The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) is a medium-sized parrot, of about 36 centimetres (14 inches) long, native to the coast and mountains of eastern and south-eastern Australia.
The Crimson Rosella begins with green feathers and developes red and blue colours as it matures. It is red with blue cheeks and black-scalloped blue-margined wings, with a blue tail.
The Crimson Rosella does not migrate. They are residential and gather in flocks of up to 20 individuals. They eat fruit, seeds, nectar, berries, and nuts of a wide variety of plants. Rosellas will also eat many insects and their larvae, including termites, aphids, beetles, weevils, caterpillars, and moths.
Nesting sites are hollow tree trunks, limbs, and stumps. These may be up to 30 metres (98 feet) above the ground. The nesting site is selected by the female. Once the site is selected, the pair will prepare it by lining it with wood debris made from the hollow itself by gnawing and shredding it with their beaks. They do not bring in material from outside the hollow. Only one pair will nest in a particular tree. A pair will guard their nest by perching near it at chattering at other rosellas that approach.
Females lay 3-8 shiny white eggs, and hatches them for about 16-28 days. For the first six days, only the mother feeds the nestlings. After this time, both parents feed them. Juveniles reach maturity when they gain their adult feathers (plumage) at 16 months of age.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM