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Crimson Rosella Species of Bird

The crimson rosella or platycercus elegans is a type of parrot found in the eastern and south eastern region of Australia.

It can now also be found in New Zealand and Norfolk island. These parrots usually inhabit gardens and forests. The crimson rosella species also includes the yellow rosella and Adelaide rosella, two erstwhile separate species.

Crimson rosella parrots have many forms. The form which gives the species its name has crimson plumage.

The back and wing undersides are black with red edges. These parrots also have blue cheeks. The flight feathers are blue at the edges and the tail has a blue top portion with a lighter blue underside. The northern queensland parrots are smaller in size and of a darker color than the birds from the south. The yellow rosella form has a light yellow color instead of crimson and the tail is greenish.

The Adelaide rosella ranges from reddish to yellow to orange. Other than these color differences, all the forms have a similar pattern. The baby parrots have an olive green or yellow plumage, but have the same distinct blue cheeks. They attain adult plumage by the age of fifteen months. Crimson rosella parrots have similar characteristic to the Australian king-parrots, except for their blue cheeks and shoulders. They also have a white bill and dark eyes. Young crimson rosellas also differ from young female king parrots because of their yellowish green coloration, blue cheeks and white bill. Young king parrots have a dark green coloration.

Crimson rosellas are usually sedentary birds, although some populations may be nomadic. When the breeding season is not on, the birds live in small groups which feed together. The young birds form the largest groups consisting of up to twenty birds. Their conspicuousness and noisy chattering make them quite noticeable when they go on the lookout for food. Crimson rosella parrots are monogamous in nature and adult parrots forage with their mates during the breeding season. These birds feed on fruit, berries, buts and nectar. Their feeding habits are not suitable for seed spreading as they crush the seeds as they eat them. As such farmers see them as an obstacle to their harvests, leading to the shooting of many birds. Rosellas also feed on insects such as beetles, termites, caterpillars and their larvae. Rosella nests are built into hollows in tree trunks and stumps. Nesting sites are chosen by the female bird and the nests are built using wood material from the hollow. The birds do not use any material from outside the hollow. Breeding season for these birds is from September to February.

  Submitted on May 13, 2010