Eckie News

Eclectus Parrots – The experience behind the author

As an Eclectus specialist, I spend a great deal of time working with my many Eclectus parrots. From researching dietary changes, developmental phases, bonding, molting, illness, incubation and hand rearing, reproduction and incubation to working closely with my many clients. It is a constant learning curve and one I happily continue from day to day.

Over the years I have received emails from people who read incorrect information and followed this advice believing the person or website/forum or blog they learned from was written by an avian expert. They believed they were reading material written by someone with many years experience working with and researching Eclectus parrots based on their own experience with multiple parrots of this species.

Eclectus ParrotsI know for a fact there are many knowledgable pet owners in our avian community, those who research other peoples work or from their own experience as a parrot slave and like to share this with the online community. I have very close friends who have helped countless people from around the world with their many Eckie related issues however they are the first to say that they are not an expert. The knowledge they have acquired is based from their experience with their own few pet Eclectus and the countless hours of research of others work that they have undertaken both in books and online. Unfortunately not all information is interpreted correctly and when someone is writing based on another persons hard earned research, things can be mis-interpreted and this can lead to incorrect information being perpetuated. On the other side there are many websites on the net written by passionate avian lovers who share good quality information and that is fantastic as without them I would have been lost in my early days.

So how do we know when someone is undertaking extensive research based on their own findings or simply sharing what they have learned from others? As I say to any Eckie enthusiast when asked the validity of information, you need to question the experience behind the author. If you have doubts or wonder how they came to learn this, just ask.


Prior to writing my book I took time to reflect on my own avian experience and asked myself the most important question. Why should people listen to my advice? At the time of writing I had 13 years experience under my belt, not just researching the internet but working with my then 26 Eclectus parrots and the many babies I hand raised. I worried that people may see me as just another Eckie lover with a few gorgeous kids wanting to share what I had read. However when I looked back on my experience and the years I spent working closely with my many feathered kids and their offspring, I knew I had a firm grasp on this species and was confident in my findings. Self doubt can be destructive but can also give you the reality check you need to pursue your dreams.

I reassured myself that I had spent over a decade observing my Eclectus and documenting my findings, taking notes on their dietary changes, reproductive patterns, incubation techniques, hand raising process, molting, well the list goes on but in short my work was extensive. I learned that despite a common trend between my parrots, every single Eclectus was different. Each had different dietary needs during varying times of the year. Our Eclectus required different stimulus for mating, had their own cravings during incubation and then while raising their chicks. The males even tended to the hens differently. Some doted upon their girls, others were a little less chivalrous and would only do the bare minimum, yes Cletus, I am talking about you. Our Eckies personalties differed greatly, so too did the personality of the babies they produced. Their offspring had their own distinct likes and dislikes and when helping a client settle their new baby into their home, I could draw from my years of experience not only with bonding in general but also based on what worked in the past for this specific pairs baby.

Understanding that what works for one Eckie may not work for another intrigued me and made me reflect on the research I had undertaken in my very early years of aviculture when I relied on text books and the internet for help. I didn’t want to regurgitate other persons findings understanding that there is only so much you can learn in this manner. I felt that if I were to write a book and claim this research as my own then it must be done by observing, documenting and learning from multiple members of the same species over a span of many years.

I first began researching Eclectus parrots at the age of 23, by 24 I was a slave to ten Eckies, my life had changed forever. It wasn’t long before I realized the information I had learned in books and on the internet only scraped the surface of what I believed I knew. My parrots had so much to teach me and I was a willing student.

I began sharing my information slowly, waiting until I felt I had enough hands on experience with my then 25 Eclectus to share my findings and observations. I became close friends with a few highly experienced Aviculturists and we would chat for hours, talking about our findings and challenging each other with our different views and opinions. Back then I was still very new to aviculture, only 7 years into my avian career so I was like a sponge, absorbing any information I could from those who had based their life around our feathered friends. From there I chose to develop a website where I melded my two passions, aviculture and writing. I continued to research, observe my own Eclectus and learn from the best.

_MG_9883My website was met with people thirsting for avian knowledge, information they sought but were unable to find. The very first email I received from my website was from California where I met the man I was eventually to marry. Together we were able to determine his Eckie hen, Phoenix’s car phobia and eventually cure her of this fear. We began working together closely and as a graphic designer, Jason overhauled my first, very basic site and this developed into a blog and eventually a successful forum.

