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Ruby, Ruby!

Ruby, our Solomon Island Eclectus, came to us three years ago thru a series of unfortunate events.  When I first fell in love with the brilliance of the Eclectus female, I hesitated and chose NOT to make a hasty decision and needed to do some research.  Unfortunately, our first electus, Scarlette passed away 2 weeks after coming home, from POLYOMAVIRUS, so please take ANY new pet to your vet IMMEDIATELY!!

Ok – now to the birdie love-of-our-lives!  When Ruby arrived, my husband Chris and I wanted her home ASAP, even though she was still being hand-fed.  After our feeding lesson, we whisked her off to our vet and Ruby got a clean bill of health (plus she got micro-chipped so she can be identified even with her leg band safely removed).

Ruby is in perfect feather (I know that many ekkies pick their feathers but fortunately, Ruby doesn't) and her shades of brilliant red and blue put our friends in awe (can you say feather envy? lol).  The most fascinating trait on Ruby is the bright blue ring around her eye … that's actually what captivated me.   Ruby is very well socialized with guests and LOVES to eat!!  We typically keep a supply of BEAK BUCKETS on hand when what we eat a breakfast or dinner is not appropriate to share with her.  We also keep a supply of dried fruits and vegetables for when we want to give her something healthy on our way out the door.  Ruby knows when we are preparing her meal and will jump off her cage, waddle across the floor and sit on my foot until I lift her up to see what I am making.  She LOVES farina and cold cereals for breakfast!  As with most eclectus, she wipes her beak off on the bars of her cage (leaving clumps of food) so frequent Poop Off wipe ups are necessary but other than that, they are easily cared for and typically not a high maintenance bird.

Naturally, I think my Ruby is the PRETTIEST bird ever (of course, all eclectus are incredibly striking, they're like living artwork)!!  They don't scream ... well they do make this SIREN sound that can leave your ears ringing if you're too close.  A popular question, do they talk?  YES!  Ruby's voice sounds slightly 'nasal-ly' as if you sucked some helium then spoke.  Ruby has a small vocabulary but it's GREAT!!  She talks to herself says “Ruby-boobie-boobie-boobie”; “I'm a BABY BIRDIE”; “I'm a Pretty Bird.”  One time she said “Hello Ruby” with the same falsetto voice my dad used and the same inflections.  FREAKED ME OUT!!  I thought he was upstairs in the kitchen! 

Ruby has now gotten into the habit of calling my three dogs outside!!  She gives the "come-here" WHISTLE, followed by OUTY-OUT!!  Then my oldest, Mollie, who's a bit stubborn ... you hear "MOL-lie, MOLLIE, MOL-lie" in the same tone I call to her!  Ruby can expertly do the "wolf-whistle" and when the phone rings, she does Chris' "HELLO" voice. 

OH ... and don't forget the TOYS!!  Ruby's cage is filled with things to keep her busy.  Eclectus are not terribly destructive birds but Ruby loves to chew on parrotraps, bird kabobs, bagels, ice cream spoons, mostly shredable items versus hard woods.  Plus we leave a radio on for her when we go out.

Eclectus generally don't like to be pet or scratched.  Ruby sits on my shoulder and nuzzles my hair when I lay back on the couch watching TV.  Ruby LOVES to SHOWER!!  You cannot just squirt water at your bird and think they will like it ... I eased her into it and now she's like an un-official DUCK!!  I keep a birdie shower perch in our shower and when she needs cleaning, I let her sit on it after the water temp heats up.  If Ruby does NOT want to shower (or anything else for that matter), she will gently push my hand away with her beak.  If I try to force her, she will 'snap' at my finger, NOT to hurt, but to say, "I don't want to do that."  I hold her on my fingers near the water and take her lead as to how much she wants to get wet or play.  If she spreads her wings and shakes her tail-feathers, she's ready for some good showering.  I hold her back-end under the water as not to get it in her nose.  Oh Ruby LOVES the bathtub too!  But I NEVER leave her alone near any kind of water, although she THINKS she's a DUCK, we all know she's not!

To avoid her catching a chill, I've warmed her up to blow-drying.  If you try this, be VERY careful if your dryer has any Teflon coating in it and WATCH THE HEAT!!  If it 'burns' your hand, it will burn your FID.  I move it quickly, in short motions to disperse the heat and carefully lift her wings to get underneath.  Again, she did NOT like this at first ... we worked up to it.  Then she sits in her cage in front of her heat lamp to finish drying.

Oh ... when I was working at home, Ruby would type all this crazy stuff on my IM's and emails!!!  That's when I bought the pencils and remote for her on my downstairs desk!  I draw the line at buying her, her own computer ...  lol.  Needless to say, I could go on and on about our Ruby!


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This page was last updated on 08/17/2012

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