Crimson Rosella – Platycercus elegans (Gmelin, JF, 1788) – is a medium sized Australean parrot with a beutiful red plumage.
It is a popular and common both as a pet and in aviculture, which is likely because of its beauty and its lovely song. They are also relatively easy to breed. The Crimson Rosella is very curious and not shy,
The Yellow Rosella (P.e. flaveolus) subspecies is more rare in aviculture and as a pet. It is more shy and usually seen in trees being less vocal than the Crimson Rosella.
Young birds may gather in flocks; however, adult birds are rarely seen in large groups.
With proper care they can reach a lifespan of 10-15 years.
As the name implies the Crimson Rosella has an overall dark red plumage. Characteristic purple/blue cheek patches. The back and mantle is black with red edges resulting in a very distinctive pattern. Purple/blue bend of wing, outer median and outer secondary feathers on wing coverts. The tail is dark blue on the upperside with blue/white tip and white/bluish on the underside. Dark brown eyes. Lightgrey bill.
The female has similar colors but the bill is smaller and the upper mandible is narrower. Also the tail is washed with dull green.
Juvenies are olive/green which will change into more and more red spots as they mature. The tail is dark olive/green.
Size: 36 cm
BirdLife International 2018. Platycercus elegans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22733483A132181501.
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Seven subspecies are recognized:
Previously Platycercus elegans fleurieuensis was considered a separate subspecies but it was included in Platycercus elegans adelaidae with the IOC 13.1 update in 2023.
The Crimson Rosella is native to Australia, where the various subspecies inhabits the following ranges:
In northern Australia the Crimson Rosella is usually found in upland forests, where they prefer Eucalypt forest, margins of rainforest and tall secondary growth. In the southern ranges they can be found in varied habitats. They may also be found in cultivated areas and open woodlands.
Crimson Rosella feeds on seeds from various grasses and trees, blossoms, nectar and insect larvae.
The Yellow Rosella P.e. filewoodi feeds on seeds from Eucalypt and Acacia, fruits, berries, blossoms and insects.
Breeding season is August – February.
The aviary should be at least 3m long.
A vertical box about 23 x 23 x 61 cm (9″ x 9″ x 24″) is used as nest box.
The Crimson Rosella lays 5-8 eggs; the Yellow Rosella lays 4-5 eggs. The eggs are incubated for about 3 weeks; the chicks reach fledging age after 5 weeks.