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30 January 2014

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)

 
 
 
 
 
The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) as its name suggests is a predominantly red coloured parrot with a friendly disposition.  We were able to feed them sunflower seeds from the palm of our hands.  They tended to feed in pairs.
 
The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) is a parrot native to eastern and south eastern Australia which has been introduced to New Zealand and Norfolk Island . It is commonly found in, but not restricted to, mountain forests and gardens.   The species as it now stands has subsumed two former separate species, the Yellow Rosella and the Adelaide Rosella.
 
Platycercus elegans is a medium-sized Australian parrot at 36 cm (14 in) long, much of which is tail. There are five subspecies, three of which are actually crimson. The red is replaced by yellow in the case of var. flaveolus and a mixture of red, orange and yellow in the Adelaide Rosella.
 
Adults and juveniles generally show strikingly different colouration in south-eastern populations, with predominantly greenish-olive body plumage on the juvenile, most persistent on the nape and breast. Juveniles are said to 'ripen' as they get older and turn from green to red. All races have blue cheeks and black-scalloped blue-margined wings and predominantly blue tail with predominantly red coloration.  The most noticeable difference between genders is that males are up to 15% larger, and have a relatively larger and wider beak.
 
Crimson Rosellas forage in trees, bushes, and on the ground for the fruit, seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts of a wide variety of plants, including members of the Myrtaceae, Asteraceae, and Rosaceae families. Despite feeding on fruits and seeds, Rosellas are not useful to the plants as seed-spreaders, because they crush and destroy the seeds in the process of eating them.  Rosellas will also eat many insects and their larvae, including termites, aphids, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, moths, and water boatmen.
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