||Seven years old|
||Solomon Island Eclectus|
||Florida, USA |
This is my male Solomon Island Eclectus, his name is Matisse. Ekkies like Matisse are classified as frugivores. They eat a lot of soft foods, combined with the length of their beaks, which appear to be built more for piercing and dipping into fruits to extract juices, than the nut-eating parrots' beaks. I call this picture (see the whole picture below) "The Drainer of Food Budgets," as he stands over some of what will become his meals.
Matisse is so funny about bananas. He will not, absolutely will not eat bananas as part of his daily diet and his dish. He will only eat banana, from the whole banana. And he loves banana. If he sees me eating a banana he immediately crawls down his cage and runs over.
He will only eat apple and guava in a separate dish placed on his play stand. And only in the afternoon. And only if he sees me physically place it in the container, all the sudden it's something he wants to eat. It is the container that I used to place little treats, and people food once in a while. So I guess it kind of tricks him into thinking it's something different than what he gets in his normal food dishes.
I sometimes make him smoothies, because he does not like to eat many vegetables raw, so I can sneak in things like sprouts and bell pepper into a green/fruit smoothie. Sometimes I'll sprinkle some whole flax or Chia seeds over his food. He goes after anything that looks like a seed, and sometimes when he starts eating that he starts eating the other food as well.
He loves melon/melon seeds of any kind. I preferred to feed him winter melon slices, with the seed still attached, which you can get from Asian grocery stores. They have very little sugar in them. In fact, I like trying lots of new produce from my local Asian grocery store. They have a lot of things there that it seems Eclectus' would have in their natural diet, being that they are from Asiatic Pacific Islands.
He is a very jealous and clingy companion. When I give Lucy, my cockatiel attention, he immediately assumes the begging position, or stares with hateful jealousy the entire time. I tried to do everything right. I researched the social structure of different parrots before deciding on a male Eclectus. I wanted a parrot that was less likely to form a strong bond with just one person, and okay with playing on their own a few hours per day, and be able to be in the same room without having to constantly be all.over.me.
Needless to say, Matisse has broken the mold. He came to me as a mama's boy and only bird in his previous household, and I am sure I added to that. Lucy was here before him, so he grudgingly accepts her, and I don't think he sees her as a threat.
As much as I love my Matisse, he can be a bit much at times. He is just very demanding of my, specifically MY time. He will play by himself happily enough, but I can sense an immediate shift in his mood if I go just one or two days not giving him the one-on-one attention he's accustomed to.
I work from home. I had to eventually close the kitchen/dining room door because Matisse would climb down the cage, waddle through the front room, down the hallway, hook a left, knew exactly which door to go to, and would proceed to bang on the door until I opened it.
I've always wanted to try Matisse on a harness, but I live in Florida and the area I live in we have a lot of hawks. I don't think I would ever fly Matisse because he's a lazy chunk who prefers to climb and walk, and be carried. However we "fly" indoors. I put him on my finger and run back-and-forth through the house and he flap his wings and pretends he's flying. He gets a kick out of it, plus it is a decent work out for us both.
Matisse is a lot of work, but he is worth it. I love my boy, quirks and all.
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