have been fortunate to not have any serious issues with Tiki. We have him on an annual wellness plan and keep good track of his weight and diet. Early on we did have to adjust his diet as we noticed some issues with his feathers getting black at the edges, as mentioned above, Eclectus have a very special diet and if something is missing it can show visually. We adjusted his diet and now supplement with some high-quality pellets to ensure he gets all of his vitamins. His feathers have never looked so bright!
Does he have a favorite Eclectus Shirt?
Well I can't speak for Tiki on this one, but I wear my Retro Eclectus shirt everywhere. In fact, I have a few now because I wear it so often and I get lots of comments and questions about it.
Tiki definitely bring a lot of fun and enjoyment to the family and we can't wait to see how his personality grows as he gets older.
What about you? Do you have an Eclectus? Let us know in the comments.