Eastern Rosella

Did you know?

The Eastern Rosella uses one of its feet (usually the right foot) to hold food when eating on the ground or perched on a tree.

Calls
A sharp repeated 'chut-chit-chut' in flight and a high-pitched 'pee-pt-eee' or 'kwink kwink' when perched.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
28cm
Maximum Size: 
32cm
Average size: 
30cm
Average weight: 
99g
Breeding season: 
August to Februrary
Clutch Size: 
4 to 8, usually 5
Incubation: 
19 days
Nestling Period: 
32 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
QLD: 
SA: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
288
What does it look like?
Description: 

Eastern Rosellas are medium-sized colourful parrots with distinctive white cheek patches. It has a red head, neck and breast, with yellowish to greenish upper parts, a yellow underbody and a yellow-green to blue-green rump, with a red undertail. The shoulders are bright blue. Females are usually similar to males, but sometimes duller and young birds are even duller and can be aged by their bill colour, which is yellow or orange, changing to off-white when mature.

Similar species: 

The Eastern Rosella can be distinguished by its red head combined with white cheek patches. The similarly sized Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus has white cheek patches but has a pale yellow head.

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Eastern Rosella is found throughout south-eastern Australia, from Queensland to Victoria and south-eastern South Australia. Also found in eastern Tasmania. Has been introduced to New Zealand.

Habitat: 

The Eastern Rosella is found in open woodlands, grasslands, farmlands and remnant bushland. Often found in urban habitats such as parks, gardens and golf courses.

Seasonal movements: 

Sedentary.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Eastern Rosella mainly feeds on the ground, especially amongst grasses in lawns, pastures and other clearings. Also feeds in trees and bushes. Main dietary items include: seeds, fruits, buds, flowers, nectar and insects.

Breeding: 

Eastern Rosellas mate for life. The female chooses and prepares the nesting site, usually a hollow in a eucalypt tree (but will sometimes use a nest-box or other artificial site). Eggs are laid on a decayed wood bed and the female incubates the eggs while the male regularly feeds her. The young may be fed for a while after they fledge.

Living with us

Eastern Rosellas may damage fruit and other crops, and have been trapped for the aviculture trade in large numbers. Compete with introduced birds, e.g. Common Starlings, for suitable nest hollows, and are sometimes caught by domestic pets.

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