Crimson Rosella

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Platycercus elegans

Crimson Rosella 

The Crimson Rosella is a medium-sized Australian parrot. It has a highly variable plumage, occurring in crimson, yellow, and orange forms.

It measures about 14 inches long, much of which is tail and weighs about 115 - 170 grams.

Males have mainly red plumage. Back, rump and scapulars are black with conspicuous red edges, giving it a strong scaled effect. The long, graduated tail is blue, with tipped pale blue outer rectrices. On the upperwings, the lesser coverts are black. Outer median and secondary coverts are pale blue. Outer secondary flight feathers are pale blue too. Other flight feathers are blackish-blue.

Breast, belly, undertail coverts and flanks are red. Undertail feathers are pale blue-gray. Underwings show deep blue coverts and blackish flight feathers.

Head is red, with deep blue cheeks and chin. The hooked bill is grayish-white. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are gray.

Both sexes are similar, but females have washed green tail and slightly smaller bill.

Juveniles have green plumage on mantle, uppertail, breast and belly. On the back, a light scaled effect is made by blackish edges. Throat is washed red, and vent and undertail coverts are red.

They have a whitish band across the flight feathers. They aslo have a blue chin and malar area, and red forehead, crown, cheeks and throat. They reach adult plumage at 15 months old. 

When in flight,it utters a common two-syllabled “cussik-cussik” as contact call. It gives metallic whistles “chinka-chink… chinka-chink” in threat behavior. It also utters harsh screeches when alarmed.

Feeds mainly on seeds and fruits. It may sometimes catch insects and larvae.

Frequents the coastal regions and the nearby upland forests and the rainforest edges. It is often seen in tall eucalypt forests.

This species is visible from sea- level up to 1900 meters of elevation. It is sometimes found in the suburbs of cities such as Canberra and Adelaide where numbers are increasing.

Lives in Australia where there are several populations.

Found in north-eastern Queensland, south-eastern Queensland to the south- eastern South Australia, and on Kangaroo Island.

This species has been introduced in New Zealand and on Norfolk Island.

It nests in cavity, such as hole in tree trunk or branch and usually prefers the eucalypt, live or dead, but near water.

The female lays 2 - 4 white eggs. Incubation lasts about 19 - 20 days, by female.

The male feeds her sometimes, but she briefly leaves the nest to forage herself too.


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