As 2013 rolled around and I felt I had acquired enough knowledge and experience to write my own book. Despite my hesitation, self doubt and obsessing over every shred of information we finally published our findings and our book has been met with great success. I feel confident in knowing that the information contained in this book and in the articles I write for avian magazines are gleaned from my own extensive experience, both with my own Eclectus and the help that I have given to countless people around the world including their feedback. I even receive emails from a man in Iceland! Who knew they had Eckies in such an inhospitable environment!

_MG_5305I believe it pays to ask an important question before you take someones work or website to heart, including my own. Ask, ‘what is your experience with Eclectus? How extensively have you worked with them and what hands on research have you undertaken?’ The last thing we want is for people to receive incorrect information and for our feathered friends to suffer because in the long run, it is all about our Eckies well being. They are our main focus, everything we do, all the years of time and research I have undertaken has been for one sole purpose. To better the lives of our Eclectus and to help others care for their precious kids.

Eclectus Parrots – The importance of a winter diet

Looking outside this morning I was struck by the beauty of the season change as it seemed only yesterday we were celebrating our warm Aussie Christmas. In the southern areas of Australia, Autumn is in full swing. The leaves blanket the ground in a sea of red, gold and yellow and the garden is a vast array of color. Our trees signal a time for change not only in weather but also in our parrots diet as we ready them for the cold months ahead.

Australia’s climate is varying and in the northern states winter comes and goes relatively un-noticed. My Eclectus parrots and I lived in the tropics for many years before re-locating to a much colder climate. I watched year after year as our Eckies appetite remained relatively stable with the constant year round heat. They had no need to bulk up for the upcoming winter as in Far North Queensland winter is a long forgotten season. Summers are swelteringly hot and you feel like you are living in a perpetual sauna, the ‘winter’ months are less humid however daily attire remains the same, shirts, shorts and always a good amount of sunscreen.

_MG_5902My husband, Eckies and I now enjoy a winter where night time temperatures can reach zero degrees celsius for weeks on end and this could take its toll on our parrots. On cold nights we bring our feathered kids inside where they enjoy the radiating heat from our fireplace. The Eckies love this routine and watch eagerly each night as we bring out their winter night time cages and ferry each Eckie inside one by one where they snuggle up next to their mate while watching a movie before bed. However in the morning they are keen to go outside to their aviary where they greet the morning, enjoy a fly and for one crazy boy, Cletus, revel in an ice cold dip in the water bowl. It is hysterical to watch him splash around, water fly’s everywhere as he exhales little puffs of smoke from his nostrils. The grass sparkles with frost, wind blows off the snow but this little man is un-perterbed. Cletus is a lifelong member of the Polar Bear club and revels in his morning ritual.

As good parrot slaves we must begin changing our Eckies diet in the Autumn months to be sure our kids are in peak condition. Parrot owners often notice their kids appetite changing as the weather starts to cool. Our own Eckies turn into ravenous eating machines and we find ourselves filling and re-filling their food bowls up to three to four times a day. I have spent many years living in a cold climate and watched as our Eckies food preferences altered dramatically in direct correlation to the season change. They seek out high energy foods and I modify their diet in accordance to this.

Parrots need a fat reserve to help them maintain their body temperature as when our kids get cold they expend a great deal of energy trying to warm up. If a parrot is underweight then they are not going to be able to remain warm and this makes them susceptible to illness and further weight loss. It is natural for our kids to want to put on a little extra padding during this time and as good parrot owners we must let our Eckies appetite guide us.

IMG_6951Parrot Haven kids love a warm winter meal and they like to let be a part of their daily cook up. Blue, Cletus and many of our other Eckies fly to the kitchen window and tap on the glass as I bring out the pots and pans. They scrutinize every move I make as to ensure I am making the food to their liking. I like to cook a fresh meal for our kids each day if possible especially during the middle of winter.

The advice in this article is based on our current location and may differ from my old routine which is outlined in our book. In early Autumn I cook a warm meal every third day and then as the weather cools further I increase this to every second day. I watch closely and take note of how much of the meal is eaten and if there are particular foods that are favored over others. I feed the kids their cooked meal both morning and night on these days, serving it in a separate bowl so not to mix it with their day time fruit/veg and sprouted seed.

In the depths of winter I feed a hot meal every day both morning and night. They also receive a mix of warm egg and biscuit just before sundown. The kids love their egg and biscuit and jostle for the best feeding position. Being the spoilt kids they are they prefer to be spoon fed and when you have over 25 parrots, this becomes quite chaotic. However everyone always gets their fill and it is comforting to know they are going to bed with a crop full of hot, nutritious food.



