Species group: Rosellas
Other common names: Golden-mantled Rosella (P. e. elecica) ; Red Rosella; Common Rosella; White-cheeked Rosella; Red-headed Rosella
Scientific name: Platycercus eximius
The Eastern Rosella, particularly the Golden-mantled Rosella subspecies, is a knock-your-socks-off aviary classic. Because it's hardy, independent, and easy to breed, it became a breeder's favorite from the early days of aviculture. As a personal pet, it gathers decidedly mixed reviews, with many people reporting that their birds revert to wild behavior no matter what they try. If you're looking for a decorative species that isn't too loud and doesn't demand much, if any, hand-holding, the Eastern Rosella may be your bird. It is not for the person seeking a devoted companion or a world class talker.
The three species of the Eastern Rosella are endemic to Australia. P. e. diemenensis, with its larger white check patch, is the one found on the island of Tasmania. The wild birds are bold and easily viewed in a variety of wild habitats in their homeland, from mountain forests to “street” trees in big cities.
Not just one of the most colorful grass parakeets, but one of the most colorful parrots period. There are three subspecies, but the Golden-Mantled Rosella, P. e. elecica, is the runaway favorite in the United States. In this subspecies, the adult male has a wonderful deep yellow back mottled with black, adding an extra pop of color to this already colorful bird. In the female, and in the other subspecies, the back is green or greeny-yellow mottled with black.
95 - 120 grams (3.4 - 4.2 oz.)
30 centimeters (12 in.)
15 - 20 years
Behavior / temperament:
All parrots are individuals, and there are reports of gentle, pet-quality Eastern Rosellas who even learn to say a few words. Some hand-fed young birds, if they are handled and played with every day, maintain their pet quality. However, some hand-fed birds become even more aggressive than the parent-raised birds, perhaps because they have no fear of humans. They are notorious for being aggressive to other birds and for biting their humans.
Have a plan for what happens if your pet reverts to its wild nature when it gets older. Do you have enough room to provide it with a flight where it can be admired for its beauty and get healthy exercise? If you can appreciate a beautiful creature who doesn't wish to be handled by you or anybody else, then the independent, somewhat fiesty Eastern Rosella may be perfect for you. But if you're looking for a lifelong shoulder bird, you're taking a huge chance with this species.
A pair of Eastern Rosellas is usually housed in a large, walk-in aviary, with appropriate protection in place to screen against disease-bearing mosquitoes and larger pests such as raccoons, opossums, or rats. They aren't considered a species that cares much about toys, but they will appreciate appropriate perches spaced to allow them plenty of room to fly. They are extremely aggressive and shouldn't be asked to share the flight with any other birds. A webcam monitoring set-up, along with the appropriate locks, should deter thieves.
Before you choose an Eastern Rosella as a household pet, you may want to take a realistic look at how much room you have. With their long graceful tails and their desire to exercise by flying rather than by playing with toys, you should probably be prepared to supply a long flight that dominates a large room. If your bird remains tame, you can probably get away with a powder-coated metal cage 36”w x 24”d x 36”h with no more than ½” bar spacing, with differently sized perches placed to encourage flying the length of the cage. If the bird does revert to being an aloof, wild beauty who prefers to be looked at but not touched, then you should offer a much longer flight. You may need to consider having the proper flight custom-built.
The Eastern Rosella, like many of the classic birds from the early days of aviculture, is not terribly tricky to feed. If your birds were brought up to enjoy a high-quality commercial pellet, then stick with it, while adding a chopped salad heavy in vegetables on the side. If your birds are from a more traditional background, then offer the best quality seed you can. One successful breeder recommends leaving the small seed mix in front of the birds at all times, so that they won't focus too much on the tasty large fatty seeds like sunflower. Again, you should provide regular servings of chopped salad. It is highly advisable to routinely sprout some of the seed and offer the soft, sprouted seed. Green millet sprays are an excellent treat.
A pet Eastern Rosella may be willing to join you at dinner for a more varied diet, but never allow any parrot to try foods that are toxic to them, such as avocado, chocolate, undercooked poultry or fish, or alcoholic beverages. A pair of aviary birds should be given a richer diet during the breeding season, with daily servings of the fresh vegetables, soaked seeds, and high quality pellets.
Written by Elaine Radford
sweet, Cutest little singers, aviary birds, colorful plumage, rainbow feathers
independent nature, fierce bite, socialization, suburban home, Spunky
big cage, pet therapy programs, captive bred parrots
You get what you give
I got my Rosella having no experience and no knowledge of Rosellas. She was an impulse buy. I walked into a pet store and she flew to my shoulder. I took her home. I had had budgies as a child but that was it. I only found out much later that Rosellas were supposed to be "difficult".
My bird is, I suppose, "difficult" in the sense that she does not like to be cuddled, petted or scratched like a cockatiel and she is very independent - she will do her own thing. But in that way I guess she is just more like a cat than a dog :) She (sometimes) comes when she is called and she will bite you if you annoy her or force her to do something she does not want to, but if you are gentle with her and talk nicely to her then she is gentle, even-tempered and sweet.
Like I said she's not a big cuddler but she will happily sit on your head or shoulder, or she will fly after you from room to room. She might not sit on you, but she likes being near you. She might even take a shower or bath with you.
If you want a cuddly pet that will be attached to you all day long, this is not a good pet for you, but if you will love your pet no matter what and let her just enjoy doing bird things on their own time, these birds are great and can be very funny and entertaining. People say that you cannot tame a rosella - this is nonsense. My rosella gives kisses and eats out of your hand (sometimes even tries to eat out of your mouth) and talks to you and if you come into the room when she is in her cage, she goes berserk with happiness and runs right up to the side of the cage where you are. She loves people - she just doesn't like being handled too much. If you hand-rear them from when they are babies and make sure you play with them every day and give them loads of attention, they are incredibly loyal and will love you for life - just from a bit more of a distance than, say, a cockatoo. They are easily bored and need lots of playtime out of the cage. Very rewarding pets - but you need to be willing to put the time in, and spend time with them, and be gentle and patient and be grateful for the love they give you - they do not owe it to you. As with any animal, you will get out what you put in..
From Marelise Oct 5 2014 5:10PM
My Eastern Rosella
I had a breeding pair of Eastern Rosellas for five years, and they were beautiful birds. Everyone who saw them commented on their beautiful coloring - they really are spectacular to look at. I was able to train one of the birds to stay on my shoulder and also to "dance" (by nodding its head up and down) very easily; I also trained the other bird to dance, but it took longer, and I could never get it to stay on my shoulder. I think trainability might come down to the particular bird. Both birds could mimic basic words like "hello." They were a beautiful addition to my aviary and had no problems mixing with the parakeets and quails that I also kept in the aviary..
From makeawish Nov 21 2014 4:30PM