The Crimson Rosella is another Psittaciforme which can be found in (Eastern) Australia, but also on New Zealand and Norfolk Island, where it has been defined as an introduced species.
Most of the Crimson Rosella subspecies are, as the name says, mostly crimson. Three of the generally accepted six subspecies are crimson – elegans, nigrescens and melanoptera – while the others are yellow – flaveolus, subadelaidae and fleurieuensis.
Apart from the nominate bird which is mainly crimson coloured, there are other colour mutations such as blue, yellow, white and cinnamon.
While the Crimson Rosella is generally considered as an unthreatened species as a whole, they may be eaten by cats or dogs, and even foxes in some places. Surprisingly, however, the Crimson Rosella is its own worst enemy. During the breeding season, it is usual for females to break the eggs of other nests, making it the number one cause for some eggs failing to hatch. This behaviour is thought to be fueled by the competition these birds have for suitable nesting hollows.
The intensive colors of these parrots are largely the reason why the Crimson Rosella is so popular as pets. The ability to imitate human speech is not one of their characteristics. As with basically any other parrot, if one wants to have a tamed Crimson Rosella, it is necessary to get a very young bird fed by hand. The chances for taming are much greater. Birds kept in pairs do not show any desire to communicate with the owner and thus their taming is usually unsuccessful.
Crimson Rosella video
Crimson Rosella facts
Binomial name: Platycercus elegans
Subspecies: six currently identified by most authors, while some may identify a few more
elegans (Gmelin, 1788)
flaveolus (Gould, 1837)
nigrescens (Ramsay, 1888)
melanopterus (North, 1906)
subadelaidae (Mathews, 1912)
fleurieuensis (Ashby, 1917)
Others: adelaidae, filewoodi
Conservation status: least concern
Diet: grass and tree seeds, as well as a variety of fruits, berries, flowers, nectar, larvae
Natural habitat: coastal and mountain forests and woodlands at all altitudes
Sexual dimorphism: very little. Males tend to be a bit larger and have a wider beak
Size: medium size of 36cm, including tail
Average lifespan: about 15-20 years