We have many recipes available in our book, The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots. These will give you some great ideas for winter meals for your kids. We feed our own kids many of the foods from the following list and have a great time creating new and exciting recipes for our feathered family.

The following foods are high in protein

  • Cooked meat and chicken
  • Boiled eggs (cooked right the way through)
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
  • Lentils and pulses
  • Chia
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet corn

Foods such as:

  • Brown rice
  • Brown pasta
  • Lentils/legumes (cooked only)
  • Cous cous
  • Quinoa

These make a great base for your winter recipes or a quick and easy warm meal if you are running short on time. Each day I serve a small portion (1/3 of a cup approx. per bird) of nice warm food. Be sure to monitor your parrots weight by keeping a weight chart. Weigh your parrot twice a week preferably before their morning meal. This way you can track any changes and ensure they remain a healthy weight during winter. Eckies are very adept at regulating their food intake and this helps to guide us so we can better understand their dietary requirements and the portion we should feed.

Eclectus careEven if your Eckie lives in the house with you, they will still enjoy a lovely warm meal in winter. So, bust out the pots, pans and start experimenting with some winter avian treats. It’s a rewarding feelings to watch your feathered kid devour a meal you have prepared or see their little eyes light up as you bring them something new and exciting. So have some fun with it. Get creative and share your wonderful recipes with other parrot lovers.

Eckie slaves can also download our book, The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots. Our book has received many wonderful reviews, has a five star rating in the iBook store and is on the best sellers list.

Eclectus Molt

Well it is that time of year again, the summer sun is blazing, families are enjoying the last of their holidays and our parrots are busy molting their feathers like never before. The last few months have been rather prickly for our feathered friends as it seems that Eckies everywhere marked their calendar and decided that this was to be the molt of all molts.

Parrot Haven kids have been dropping feathers like no-bodies business and we can’t keep up with the epic amounts of snowy feather dust that floats merrily around the house. For the more experienced Eckie owner, molts such as these are nothing to worry about. But for new parrot slaves, seeing your parrot slowly turning into a porcupine can be incredibly stressful. I have received a great many emails from owners who are all worried about the same thing: their Eckie’s are molting very heavily, some displaying large bald patches on their heads, primaries are being shed rapidly and their parrots mood has changed from being happy-go-lucky to that of a cranky bear coming out of hibernation. They are concerned that this is abnormal, that something may be wrong and ask whether they need to seek advice from an avian vet. I applaud the many contentious owners who are pro-active regarding their parrots health and don’t wait to ‘see how things go’ before reaching out for help. It’s wonderful to help and reassure them that what they are experiencing is perfectly normal and there are many things they can do to help ease their kids through their molt.

Molting is irritating for our parrots at the best of times but when they undergo a massive molt, it can take it’s toll both physically and emotionally. As the months wear on, owners start to wonder if their parrot will ever feather out normally again and our Eckies appear tired of the whole process. It is important that we adjust our parrots diet to help ease them through this time so their bodies are not depleted of essential vitamins and nutrients.

Feathers are made from a protein called keratin, this protein is taken directly from the Eckies body and if a parrot is not provided with protein rich food then their bodies will become depleted. Foods such as boiled eggs, almonds, pepitas, chia seeds, lentils and sweet corn are just a few foods that are rich in protein and are a must for any molting parrot.

Shower fun is also another way to help ease your Eckies itchy skin. Our Eckies shower with us almost daily when molting, with many asking to ‘come in for a shower’ when they hear the faucet turn on. The warm water and steam helps soften the skin keeping it subtle and preventing it from becoming dry and flakey. Aloe spritzes are another way to assist your Eckie, the aloe helps to moisturize their skin and it’s great for feather sheen and lustre.

For extensive information on the Eckie molt, dietary requirements, how to cope with mood and appetite changes please visit our website and follow the link to our book ‘The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots’. This chapter has helped many Eckie owners through their parrots molts and helps them understand molting through the eyes of their parrot.

So if your Eckie is a current member of the ‘porcupine’ club then feel reassured that you are not alone. We can all sympathize with any anxiety you may feel, we have all been there at one time or another. Just give your kid an extra hug and know that they will come out the other side looking more spectacular than ever.



Parrot Society of Australia – Colony breeding Eclectus Parrots

We are very excited about the release of our article in the current edition of the Parrot Society of Australia. However, we must make an important retraction as a mistake was made during printing.

