Eastern Rosella


Eastern Rosella 30 cm; 90–120 g. Bill whitish, with white lower cheeks and chin; rest of head and breast red, upper belly 

Eastern Rosella parrots

Eastern Rosella

yellow, lower belly pale green, under tail-coverts red; mantle, back and scapulars black-edged yellow, creating scaled effect; median wing-coverts black, lesser wing-coverts, outer secondary coverts, and flight-feathers edged grey-blue; tail bottle green centrally, with outer feathers blue-grey tipped white. The Female has a duller red head and pale underwing stripe. Immature like a female with green to back of the head. Race Cecilie 

Eastern Rosella parrot
Eastern Rosella

 

has darker redhead 

Eastern Rosella
Eastern Rosella

 

, richer yellow on the back 

parrot Eastern Rosella
Eastern Rosella

 

, blue-green rump; diagenesis has larger cheek patches, darker redhead.

Systematics History

Editor’s Note: This article requires further editing work to merge existing content into the appropriate Subspecies sections. Please bear with us while this update takes place.

Forms a species group with P. venustus and P. ascites, and is sometimes considered conspecific with both. N population formerly recognized sub specifically as Cecilia, but the description of that regarded as unidentifiable (1). Name aureodorsalis is a junior synonym of electrical. Three subspecies were recognized.

Subspecies

Introduced (probably nominate race) to New Zealand.


SUBSPECIES

Platycercus eximius elecica Scientific name definitions

Distribution
SE Queensland and NE New South Wales.

SUBSPECIES

Platycercus eximius Eximius Scientific name definitions

Eastern Rosella Eximius

P. e. eximius+1
Distribution
extreme SE South Australia E to S and E New South Wales and Victoria.

SUBSPECIES

Platycercus eximius diemenensis Scientific name definitions

Eastern Rosella diemenensis

P. e. diemenensis
Distribution
Tasmania.

Distribution

Editor’s Note: Additional distribution information for this taxon can be found in the ‘Subspecies’ article above. In the future, we will develop a range-wide distribution article.

Habitat

Lightly wooded landscapes including savanna woodland, mallee, open forest, riverine growth, farmland, gardens, and parks, up to 1250 m; preference in Victoria for Banksia woodlands and Eucalyptus camaldulensis associations.

Movement

Sedentary.

Diet and Foraging

Wide range of plant species was used, with 82 recorded in one study. Seeds of Eucalyptus and Acacia are particularly favored, with seeds of many shrubs and grasses also taken, e.g. Capsella bursapastorisCerastium vulgatumMelilotus albaOnopordon acanthiumCarduus marionusHypochaeris radicataActinotus helianthiAmaranthus, and Oxalis; sometimes extract seeds from dung. Other food recorded includes berries of Pyracantha and Crataegus, eucalypt blossoms, Populus leaf-buds, Gazania leaves, insects and their eggs and larvae, Schedotrioza psyllids (animal material notably in Jul); commonly takes spilled grain in farmyards and at roadsides, and can be a pest in orchards.

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Flight call is a loud emphatic “keet!” or “chee-cheet!”, repeated in loose series. When perched utters rather melodious squabbling phrases and a series of repeated pure whistles such as a very fast “beebeebeebeep!” or a descending “pee-pee-pee-pee-peu-peu”.

Breeding

Aug–Feb, occasionally Apr–May. Nest in hollow limb or hole in a tree, generally a eucalypt, or in the stump, fence post, fallen log, rabbit burrow, enlarged tunnel of Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus), a disused hole of Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) in an arboreal termitarium, elkhorn fern on side of the house, rock face, buildings and even a deserted nest of a babbler (Pomatostomus). In New Zealand, 66·7% of nests in Vitex lucens trees and 28·6% in dead tree ferns (Cyathea); nest holes at 3–12 m above the ground. Eggs  4–9, usually 5; incubation lasts 19 days; nestling Chicks at nest period c. 35 days.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Extremely common in most of the range, but only locally numerous in Tasmania. Has benefited from clearance of forested areas for pasture and cereal cultivation.


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