The Rosella , one of the favorites for pet birds

Birds Human Classroom

The Rosella bird is known to be a very good pet and to be chosen as the favorite among many birds, they draw attention by their striking and colorful plumage, to enjoy good times with their owners and to hear them whistling a lot. If you are interested in knowing more about this beautiful species, read on.

Native Region and Features 

This bird species has the name of the genus Platycercus which means “broad-tailed” and belongs to the family Psittaculidae, being part of the superfamily of the parrots. Its origin country is Australia and is found mainly in the southeast side of the country, in nearby islands, but also in coastal areas of Tasmania and on the North Island and Norfolk Island from New Zealand. Their natural habitat is in open forests, woodlands, gardens, and parks. 

These birds have a lifespan between 25 and 30 years, are medium-sized, and have a long tail, measuring between 10 and 14 inches from the tip of the head to the end of the tail. They weigh about 4 or 5 ounces. Their head is small and their body is somewhat chubby, their eyes are small and dark, their beak is small and is inclined downwards, can be of light tones but they vary according to the species. Its paws are mostly gray or can be found in darker shades. His plumage is characterized by its beautiful colors and have different tones in their wings and have other tones in their long tail, depending on the species their colors vary and some tones stand out more than others, can be red, black, blue, green, white, yellow and many more.

With this bird species, it’s very difficult to determine what sex they are because the sexual dimorphism is absent or slight and also they share the same plumage style and don’t have something specific that makes them different, so it’s recommended at the time of getting the couple the best thing to do is a DNA test to confirm which sexes they are and this way both can be different. 

One of the best known is the Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) which is found in mountain forests and attracts much attention because the predominant color on his body is red that goes from the head to the beginning of the tail, has blue cheeks, in its wings and tail has shades of blue, black and white. Another species that is well known for its plumage is the Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius), due to its complex patterns this species is very striking, it has many colors and they vary in the area they are, its head and chest are red and has white cheeks, the base of its body is a yellow color and is degrading to green color, the feathers of the wings are where it has a different pattern where each feather varies, in the upper part of the wings begins with a black and around it has a yellow tone and in the middle-low part is extended to a black tone with blue around it, its long tail begins between a green tone and is degraded to a blue color with black and white.

Species

The Rosella parrot is divided into 6 main species and these are:

  • Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis)
  • Crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans)
  • Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus)
  • Pale headed rosella (Platycercus adscitus)
  • Eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius)
  • Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus)

From these 6 species arise many other subspecies, but in general the rosellas are divided into two groups, some of the main and best known in these groups are:

  • Blue-cheeked Rosellas (with blue cheek patches)
    • Adelaide Rosella
    • Crimson Rosella
    • Green Rosella or Tasmanian Rosella
    • Yellow Rosella
  • White or Pale-cheeked Rosellas (with pale or white cheek patches)
    • Eastern Rosella
    • Golden mantled Rosella
    • Northern Rosella
    • Tasmanian Eastern Rosella
    • Stanley Rosella
    • Red-backed Western Rosella

Personality


    The Rosella’s personality is not like other parrots, they don’t need to be petted or call the attention of their owners, but they can be more sociable over time if you spend time sharing or socializing with them. They are somewhat aggressive so they don’t get along well with other birds, it is recommended that they only be in a cage with a bird of the same species of the opposite sex, because on breeding seasons they tend to be more sensitive so it wouldn’t be good to be near other cages because they will feel threatened. Despite this, if you play with them and be constant in your interaction, you can have a good pet quality time and get used to each other. Rosellas like to make noises especially in the mornings and nights, they don’t say many words but they are very good whistlers and if you teach them they can learn whistle songs, also don’t be surprised if you hear them whispering songs that you play constantly.

You may not notice it at first, but these birds are very intelligent, mainly the Eastern Rosella. They have a great personality and can surprise you in many moments, even make mischief. You can play with them but you have to be patient with these Australian parrots to be able to create a good bond, you can teach them tricks and games, but always rewarding them with treats like almonds or small pieces of fruit so in this way gain trust. 