In the magazine it states that ‘we purchased 3 pair of one month old Eclectus parrots’. I would like to assure our readers that this was never the case. All of my Eclectus parrots were purchased as fully weaned 3 month old fledgelings.

We in no way promote the buying and selling of unweaned parrots and we readily promote the buying of fully weaned parrots. For more information on this topic, please view the articles on our website and blog.

Thank you and I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

Kirsten Badham

Help and advice about Eclectus Parrots

Eclectus Parrot

Avian Movie Critics

Parrot Haven is home to 26 spoilt Eclectus parrots, one Green Cheeked Conure and a very self opinionated African Grey. All have their very specific likes and dislikes but none more so than our matriarch Eclectus parrot, Red.

Red began life as a precocious baby and grew into an even more precocious mature hen. She is very set in her ways and isn’t afraid to voice her opinion. From favorite foods, preferred perching locations even to certain rock bands, Red knows what she likes. Red often likes to join us at night while watching a movie. It’s a routine she knows well, she perches on my chest, pulls one little foot up against her body and settles in for the nights entertainment. Movie night with Red is always fun but we must choose the movie carefully, if its not to Red’s liking we are severely reprimanded.

Action movies are amongst her favorite, and car chases excite her like nothing else. Her little eyes light up as she watches the vehicles tear down the road at breakneck speed and she squeals with joy when they crash in a fiery wreck. However car chases are often accompanied by gun fire and this does not sit well with our Red. She yells ‘naughty’, ‘no’ and ‘stop it’ as the bullets fly. According to Red, the actors are doing something wrong and she must give them a piece of her mind. As with any good action movie, someone is inevitably shot and Red will often pipe up and ask ‘you all right?’, just to make sure the person writhing in pain understands her concern. We tell her ‘yes Red, they are fine’ and she happily snuggles back down to enjoy the rest of the movie.

I sometimes wonder whether our parrots believe the television is a window into another  world. They watch avidly, reacting to specific scenes as if they were watching reality play out.  I remember watching a scary movie many years ago when Red decided to join us. She perched in her usual position however it wasn’t long before she grew agitated. The images on screen were clearly upsetting her and she moved closer to me seeking reassurance. I turned the movie off immediately and switched to a comedy and she visibly relaxed and returned to her normal self. We now save horror movies for day’s when Red is playing with her boyfriend in the aviary. I would hate to scare our gorgeous girl.

So next time you are watching T.V with your parrot, take note of their response. Some parrots simply zone out and pay little to no attention to the screen, others watch intently, loosing themselves in the world of make believe. If your Eckie is like our Red, then it won’t be long before you are choosing movies based on your parrots specific preferences. You certainly know you are an Eckie slave when your feathered friend dictates the movies you watch.

Sourcing reliable Eclectus Parrot information

Sourcing reliable avian information can be a hit and miss affair because many websites provide inaccurate and misleading information.

As an aviculturist and avid avian researcher I have read countless parrot related websites. Some sites are wonderful and it is evident the person writing the information has had many years of hands on experience. However, not all sites offer accurate information and before following any advice, it pay’s to take the time to learn about the author and their level of expertise.

The internet offers a plethora of avian knowledge, passed on from people from all levels of experience. There are sites written by avian experts and aviculturists keen to share their wealth of knowledge. Some are written by pet owners who own a few of their chosen species, are passionate about their pets and enjoy sharing knowledge they have. Other authors are simply regurgitating the information they have read on other sites or books and sometimes this can lead to the spread of mis-information.

Beautiful Mia I have seen my own work on other avian websites over the years, written word for word. On one such occasion I contacted the person and requested they remove the plagiarized content. I checked back later only to find my work re-worded however the author had made so many errors while changing my copy that the advice they were giving was harmful and potentially deadly. It made me shudder to think of people following such advice, especially at the detriment to their parrot.

Before following the advice of the author, be sure the content is true and correct, especially when reading advice pertaining to avian health. The best people to source knowledge from are those who specialize in your chosen parrot and have had many years keeping, breeding, hand raising and working with companion parrots.

Reading books, keeping a few pets and regurgitating information is all well and good but when it comes right down to it, nothing beats hands on experience. Professional aviculturists work day in day out with their parrots, they are immersed in everything avian and the information they share is invaluable. Two of my favorite avian writers are both professional aviculturists. Rosemary Low who worked for Loro Parque for many years and Eb Cravens who runs his parrot business in Hawaii. Both share a wealth of knowledge that was learnt from working directly with parrots from neonates to mature birds. The information they provide was gleaned from years of research, understanding every aspect of each parrots unique needs, comparing these needs with others of the species and of course lot’s of trial and error.

