Friday, August 10, 2012

Eclectus Arcania - Bird Is The Word

Today I worked for my buddy Susie Christian, a notable local photographer and bird author, in Morro Bay, CA, for the second time in three days. I did so at this particular time not coincidentally in regards to the ongoing heat wave that has seen Paso Robles (where I reside) hit triple digit temperatures for a week not to mention most of the rest of California.

Susie breeds a type of parrot I have never noticed before and knew nothing about until this week. This form of parrot is called an Eclectus and lives in various location scattered across the Western Pacific Ocean including northeastern Australia, New Guinea, the Moluccas Islands, the Soloman Islands, and Sumba Island in Indonesia. Susie owns more than one sub-species of this beautiful type of tropical bird as evidenced in the images below which show two different female types.

Five arcane eclectus facts:

  1. Eclectus are sexually dimorphic which is not a perversion but merely means that the male and female look quite a bit different from one another. Males are green with yellow beaks and the females are red and blue/purple with sometimes some yellow/orange on their tails but always have black beaks.
  2. Eclectus are considered a pest in some regions as they have a tendency to eat folk's fruit off their trees, particularly papaya and pomegranate.
  3. The average lifespan of the Eclectus is not currently known with any certainty given how recently they became actively held captive and bred in captivity; 30-ish seems like the best guess as this point.
  4. Eclectus are polygynandrous which is to say they are dirty birds; both males and females can have multiple partners (please pardon the anthropomorphism there). 
  5. Prehistoric Pacific Islanders hunted one now-extinct sub-species of this parrot called the Oceanic Eclectus. It seems to have gone extinct about 3,000 years ago around the time the Tongans settled what would become Tonga.
After spending the better part of two days with the Eclectus I'm beginning to really fall in love with them. Aside from being beautiful they are quite personable and are gifted with oodles of personality. I now officially desire to have one someday and given the name of this bird (and this blog) it seems apropos that this bird become the official mascot here.

This female eclectus, the second one I encountered in the enclosure, was the most spectacular-looking of the three females.
The lone male eclectus was very upset by my presence and needed calming by Susie.
This was the first female I encountered; she seemed to really take to me and wanted to be in close to my face.
My friend Susie trying to calm the male eclectus - to no avail pretty much.
This was the third female I encountered.
Two of the three females in the enclosure (#2 and #3 respectively). This duo is of differing sub-species.
The male was trying to warn his bitches about me, all of whom pretty much ignored him although at the end #2 seemed to respond to him and when over to him.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).


  1. I would not be calling any eclectus parrot a bitch. They are birds, not dogs. If you are going to be accurate about birds, PLEASE use the right words to describe them! Otherwise, it is offensive to all of us who care about them!

  2. Dear Chickenshit who won't leave their name.... get a sense of humor. Heard they're on sale at Wal-mart today. Make it a point.