1) Grand Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus roratus (P.L.S. Muller 1776)

Length: 35 cm (13.5 inches)

Weight: 380 – 475 gm

Other Names: Ceram Eclectus Parrot

Distribution: Originates from the Southern Moluccas which includes the islands of Buru and Ceram, Indonesia. Now extinct on Ambon (Amboina), Saparua and Haruku. (Introduced to the Gorong Islands.)

The Grand Eclectus was the first Eclectus to be discovered and thus was used as the nominate subspecies or race. This does not mean that this race is the most beautiful of the group, only that the first observers of the Eclectus thought that this bird was indeed grand in its appearance. The Grand Eclectus originates from the central and southern Moluccas, which are directly west of the large island of New Guinea. The Eclectus from the central Moluccan group of islands, mainly Ceram have more color variations tending toward the Vosmaeri subspecies, which originate from the northern Moluccas.

The Grand Eclectus is slightly smaller in total length than the Vosmaeri Eclectus, which is closely related in coloration. Even though the Grand is smaller in length, most members of this race are more stocky is body shape than the Vosmaeri or even the Red-sided Eclectus.


The Grand Eclectus male has a duller, but darker green body plumage compared to the Vosmaeri male, which is a bright grass green. The color of its upper mandible ranges in color from the bright candy-corn color to a slightly paler version. It normally does not have a pale orange upper mandible, which is normally a sign of immaturity or inadequate nutrition in its diet. The Grand male has a faint tip of dull yellow coloration (sometimes appearing as a yellowish-white edging) that can be observed at the end of its tail. This faint yellow tip coloration is much more visual from below (vent side) than it is from the topside. The yellow tip of the tail on the Grand is much fainter than is observed on the Vosmaeri male subspecies. The upper mandible of the Grand male is more slender than it is on any other subspecies.

The outer wing-web primaries are dark blue with a narrow green edging. The center tail feathers are green while the outer tail feathers are blackish green blending to dark blue towards the tip. The underside of the tail is blackish in color. His iris is a straw yellow.


The Grand Eclectus female is one of the most difficult to identify of any of the female Eclectus subspecies. As stated before some of the color traits found in the Vosmaeri race are found in the Grand race. These individual birds originate from Ceram from the central Moluccas, which borders the islands where the Vosmaeri race originates.

The chest and breast feather coloration of the Grand female is a dull purplish coloration. It is not the bright lavender coloration of the Vosmaeri race. The biggest variation found in Grand females is the placement of the dividing line between the red head and the dull purple chest feathers. Individual variations show the purple chest feathers blending into the red head feathers at the chin line. This is the least frequently observed. Other Grand females have an inch and one half diffusion of purple feathers blending into the red feathers at the chest. Another group of Grand females have a defined separation between the red feathers and the purple breast feathers.

The tail of the Grand female is shorter in total length than is found in the Vosmaeri female. The tail of the Grand female appears as an orangeish coloration often tending to an orangish-yellow tinge. This orange-yellow coloration is brighter on the top or rump side. The central ‘ ;V’ area of the vent is usually a darkish red coloration. Her iris is yellowish to a whitish yellow in color.

There are several defined areas to observer in comparing a Grand female and a hybrid (Grand or Vosmaeri X Red-sided) Eclectus. A hybrid between these two groups (the lavender group and the cobalt blue group) is one that it will almost always have a blue eye-wing, which is absent in the Grand female. The second area to observe is the coloration of the tail feathers. The hybrid usually shows a tail that is reddish in coloration while the Grand female will show an orange to yellow-orange coloration. The next significant difference is that the hybrid will show a cobalt-purple chest while the Grand female retains the purple coloration. The last and possibly most significant is that the bib on the hybrid is not visually observed flowing on the body going over the wing bend. It retains the flat bib line across the chest as is observed in any of the red-sided group. Any purple or lavender Eclectus female (which includes both the Grand and the Vosmaeri races) will always have a broad line of purple or lavender observed flowing on the body up and over the wing bend.


1) Grand Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus roratus (P.L.S. Muller 1776)

2) Vosmaeri Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. vosmaeri (Rothchild 1922)
3) Cornelia Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. cornelia Bonaparte 1850

4) Riedel's Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. riedeli A.B. Meyer 1882

5) Red-sided Eclectus Eclectus r. polychlorus (Scopoli 1786)

6) Biaki Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. biaki (Hartert 1932)
7) Aru Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. aruensis G.R. Gray 1858

8) Macgillivray's Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. macgillivrayi Mathews 1913
9) Solomon Island Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. solomonensis Rothchild and Hartert 1901


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Possible Route of Eclectus Subspecies Migration Map 1

Map 2

Photography by Susie Christian© 2000
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