I have worked extensively with Eclectus parrots for over a decade now and have learned more than I could ever have imagined. I have enjoyed the best of both worlds. I kept Eckies as companion parrots, learning the in’s and out’s of pet ownership while helping other Eckie owners from around the world. I also spent many years breeding Eckies, this opened my eyes to an entirely different aspect of this magnificent species. Taking a parrot through their many varying growth stages to become a well adjusted, fully fledged companion bird is an amazing experience; one I had time and time again.

So next time you’re surfing the internet, be sure to check the sites ‘about us’ page. You will soon learn whether you are reading information written by a professional, a hobbyist or a pet owner. When it comes to the health and wellbeing of your parrot, experience is everything and you want to be sure the person giving the advice is qualified to do so. If you are researching information for medical issues, always seek the advice of your avian vet.

Happy researching!

Eclectus careEclectus Care


Parrots Magazine

Our article : The Eclectus Parrot, understanding behavioral traits and temperament, is available for purchase from Parrots Magazine.

Our beautiful girl Tessa, graces the front cover and the photos in the article are nothing short of stunning. I have been asked to write for Parrots Magazine on a regular and look forward to seeing my next article in this beautiful publication.

Eclectus Parrots

The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots Book

The New Year is finally upon us and what better way to celebrate than launching our book on a new platform. The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots is now available for purchase in, available for Android, Windows, Sony and Amazon devices as well as in the iTunes store.

Visit our website or click on the links below to purchase our book.

Eclectus parrot bookWeb Eclectus book

Eclectus care

Eclectus parrot book

Our book, The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots, was featured under the following sections in the iBook store:

AU: Non fiction lifestyle All-time bestseller

AU: Non fiction lifestyle bestseller

AU: Non fiction top rated title lifestyle/hobbies

AU: Featured in made for iBook

AU: Lifestyle/hobbies recent bestseller

US : Featured in ‘whats hot’ pet section

US : Featured in ‘whats hot’ section lifestyle and hobbies

We are very proud of our accomplishment and hope that our book helps owners for years to come.

Eclectus Book








Eclectus book Eclectus book








Our book is available as both an iBook and ePub.

If you would like to purchase our book, click on the links or visit our website:

Eclectus parrot bookEclectus book Web

Parrot emergency care

Medical emergencies are incredibly stressful; especially when they involve those we love. We never want to think of our Eckie being sick, in pain or injured. Unfortunately this can happen and we need to prepare ourselves and know what steps to take if an emergency situation arises.

Basic Emergency Care Overview

  • Keep calm and reassure your Eckie. Talk to them in a soft, calm voice. Always say their name. This will help keep them alert and focused on your voice
  • Assess your parrot and their surroundings to determine what may have caused the injury
  • Pick your Eckie up gently. If required, support their head and neck
  • Do not lay your Eckie on their back
  • Remove anything that may be obstructing their airways. Pry open their beak and remove the foreign object. You may need to use a Q-tip if the object is covered in saliva. This will help give you a little more control when removing the object
  • Stop any bleeding
  • Remove any objects they may be tangled or caught in
  • Keep your Eckie warm by gently wrapping them in a warm towel. They will need to maintain their body temperature to keep them stabilised
  • Take them to a quiet room to examine them. Some wounds may be obvious while others may take some time to discover
  • Keep your parrot in a horizontal position and examine them carefully. Start with their head and work your way down their body. Try to be as gentle as possible. This is a visual examination to determine the extent of the injury
  • Call your avian vet if required and provide them with a detailed description of the situation
  • If your parrot has suffered a fracture, gently support the wound. If a bone is protruding, cover it with sterilised gauze. If the wound is bleeding, gently apply pressure. Ensure the injured limb is kept immobile, especially during transportation to the vet
  • Take all necessary items with you to the vet, e.g. faeces sample or any objects that may have been swallowed or poisoned your parrot
  • Do not feed the parrot any food or water until a vet has examined them
  • Place your Eckie in your emergency carrier for the drive to the vet. Line this carrier with soft warm towel to prevent them from being jostled during the drive
  • Alternatively, hold your Eckie gently while another person drives
  • Drive as carefully as possible. The last thing you want to do is speed and have an accident
  • Reassure your Eckie on the drive to the vets and ensure you stay as calm as possible

Note: If your Eckie suffers illness or injury, seek the advice of your avian vet immediately.