”Mordecai”  and ‘Scarlett’ are two of Potoroo Palace’s vibrantly coloured Eclectus Parrots – Eclectus roratus. Each of them having been separately donated, it has been trial and error introducing them and observing their relationship developing.

Could that be a smile?

The Eclectus’ natural range in Australia is limited to Eastern Cape York Peninsula, found in the canopy of rainforests and adjacent eucalypt woodlands. They are a large parrot, and can appear as two different types, as the male is a bright emerald green and the female mainly scarlet red. The species are known to be noisy and conspicuous, calling as they fly and screeching loudly when disturbed. Their conservation status is classified as ‘vulnerable’ and populations in the wild are on the decline.

Mordie, (as he has become affectionately known) has become renowned for the enthusiastic use of his beak, often causing superficial wounding to dedicated staff! Keepers had assumed therefore, that his behaviour was normal more recently, not realizing that he was being protective of his newborn offspring! Nesting would normally be in dark tree hollows and Scarlett had done well to conceal her new chick until now. Surprise and delight rippled throughout the sanctuary once Scarlett and Mordie’s new chick was discovered!

Mordie and Scarlett are both protective and attentive parents, but generously permitted a quick photo shoot by keeper Tahnee Harris. It appears we have a male! Although not easily seen by visitors at this stage, it won’t be long before he is venturing out of his nest. He is already quite big and is the sanctuary’s first home grown Eclectus parrot, making him very special!