Crimson rosella

Platycercus elegans

The crimson rosella is a parrot native to eastern and south eastern Australia which has been introduced to New Zealand and Norfolk Island. It is commonly found in, but not restricted to, mountain forests and gardens.
Crimson Rosella  Australia,Crimson rosella,Fall,Geotagged,Platycercus elegans


"Platycercus elegans" is a medium-sized Australian parrot at 36 cm long, much of which is tail. There are five subspecies, three of which are actually crimson. The red is replaced by yellow in the case of var. "flaveolus" and a mixture of red, orange and yellow in the Adelaide rosella.

Adults and juveniles generally show strikingly different colouration in south-eastern populations, with predominantly greenish-olive body plumage on the juvenile, most persistent on the nape and breast.

Juveniles are said to 'ripen' as they get older and turn from green to red. All races have blue cheeks and black-scalloped blue-margined wings and predominantly blue tail with predominantly red coloration. The crimson rosella’s blue tail feathers are one of the favourite decorations of the satin bowerbird. The bill is pale grey and the iris dark brown.

There is very little sexual dimorphism in crimson rosellas. The most noticeable difference between genders is that males are up to 15% larger, and have a relatively larger and wider beak.
Young Stunned Rosella This young Crimson Rosella hid in a bush after crashing into a glass window. Some Trip! Australia,Crimson rosella,Fall,Geotagged,Platycercus elegans


The crimson rosella occurs from southeastern South Australia, through Tasmania, Victoria and coastal New South Wales into southeastern Queensland. A disparate population occurs in North Queensland.
Crimson rosella I believe that this is a young Crimson Rosella Australia,Crimson rosella,Geotagged,Platycercus elegans,Spring


Crimson rosellas are common in coastal and mountain forests at all altitudes. They primarily live in forests and woodlands, preferring older and wetter forests. They can be found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate rainforests, both wet and dry sclerophyllous forests, riparian forests, and woodlands, all the way from sea level up to the tree line.

They will also live in human-affected areas such as farmlands, pastures, fire-breaks, parks, reserves, gardens, and golf-courses. They are rarely found in treeless areas. At night, they roost on high tree branches.
Young Crimson Rosella - Platycercus elegans  Australia,Crimson rosella,Fall,Geotagged,Platycercus elegans


Nesting sites are hollows greater than 1 metre deep in tree trunks, limbs, and stumps. These may be up to 30 metres above the ground. The nesting site is selected by the female. Once the site is selected, the pair will prepare it by lining it with wood debris made from the hollow itself by gnawing and shredding it with their beaks.

They do not bring in material from outside the hollow. Only one pair will nest in a particular tree. A pair will guard their nest by perching near it at chattering at other rosellas that approach. They will also guard a buffer zone of several trees radius around their nest, preventing other pairs from nesting in that area.

The breeding season of the crimson rosella lasts from September through to February, and varies depending on the rainfall of each year; it starts earlier and lasts longer during wet years. The laying period is on average during mid- to late October.

Clutch size ranges from 3–8 eggs, which are laid asynchronously at an average interval of 2.1 days; the eggs are white and slightly shiny and measure 28 x 23 mm. The mean incubation period is 19.7 days, and ranges from 16–28 days.

Only the mother incubates the eggs. The eggs hatch around mid December; on average 3.6 eggs successfully hatch. There is a bias towards female nestlings, as 41.8% of young are male. For the first six days, only the mother feeds the nestlings.

After this time, both parents feed them. The young become independent in February, after which they spend a few more weeks with their parents before departing to become part of a flock of juveniles. Juveniles reach maturity at 16 months of age.
Colourful Crimson Rosella  Australia,Crimson rosella,Geotagged,Platycercus elegans,Spring


Crimson rosellas forage in trees, bushes, and on the ground for the fruit, seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts of a wide variety of plants, including members of the Myrtaceae, Asteraceae, and Rosaceae families.

Despite feeding on fruits and seeds, rosellas are not useful to the plants as seed-spreaders, because they crush and destroy the seeds in the process of eating them.

Their diet often puts them at odds with farmers whose fruit and grain harvests can be damaged by the birds, which has resulted in large numbers of rosellas being shot in the past. Adelaide rosellas are known to feed on dormant cherry flower buds. Rosellas will also eat many insects and their larvae, including termites, aphids, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, moths, and water boatmen.
Crimson Rosella A very colourful, melodic flock bird Crimson rosella,Platycercus elegans


Crimson rosellas may be eaten by cats or dogs, and have been found to make up a small part of the diet of the fox in some areas. Possums and currawongs are also believed to occasionally take eggs from the nest.

Surprisingly, however, the crimson rosella is its own worst enemy. During the breeding season, it is common for females to fly to other nests and destroy the eggs and in fact, this is the most common cause for an egg failing to hatch. This behaviour is thought to be a function of competition for suitable nesting hollows, since a nest will be abandoned if all the eggs in it are destroyed, and a pair of rosellas will tend to nest in the same area from year to year.


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SpeciesP. elegans
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