Pale-headed Rosella

Did you know?

Even though it is brightly coloured, the Pale-headed Rosella is very well-camouflaged when feeding amongst leaves in the canopy of trees.

Calls
The call is similar to that of the Eastern Rosella: 'kwik, kwik' calling in flight, or when perched a high pitched rapid 'pi-pi-pi-pi-pi' and soft chattering.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
28cm
Maximum Size: 
34cm
Average size: 
31cm
Average weight: 
110g
Breeding season: 
September to January or any time depending on rainfall
Clutch Size: 
4 to 8
Incubation: 
19 days
Nestling Period: 
35 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
QLD: 
Associated Plants
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
286
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Pale-headed Rosella is a medium-sized, broad-tailed parrot, with a pale head and all white, or blue and white cheek patches. The underbelly is mainly blue, with red under the tail. The back is yellow with dark flecks. The female is similar, though slightly duller, with an off-white underwing stripe. There is marked geographical variation, with differences in the depth of colour and the facial patch. This is a noisy and conspicuous parrot, except when feeding.

Similar species: 

The Pale-headed Rosella is very similar to the Eastern Rosella,Platycercus eximius, which has a bright red rather than yellow head. The two species are often found together and may hybridise (breed together, blending characteristics).

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Pale-headed Rosella is endemic to north-eastern and eastern Australia.

Habitat: 

Pale-headed Rosellas are found in savanna woodlands, lightly timbered woodlands with a grassy understorey, tree-lined watercourses and agricultural lands.

Seasonal movements: 

Movements are poorly known and the Pale-headed Rosella is usually considered to be resident.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Pale-headed Rosellas feed mainly on the ground, but also in trees and shrubs. They mainly eat seeds and fruits of grasses, shrubs and trees, as well as flowers, insects and their larvae. They feed more often in shade than in sunlight.

Breeding: 

Pale-headed Rosellas make their nests in the hollows of either dead or living trees, usually in eucalypts, or hollow stumps and posts. The nest is often near water. The eggs are laid on wood dust. Only the female incubates, though a few days after hatching the male helps with feeding the young.

Living with us

Pale-headed Rosella numbers may be affected by illegal trapping for the bird trade, especially the blue-cheeked race. The species may also have benefitted from the thinning of heavy forests.

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