2) Vosmaeri Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus r. vosmaeri (Rothchild 1922)

Length: 38 cm (15 inches)

Weight: 430 – 540 gm

Other Names: Halmahera Eclectus Parrot

Distribution: Originates from the larger islands of northern and central Moluccas, Indonesia, which includes the islands of Halmahera, Obi, Damar, Batjan, Mare, Morotai and Kayao. Possibly extinct on Ternate and Tidore.

The Vosmaeri Eclectus was first described in literature by Rothschild in 1922 and is the second largest subspecies of any of the Eclectus. The female is very distinctive and easily identified. With some education this is also can be said of the male. Both sexes are indeed beautiful, as they are very brightly colored and elegant in their stature. They have a very balanced look to them with their elongated bodies. This subspecies originates from the northern Moluccas, which is northwest of the large island of New Guinea.


This large Eclectus has a bright green body plumage that is more intense than it is in the Grand male. It appears to have a fluorescent intensity to its green coloration, which may come from a yellowish overlay. It certainly has a bright grass green coloration.

There is an oval patch of bright red feathers that is found on the upper thigh of the Vosmaeri male that can easily be observed when its wings are folded. When the male opens his wings in preparation of courtship or in a defensive posture, this bright red patch widens across the body, beneath the wings and continues through to the under-wing coverts. This creates an incredible display of color during these times. Even when opening its wings to fly, this flashy display is set off by the brilliant iridescent turquoise-blue coloration at the bend in the wings.

The Vosmaeri male has a tail that is strongly suffused with blue and is tipped with a pale yellow coloration. This pale yellow tip varies in width but is usually very visual (1/4 to 3/8 inch). It is wider and brighter than any of the Eclectus male subspecies commonly found in captivity. The only other Eclectus subspecies with a wider yellow-tipped tail is the Riedeli’s Eclectus. This subspecies is almost unheard of in captivity. The tail of the Vosmaeri male has a blackish overtone and clearly does not have the brilliant cadmium-yellow of the Vosmaeri female. The Vosmaeri male also has one of the longest tails of any of the Eclectus subspecies. Its length is comparative to the Aruensis Eclectus male.

The upper mandible of the Vosmaeri male is bright reddish-orange often referred to as looking like a piece of candy corn. It is brilliantly red at the base ending with yellowish-orange at the tip. It has the brightest upper mandible of any of the Eclectus subspecies. Its lower beak is black in coloration. The iris of an adult Eclectus male is orangish-amber in color.


The female Vosmaeri Eclectus is one of the most striking of all the Eclectus female subspecies. The top back of their head is slightly flattened and they have the appearance of having a very long neck when comparing them to other Eclectus subspecies. They have a bright lavender breast coloration. To the common eye these breast feathers appear to have a hair-like quality. In actuality these feathers are composed of barbs that have a thin line of iridescent blue, and red barbules edged with gray. The effect appears as bright lavender color. The outer edges of the barbs have short barbules and no barbules on the tips. This gives them the hair-like quality. The red body feathers have bright red barbs and lighter red barbules. This also gives the red head coloration of the Vosmaeri female a brilliant shade. Their head coloration is brighter in the Vosmaeri (where the barbules are red) than those of the Red-sided Eclectus (where the barbules are grayish-black). The red barbs are the same in both subspecies but the grayish-black barbules in the Red-sided cause the overall effect to be a duller red on the latter subspecies.

The lavender breast feather coloration of the Vosmaeri female is gradually blended into the red coloration of the head (1 to 1 ½ inches) in a broad area ending near the neck of the bird. There is no clear dividing line or bib line that is so evident in the Red-sided subspecies. Some individual birds within the Vosmaeri subspecies show a lighter lavender color that the majority of the birds. The nape of the neck and the upper mantle shows a rich band of deep lavender color. There is a broad band of lavender on the body that flows over the wing bend when the bird’s wings are closed. The back and upper wing coverts are a deep red coloration that is brighter than those of any other Eclectus subspecies.

The under tail coverts and vent feathers of the Vosmaeri female are cadmium-yellow in coloration. The upper side of the tail is dark red with a distinct band of cadmium yellow that can be from 1 to 1-1/2 inches in width. Usually the width of this band of yellow corresponds with the lavender breast coloration. The wider the yellow tail-band the lighter the color of the lavender becomes. The narrower yellow band correlates to a darker lavender breast coloration often tending to the breast coloration of the Grand female.

The cadmium-yellow coloration is also variable on the underside of the Vosmaeri female.

They typically have solid yellow on the under tail coverts (the ‘ ;v’ area below the vent) and through to the wide cadmium-yellow under tail band. Any female observed with lavender-colored breast feathers that has blotched or blended yellow and red coloration on its under tail coverts (‘ ;v’ area) is not a true Vosmaeri subspecies and is probably a hybrid. One must always relate the Vosmaeri female with a bright cadmium-yellow tail.

The tail of the Vosmaeri female is quite long in comparison to most other female Eclectus subspecies. Their thigh feathers are dark red in coloration with the lavender coloration ending between the legs and the red continues from this point to the vent. The iris of and adult Vosmaeri Eclectus female is golden-amber in coloration.


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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