This Eastern Rosella had me confused

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Shirley Hardy
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This Eastern Rosella had me confused

At first I thought this was a hybrid between an Eastern Rosella and a Crimson Rosella but after googling images of Eastern Rosella hybrids and looking at my old photos of that same species, I just realised it is just an ordinary Eastern Rosella. Its a stock, standard Eastern Rosella - as I call it.

But what got me confused in the first place was the black around the eyes and it had too much red down it's front and no orange feathers on its chest. For maybe 6 or so years I've seen an influx of brightly coloured Eastern Rosellas and their even more brightly coloured offspring and was used to seeing orange chest-feathered birds amongst the red and yellow.

Now, this little fellow is not that brightly coloured at all. I managed to take this series of photos yesterday out the front of my place. It was eating nectar from a grevillea the local Eastern Rosella doesn't eat from, which I thought was odd in itself. It only appeared to eat from that grevillea after seeing a Red Wattlebird eat from it moments beforehand.

It seems that genetic diversity is alive and well in wild populations of Eastern Rosellas but the ones that become residents of Tenterfield end up breeding with brightly coloured individuals. That is, until their breeding ability goes wrong and no eggs hatch. Then they resort back to finding new partners with more of a general stock standard Eastern Rosella look. And when that happens the resident Eastern Rosellas become non-residents and fly away to greener pastures never to return.

Seabird
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Has anyone ever seen or heard of a Green Rosella in the wild in NSW? We have a few pairs of Eastern Rosellas in our area (Central Coast) but recently I have noticed an odd pair, one appears to be a Green Rosella the other a regular Eastern Rosella. The Green one appears to be notably larger than the other. It is mostly Green with a small amount of red and blue around the face. 

timrp
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Could it be a juvenile Eastern Rosella? That doesn't explain the size though.

Seabird
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I'll try and snap a picture next time I see them. I hadn't thought of a juvenile, but it def is a bigger bird. 

zosterops
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juv Crimson?

or could well be an escapee

could also be a Yellow Rosella, inland form of Crimson

i was once sent pics from a corespondent in Tasmania whom thought they had Green Rosellas, turned out they were naturalised escapee Yellow Rosellas. 

Seabird
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It definitely has these markings, I'm pretty sure it's not a juv due to it's size and the strength of the markings. Sounds like this is the most likely explanation, I did also wonder if it was an escapee!! 

zosterops
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would still be interested in a pic please if possible. 

pacman
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Yellow Rosella is in S NSW and its northern range is a long way from the Central Coast, I would want to see a pic before saying that was the most likely explanation

Peter

zosterops
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hence my guess it's an escapee yellow or green

but crazy vagrants occur all the time

could be a hybrid

what precludes juvi regular crimson? (which would be in range)...

timrp
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Crimsons are generally larger than Eastern Rosellas and the juvenile ones have the colours that you explained so that is the most likely if it is not an escapee.

Seabird
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I'll do my best to try and get a picture next time I see them. I'm curious to see what everyone thinks

zosterops
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juv Crimsons seem to like associating with Easterns too in my experience, especially if Crimsons are not common locally, perhaps they figure 'close enough'. there seems to be some element of physical attraction too, the two species can interbreed. 

Seabird
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Finally managed to snap a pic of this elusive bird!! Although it's not the best quality. It was up on me neighbours roof..... What do you think? 

zosterops
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Looks like a Yellow to me as the back appears quite light colour??, though it seems juv. Green Rosella is rather similar... can you please get a better resolution pic or confirm if the back of the bird/wings were light?

in either case it's either an escapee or if a wild bird far from home... 

Seabird
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The wings are a bluish green colour, the bird is more green than yellow. I will definitely post a better picture if I can get one! Going off my guide it  looks more green than yellow.

zosterops
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sounding more like a Green Rosella now. 

http://www.bushpea.com/bd/ph/laz/mi/green%20rosella%2002.jpg

??

it lighter than any juvi Crimson i've ever seen. also for juv crimson i'd expect some red specks coming through in the plumage also. 

Seabird
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Yes I agree, there is no red on the chest or tail which suggests to me that it's a green and not a juv Crimson. 

dwatsonbb
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Here is a Green Rosella, endemic to Tasmania. Not sure if this helps. There are colour variations here as well, this one appears a bit lighter than ones close to home. Not that good a photo, sorry.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

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