Eclectus toe tapping and wing flipping issues

Female Eclectus r. vosmaeri at North Carolina Zoo, no other subspecies combines a purple abdomen and clear yellow undertail coverts.
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Image above – Female Eclectus r. vosmaeri at North Carolina Zoo, no other subspecies combines a purple abdomen and clear yellow undertail coverts.

Hi Mitch,

I just read your piece on eclectus, and I have a question.


If the elongated digestive tract is urban myth, then why does my bird develop the eclectus toe-tapping and wing-flipping if he has been given regular pellets and/or too many vitamins?

What would cause this?





Let’s start with the toe tapping wings flapping things.



For the record toe tapping refers to a parrot who would appear to be tapping his or her zygodactyl foot on a perch like a drummer playing the bass drum or hi-hat cymbal combo.


it looks like this




Wing flipping is when a parrot, we see this a lot in eclectus will display its wings lowering and then raising them back tight against their bodies.


Ekkies are known for”flicking” their wings is a means to realign their feathers.


You may see an eclectus “flutter” its wings which confuses people thinking that they may have wing flipping syndrome.


With these two maladies presented to us, it’s here that we let you know that the two aren’t necessarily related and do not always go hand-in-hand.


Thus each issue must be evaluated individually.


It’s here I’ll stop and refer back to the original blog post concerning eclectus parrots ability to assimilate vitamins.


One of the things that I found interesting during my exhaustive fact checking procedures is that when you Google “eclectus parrot Hypervitaminosis studies, no results surface.


Lots of anecdotal information but the core premise of an elongated digestive system appears to be deficient in Google’s index


I’m beginning to find the trail claiming that a calcium deficiency may trigger toetapping or wing flipping.


I’m not finding whether or not this is sex related.


Calcium can be provided organically with leafy greens like collard, mustard, kale and broccoli.


This doesn’t mean you have to run off and make 2 pounds of chop for 250 g bird (almost 10 oz)


We’ve been very consistent in advocating a birds baseline diet of 70% commercial bird food.


Feeding a commercial bird food diet ensures that your feathered companion will get minimum nutritional requirements.


The other 30% becomes “fill in the blank”



He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.