Eastern rosellas in their bright colours

Eastern Rosellas

Eastern rosellas are active in the Reserve at present, flocking, chasing and squawking.

These rosellas, Platycercus eximius, are vividly coloured. The ones in Victoria are distinguished by green margins around their back black feathers- see the back feathers in the images below.

Their aerial antics include sweeping each other to the ground – see the image below – after which they just as quickly return to the trees.

Shows couple of squabbling (or mating) Eastern rosellas hitting the ground, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Squabbling (or mating?) Eastern parrots hit the deck – and fly off again, quickly

Breeding season begins in August, through to February, and eastern rosella pairs mate for life. One clutch of eggs is produced in this time. The female selects the hollow and incubates the eggs whilst the male feeds her. They both then feed the young – which begin to fledge and fly, according to one article, at around four weeks.

A few of the eastern rosellas appeared to be searching for suitable nesting hollows, moving in an out of a couple of spouts- see below.

It also appeared that a couple of crimson rosellas were driving off the eastern rosellas – and this can happen, according to one source, with competition for good breeding hollows.

Shows crimson rosella seeing off eastern rosellas, end of July, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Pair of Crimson rosellas, seeing off a group of Eastern rosellas- action shot

Pair crimson rosellas, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve

Pair crimson rosellas- watchful after driving off the eastern rosellas

Sources and further information

BirdLife Australia (2012) Eastern Rosella http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/eastern-rosella

Canberra Birds (2008) [correspondence] Rosella nesting near my door. http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/archives/html/canberrabirds/2008-10/msg00106.html

Fairlie, S. (1991) Keeping and Breeding the Eastern Rosella, Birdkeeping in Australia, http://www.birdkeepinginaustralia.com/articles/article26.html

Wikipedia (2013) Eastern Rosella http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Rosella

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