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12

Pale-headed Rosella

(Platycercus adscitus)
Alternate name(s): "Blue-cheeked Parrot", "Moreton Bay Rosella"
Size: 28-32 cm
Weight: 110 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 Pale-headed Rosella at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "palliceps"

ADULT

Close-up view of a pair of Pale-headed Rosellas (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2013]

Frontal view of a Pale-headed Rosella
[Moree, NSW, October 2011]

Lateral view of a Pale-headed Rosella (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, December 2013]

Lateral view of a Pale-headed Rosella (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, August 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a Pale-headed Rosella (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, July 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a Pale-headed Rosella (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Goondiwindi, QLD, February 2013]

Dorsal view of a Pale-headed Rosella (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, October 2012]

Dorsal view of a Pale-headed Rosella, different perspective (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2013]

Pale-headed Rosella preening
[Moree, NSW, October 2011]

Pale-headed Rosella launching itself into the air (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Here another pair of Pale-headed Rosellas taking to flight
[Moree, NSW, April 2014]

Mixed pair of Pale-headed Rosella (front left) and a hybrid between Pale-headed and Eastern Rosella (back right) on a lawn; note how extremely pale the head of the bird on the left is coloured, compared with other specimens shown on this page
[Moree, NSW, September 2008]

Mixed pair of Eastern Rosella (bottom) and Pale-headed Rosella (top)
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2005]

Hybrids

Pale-headed Rosellas are known to hybridise with Eastern Rosellas.

Almost frontal view of a hybrid Eastern/Pale-headed Rosella; here the Eastern Rosella influence is dominant (click on image to see the bird with its head turned the other way)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2011]

Lateral view of a hybrid Eastern/Pale-headed Rosella
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of a hybrid Eastern/Pale-headed Rosella; here the Pale-headed Rosella influence is dominant (click on image to see the bird with its head turned the other way)
[Near Bellata, NSW, February 2016]

Near-dorsal view of a hybrid Eastern/Pale-headed Rosella, with predominantly Pale-headed Rosella heritage (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Moree, NSW, April 2013]

Here a very young Rosella of mixed parentage. It is a mix between Eastern Rosella and Pale-headed Rosella
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

A portrait of the little chick is available here.

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Jan Eggs: 4 - 8 Incubation period: 19-20 days Fledging age: ca. 28 days

In suitable conditions, especially after significant rainfall in the drier parts of their range, Pale-headed Rosellas can also breed in the timeframe March-August.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female/male

Nest

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

Type: Tree hollow Material: Wood chip lining Height above ground: 5? - 20 m

Pale-headed Rosella inspecting a potential nest hollow (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, August 2013]

Pale-headed Rosella inspecting a potential nesting hollow outside the regular breeding season, after copious rainfall (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Goondiwindi, QLD, February 2013]

Eggs

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

Size: 27 x 22 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Behaviour

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

In the region where their habitats overlap, i.e. northern NSW and southern QLD, Eastern Rosellas and Pale-headed Rosellas can interbreed. We have seen several such mixed couples so far (see above).

We have not seen a Pale-headed Rosella yet near Narrabri that did not have an Eastern Rosella as partner.

Bonding ritual of a pair of hybrid Eastern/Pale-headed Rosellas; since she will incubate the eggs, he will have to feed her; she tests his reliability by begging for food and being fed prior to laying eggs
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like many parrots, Pale-headed Rosellas are seed-eaters; primarily they feed on grass seeds.

Lateral view of a Pale-headed Rosella feeding on the seeds of a grevillea (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Ashmore, Gold Coast, QLD, September 2016]

Lateral view of a Pale-headed Rosella feeding in a grevillea (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, June 2013]

Near-frontal view of a Pale-headed Rosella feeding on the seeds of a weed (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a Pale-headed Rosella feeding on the seeds of a weed (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a Pale-headed Rosella drinking water (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

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.

paleros_art_20131118.mp3 palliceps
(SE QLD)
Contact calls(?) © ART
paleros_20140424.mp3 palliceps
(NW NSW)
Pair Q&A © MD
paleros_art_20131213.mp3 palliceps
(SE QLD)
Calling mate © ART
paleros_art_20131119.mp3 palliceps
(SE QLD)
Alarm calls © ART
paleros_art_20141206.mp3 palliceps
(SE QLD)
Warning call/ departure © ART
paleros_art_20131130.mp3 palliceps
(SE QLD)
Pair chatter © ART
paleros_art_20131217.mp3 palliceps
(SE QLD)
Various © ART
paleros_20140424_2.mp3 palliceps
(NW NSW)
? © MD
paleros_20141109.mp3 palliceps
(NW NSW)
? © 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.

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