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12

Crimson Rosella

(Platycercus elegans)
Alternate name(s): "Crimson Parrot", "Pennant's Parakeet", "Red Lory", "Mountain Lory", "Red Lowry"
Aboriginal name(s): "warren"

Size: 32-37 cm
Weight: 130 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Crimson Rosella at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "elegans"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Queen Mary Falls, QLD, June 2017]

Frontal view of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-frontal view of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-frontal view of a Crimson Rosella
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2011]

Close-up lateral portrait of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Queen Mary Falls, near Killarney, QLD, October 2015]

Lateral view of a Crimson Rosella
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, August 2015]

Different lateral view of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Armidale, NSW, September 2013]

The same Crimson Rosella as above, stretching one of its wings and thereby displaying the full range of its colours
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2011]

Near-dorsal view of a Crimson Rosella, with a clear view of its mantle and rump
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2008]

Dorsal view of a Crimson Rosella
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, August 2015]

Crimson Rosella drinking from a mountain creek at 1100 m altitude
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2011]

Here a demonstration of how to take off towards the back...
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, October 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Tambo River, Doctors Flat Road, Ensay, VIC, March 2014]

Lateral view of an immature Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Tambo River, Doctors Flat Road, Ensay, VIC, March 2014]

Race "flaveolus"

Because of its characteristic yellow cap, race "flaveolus" of the Crimson Rosella is also called "Yellow Rosella". This race is found in the lower Murray-Darling Basin, mostly along the major rivers, in western NSW (as far north as about Menindee), south-western NSW (along the border with VIC) and eastern SA (east of the hill ranges to the east of Adelaide).

ADULT

Lateral view of a Crimson Rosella, race "flaveolus", also called "Yellow Rosella" (photo courtesy of A. Flynn)
[Euston, NSW, November 2013]

Race "melanoptera"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Karatta, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Lateral view of a Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Karatta, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of an immature Crimson Rosella (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Karatta, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Lateral view of an immature Crimson Rosella on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Karatta, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Dorsal view of an immature Crimson Rosella on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Karatta, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Dorsal view of an immature Crimson Rosella feeding on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Karatta, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Hybrids

Lateral view of an Eastern Rosella x Crimson Rosella hybrid (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Barraba, NSW, April 2014]

Although not 100% sure, because unable to obtain a photo for identification at the time, we think that we have also spotted a hybrid between a Crimson Rosella and an Eastern Rosella at Girraween NP (southern QLD) in July 2009.

P. & M. Juers report spotting a hybrid between a Crimson Rosella and an Eastern Rosella at Drouin, VIC (see photo below).

Male hybrid Crimson Rosella/Eastern Rosella with a female Eastern Rosella (photo courtesy of P. & M. Juers)

Breeding information

Breeding season: Oct - Dec Eggs: 4 - 8 Incubation period: 20 days Fledging age: 35 days

Since many Crimson Rosellas live at relatively high altitudes, their breeding season can start later than those of other species.

Nest building: Female? Incubation: Female Dependent care: Male & female

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: Wood dust Height above ground: 2 - 15 m

Entrance to the nesting hollow of a pair of Crimson Rosellas; it is not clear whether they finally got to nest there, because ownership was also contested by a pair of Australian King-Parrots
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2011]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 29 x 25 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/family clan

Since, as is the case for many other parrot species, female Crimson Rosellas take on the incubation duties, they rely on the males to feed them. Therefore, they bond with their mates and test their abilities by having them bring food before starting the incubation process.

Male Crimson Rosella feeding his partner
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2011]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds, flowers Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Crimson Rosella feeding on the flowers of ivy
[Near Gloucester, NSW, September 2011]

Crimson Rosella feeding on a lawn in a rural garden
[Near Dorrigo NP, NSW, August 2009]

More frontal view of the same Crimson Rosella as shown above
[Near Dorrigo NP, NSW, August 2009]

Crimson Rosella feeding on seeds (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Crimson Rosella feeding on fruit (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, October 2015]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

crimros_20140212.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
crimros_20141218.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
Pair Q&A(?) © MD
crimros_20150821.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
Arrival (pair) © MD
crimros_20140402.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
Pair arrival; group welcome © MD
crimros_20150124_4.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
Warning call (in flight) © MD
crimros_20140520.mp3 elegans
(N NSW)
Annoyed call(?) © MD
crimros_20140522.mp3 elegans
(SE QLD)
? © MD
crimros_20140119_2.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
? © MD
Click here for more recordings

We have also recorded the wing beat of Crimson Rosellas.

crimros_20160505_2_noNR.mp3 elegans
(NW NSW)
Arriving to feed
on ground
© MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.