Rosella is common name for group of parrots called Platycercercus which are native to Australia and nearby islands. They mostly inhabit forests, woodlands, suburban parks and gardens.
There are total of six common species of Platycercercus (rosella):
- Western rosella (Platycercus icterotis)
- Northern rosella (Platycercus venustus)
- Pale-headed rosella (Platycercus adscitus)
- Crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans)
- Eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius)
- Green rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
In this article take a look at one of more popular rosella called Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius).
Introduction to Eastern Rosella
Eastern rosella parrots are often kept as pets because of their striking appearance and vivid colors. These parrots are often kept as groups in aviary setups (they enjoy it this way), but even so single hand-tamed rosella in bird cage can truly be a sociable companion as your pet. General these are initially quite shy so adjustment period for new home takes more time. With a lot of patience they can be tamed, but will never show total affection to you or your family members like some other parrots. They are not so loud, which makes them suitable for an apartment and are known to like to whistle a lot.
Care & Lifespan
Rosella are considered mid-sized parrots with adult sizes from 26-37 cm (10-14.5 in) with lifespan around 30 years given proper care and housing conditions. When thinking about cage for single rosella it will do fine in 60 cm (24in) in height and length and 40 cm (16in) in width. Keep in mind that this birds needs and loves to bath in water so make sure you provide them with necessarry facilities.
Feeding rosella is similar as with any other mid-sized parrot. Feed them a mixture of sunflower seeds, different kinds of millet, weed seeds, oats and little hemp. With the seeds they needs and love eating fruits and vegetables so make sure you provide them with fresh ones on daily basis. During nursing, young parrots need the egg food. They also enjoy to nibble twigs of fruit trees or willow.
If you decide to go into breeding of this parrots keep in mind that you will need aviary setup. They are not difficult to breed and given minimal conditions these birds will likely become pregnant. The aviary setup needs to have two parts, one closed for winter part of year and second open area for summer time with lots of branches. Aviary setup should be minimal 2 meters wide and deep with 1 meter in height.
Mating season with these parrots starts in August and lasts to January. In mid-July they need materials to build nests in the aviary (coarse grass, twigs, …) so provide them. As soon as the place for nesting is selected, release the male in the aviary with female to see if it will be accepted. Acceptance sign from male is very distinct with moving tail and lowering its wings. Typically female sits on the eggs and the male feeds her. The males tend to spend much time with the female during incubation of eggs. During the incubation period it is not advisable to disturb the nest. At first sign of approaching females spread their wings protectively over the eggs or young birds. This kind of behavior prevents a good view of the nest, and besides harassment is a potential danger for the young and eggs (damage, fractures). The young birds usually leave the nest at the age of about four weeks, but if you notice that they are not yet capable of independent life, allow them some time to parents who accept them without question. Leaving the young birds with their parents with age of few months results in peaceful co-existence.
And there you go, with some additional research you will find that rosellas are quite easy to care for and can be a long time companion for you and your family. If you want to know more on keeping parrots as pets feel free to read my article.