Eastern rosella

Platycercus eximius

The eastern rosella is a rosella native to southeast of the Australian continent and to Tasmania. It has been introduced to New Zealand where feral populations are found in the North Island and in the hills around Dunedin in the South Island.
Eastern rosella - Platycercus eximius  Australia,Eastern rosella,Geotagged,Platycercus eximius,Spring

Appearance

The eastern rosella is 30 cm long. It has a red head and white cheeks. The beak is white and the irises are brown. The upper breast is red and the lower breast is yellow fading to pale green over the abdomen. The feathers of the back and shoulders are black, and have yellowish or greenish margins giving rise to a scalloped appearance that varies slightly between the subspecies and the sexes. The wings and lateral tail feathers are bluish while the tail is dark green. The legs are grey. The female is similar to the male though duller in colouration and has an underwing stripe, which is not present in the adult male. Juveniles are duller than females and have an underwing stripe.
Eastern Rosella - Platycercus eximius  Australia,Eastern rosella,Geotagged,Platycercus eximius,Summer

Distribution

Natural range is eastern Australia, down to Tasmania. The eastern rosella is found in lightly wooded country, open forests, woodlands, gardens, bushlands and parks.

The eastern rosella has become naturalised in New Zealand. By the 1970's the population, probably originally from cage escapees, strongly established throughout Auckland, Northland, & the far north, extending into west Waikato, as far south as Kawhia, & Te Kuiti, & East to the Coromandel Peninsula. Also in the Wellington-Hutt Valley Region, established in the 1960's from escaped cage birds, later colonising the foothills of the Tararua Range, to Eketahuna in the east, & Otaki in the west . Sightings from New Plymouth, Taupo, Gisborne, Tiritea, Banks Peninsula, Nelson area, & Stewart Island. The first occurrence of these parrots in New Zealand was about 1910 when a small shipment of eastern rosellas, as well as a few crimson rosellas , that had been refused entry into New Zealand by the Customs Department was released off Otago Heads by the ship that brought them, as she was returning to Sydney. The two species crossed [& by 1955] no pure Crimson Rosellas remained in the Dunedin area. The population of rosellas in Dunedin has always remained low, partially due to them being trapped & sold as caged birds, & that the climate can be extremely cold in comparison to their native homeland.
Eastern rosella Photographed in Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia. Australia,Eastern rosella,Geotagged,Platycercus eximius

Habitat

Natural range is eastern Australia, down to Tasmania. The eastern rosella is found in lightly wooded country, open forests, woodlands, gardens, bushlands and parks.

The eastern rosella has become naturalised in New Zealand. By the 1970's the population, probably originally from cage escapees, strongly established throughout Auckland, Northland, & the far north, extending into west Waikato, as far south as Kawhia, & Te Kuiti, & East to the Coromandel Peninsula. Also in the Wellington-Hutt Valley Region, established in the 1960's from escaped cage birds, later colonising the foothills of the Tararua Range, to Eketahuna in the east, & Otaki in the west . Sightings from New Plymouth, Taupo, Gisborne, Tiritea, Banks Peninsula, Nelson area, & Stewart Island. The first occurrence of these parrots in New Zealand was about 1910 when a small shipment of eastern rosellas, as well as a few crimson rosellas , that had been refused entry into New Zealand by the Customs Department was released off Otago Heads by the ship that brought them, as she was returning to Sydney. The two species crossed [& by 1955] no pure Crimson Rosellas remained in the Dunedin area. The population of rosellas in Dunedin has always remained low, partially due to them being trapped & sold as caged birds, & that the climate can be extremely cold in comparison to their native homeland.

Reproduction

The breeding season is August to January, with one brood. The nesting site is usually a hollow over 1 m deep in a tree trunk anywhere up to 30 m above the ground. A clutch of generally five or six round, white and slightly shiny eggs, measuring 26 x 22 mm, is laid.

Uses

The eastern rosella is sometimes kept as a pet. These birds are desired for their beautifully coloured plumage. They are intelligent creatures, which can be trained to whistle a wide repertoire of tunes and may even learn to speak a few words or phrases. Rosellas can make good companion parrots; however, they require a great deal of attention and many toys to satisfy their need for social interaction and mental stimulation. These birds do not always adapt to life as a family pet and even hand-raised birds may never become fully domesticated. Generally, this species does not tolerate “petting” or “cuddling” and is apt to bite in response to this type of handling. Many people believe that rosellas are best housed in large aviaries that enable them to fly freely with minimal human socialization. Despite these difficulties, many people enjoy the eastern rosella as a beautiful pet with a strong, feisty personality.

References:

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPsittaciformes
FamilyPsittaculidae
GenusPlatycercus
SpeciesP. eximius
Photographed in
Australia