Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) - Wiki
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[Photo] Male Eastern Rosella in New South Wales by author (mfunnell) 29AUG2005; Cheltenham, NSW, Australia
The Eastern Rosella, Platycercus eximius, is a parrot native to southeast Australia and Tasmania. It has been introduced to New Zealand. The rosella pictured to the right is a male. The female rosellas have lighter colours than the males.
The bird is around 30 cm long, with a red head and upper breast and white cheeks. The rest of the breast is yellow becoming more greenish toward the abdomen. The feathers of the back and shoulders are black with yellowish margins, giving rise to a scalloped appearance. The wings and lateral tail feathers are bluish while the rest of the tail is dark green. The female is similar to the male though duller in colouration.
The Eastern Rosella is found in lightly wooded country. It eats grass seeds and fruits. Breeding occurs in spring and early summer and up to seven eggs are laid in tree hollows.
Three subspecies are recognised, diemenensis (eastern Tasmania), eximius (Victoria, southern New South Wales), and cecilae (northern New South Wales). Sometimes, this species is considered as a subspecies of the Pale-headed Rosella. Feral populations are found in the North Island in New Zealand.
The Eastern Rosella is sometimes kept as a pet. These birds are desired for their beautifully colored plumage. They are very 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 wonderful companions; 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 has a beautiful pet with a strong, feisty personality.
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