Cage and Care

To keep your Rosella bird healthy you must make sure to give it all the care it deserves as birds because of their nature they like to have their space for flying, moving, playing everything it needs to have a good lifestyle. The main thing is to give him a birdcage that is large enough to have their own space and we recommend that it is a minimum aviary size of 4 feet wide, 16 feet in length, and 8 feet in high, the bigger the cage is, it is better. Take into consideration that the space required for their cage should allow them to extend their wings completely and be able to move them freely. You should always keep it clean, safe, and durable, and not made of toxic materials that could put their health at risk. The bars in the cage shouldn’t have too much space between them because they can get their heads between the bars and get stuck and can suffocate. Also, a concrete floor is recommended because Rosellas love to bathe so make sure the wet spots are allowed to dry better and the floor is kept clean.

Make sure that it stays entertained and you can provide it with toys that are suitable for birds, ropes with knots, perches, or wooden sticks of various sizes and textures, some large stones that can help it to keep its toenails. Just try to keep the perches away from food and water dishes to avoid contamination or dirt. You should always keep the cages with access to natural light and as any bird likes to fly, so take it out of its cage daily and let it fly indoors so they can do some exercise and at least give it few hours out of its cage to keep him healthy and move freely, always making sure it’s in a safe room.

Rosellas have a very high life expectancy, but in turn, you have to keep an eye on their health. One of the diseases might be susceptible to develop is fungal infections, due to bacteria or fungi, causing respiratory tract infections which can be fatal for them and can be caused by lack of cleaning in their cages or lack of water change, producing fungi and leading to these complications, if you realize that your parrot is having difficulty breathing, you should go at once to the avian vet so it can be treated in time. Also, they can develop worm infections because they are commonly housed in an outdoor aviary where they can forage on the ground. This means that housing a rosella in the outdoors means diligence in keeping all clean. Another one that is concurred in these birds is Psittacosis, also called parrot fever, an infection caused by chlamydia bacteria. 

Food

Just like any living being, food is fundamental to the growth and life of the Rosella bird.  In the wild, this parrot will consume a range of foods at various levels within their habitat, on the ground level they feed with seeds of grasses and herbs, at a high level they like trees in special the eucalypts, they will eat fruits, berries, leaf, flower buds, nectar, and fresh branches. Also, they like to eat insects and larvae, especially in the breeding season because is a good source of protein.  If you choose to have this species as a companion you must take into account that you have to provide it with enough nutrients to keep it healthy and the best way is to feed it based on a natural diet as much as possible.

Likewise to the Rosella you can feed a seed mix for aviary birds based on Canary seed, sunflower seeds, a mix of millets, and oats. You can also add a variety of nuts, seeds of grasses shrubs and trees, berries, corn, many fruits, and vegetables. Rosellas will eat insects such as mealworms because these insects can provide valuable easily digested nutrients for breeding birds. If you decide to use bird food sold in pet stores, make sure it is of good quality and that you give the right amount in their diet. Most rosellas love to chew on fresh branches and leaves. They spend a lot of their time on the ground feeding. You can also have a hand-fed and tame rosella to keep on your shoulder while you are busy or when you are eating, you can also feed him with tidbits to reinforce the bond between you and your bird. Don’t forget to always leave him clean and fresh water to drink, you must change it daily to avoid him getting sick.

Breeding

Once the rosellas have reached the age of 18 to 24 months, they are mature enough to start reproducing. In the wild, like most parrots, they put their nests in older large trees in forested areas and they breed in hollow logs. The size of their nests is large enough to lay several eggs and they can lay up to 8 eggs, but the normal would be between 4 or 6 eggs, the female is in charge of incubating them for approximately 21 days, the male bird is in charge of feeding the mother in all that time until it is finished and a little later of the incubation. Once the chicks are born they depend on their parents for food and last up to 5 weeks to fledge. Nesting generally takes place from August to December or January. 

As soon as the breeding season starts the owner should adapt them If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice and once they have chosen the type of their nest for incubation, consider this to put them the same type in the next few years. When your rosellas are in a breeding mode in their cages, you have to be aware that once the young birds can eat on their own and be independent, it is recommended that you separate them from their parents’ cages and this will minimize the risk of aggression from the parent birds.

If you are a bird lover, the rosellas are a very good option, they are very intelligent birds, and although at the beginning it may be difficult to create a bond with your pet, with time everything will be better and they will be very good companions. They are a beautiful bird and deserve to have good attention, so if you can accomplish all the tasks to keep them healthy and give them a good life, Rosellas are the best. If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers

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