Unusually for parrots, the male and female Eclectus look totally different, so much so that people used to think (and some still do) that they are different species. Moreover, unusually for birds, the female is more colourful than the male, in her intense red and purple plumage with orange tail compared to his equally intense green (with red and blue under-wing patches).
To untangle details of the different
subspecies of Eclectus Parrot, click icon
Male Eclectus in flight
Adult male Eclectus -- Red-sided subspecies
Female Eclectus with her intense red, blue and purple plumage . . .
. . . her violet blue eye shadow (on this subspecies - the Red-sided)
. . . and her orange and yellow tail (depends on subspecies, see below)
Young male Eclectus
Eclectus parrots come from various Pacific islands around New Guinea and Indonesia and from northeast Australia. Above is the Tanimbar Island or Riedel's subspecies of Eclectus. The male has no red sides and a yellow tip to his tail. Other subspecies include the Grand, nominate
(roratus), Vosmaeri, Cornelia (Sumba Is.), New Guinea Red-sided, Aru Is. Red-sided, Baik Is. Red-sided, Solomon Is. and, from the Australian mainland, Macgillivray.
The female Tanimbar/Riedel's Eclectus also has a yellow tail tip, has dark blue wingtips and a wholly red body without the purple pinafore (nape and front) seen on the nominal Roratus (which has a light red tail tip), the Red-sided and the Vosmaeri subspecies females above. She has a red vent, whereas the other yellow-tipped - Vosmaeri
- has a yellow vent). Other subspecies vary in area and plumage (mainly tail tip, vent, wingtip and body colouring).