Eclectus Subspecies – E. roratus

There are ten named subspecies of eclectus parrots. To my knowledge, there are only nine living subspecies. The Westermani subspecies is known only from aviary specimens, not from wild caught specimens. Each subspecies has different physical characteristics, different color patterns in the feathers, different eye colors and vary in size from the small solomonensis to the large macgillivaryi. Due to two factors, there are many cross bred birds in the US. First, many were imported from South Africa and the Phillipines already crossed. Second, many who purchased these birds in the US did not accurately identify males and females according to their subspecies.

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Commonly available in the U.S.:

Vosmaeri (E. r. vosmaeri)
Red-sided (E. r. polycholoros)
Solomon Island (E. r. solomonensis)

Not commonly available in the U.S.:

Aruensis (E. r. aruensis)
Biaki (E. r. biaki) (rare in the U.S.)

Grand Eclectus (E. r. roratus)

Not available in the U.S.:

Macgillivray (E. r. macgillivrayi)
Cornelia (E. r. cornelia)
Riedeli (E. r. riedeli)

Not a live subspecies:

Note: I have studied the westermani at the New York Museum of Natural History. The females were not identical in their feather color patterns. The birds were smallish in size, smaller than polycholorus. Some specimens had wings and or tails clipped. These birds appeared to be aviary specimens and likely cross bred eclectus subspecies.



“Parrots of the World” by John Forshaw
“Parrots: Their Care and Breeding” by Rosemary Low
“A Guide to Eclectus Parrots” by Australian Birdkeeper
“The Eclectus – A Complete Guide” by Roger Sweeney
“A Complete Guide to Eclectus Parrots” by K.Wayne Arthur, Fred Bauer, and Laurella Desborough
“Parrots and Related Birds” by Bates and Busenbach
WatchBird Magazine article by George Cave approximates the weight of the MacGillivray’s Eclectus at 587g, male, and 577g, female.

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