Eastern Rosella

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(11 Reviews)

Is the Eastern Rosella right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Golden-mantled Rosella (P. e. elecica) ; Red Rosella; Common Rosella; White-cheeked Rosella; Red-headed Rosella

Scientific name: Platycercus eximius

The basics:
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.)

Average size:
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

Helpful Eastern Rosella Review

Eastern Rosella

From Marelise Oct 5 2014 5:10PM


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