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Crimson Rosella
Platycercus elegans

Crimson Rosella




Among 30 and 37 cm.. length and a weight between 99 and 170 g..

The Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) has a predominantly red plumage.

Its head is bright crimson in color with the lower part of the cheeks and the throat of blue color.. Mantle feathers are black with broad crimson margins of variable intensity.; rump and uppertail coverts crimson.

Medium and lower inner wing coverts black; bend of wing, lesser coverts and medium blue color external; external greater coverts bright blue, Black Interior with red edges giving a scaly appearance to this area; primary coverts blue violet; feathers of flying blackish with thin margin foreign white in them more external and blue violet in vane outer; secondary black with vane external blue violet; tertiary black with red borders.

Under, Blackish wings with blue coats. Underparts showy crimson.

Upper, the tail is blue, the center of green-washed, Foreign feathers with vane Blackish internal and vane Violet Blue outer with pale at both ends; undertail, the tail of pale blue edged blackish when closed.

The peak of grayish-white; dark brown irises; greyish Brown legs.

The female It is smaller with narrower peak. It has no stripe under the wings..

The immature is very different, with upper parts olive green (including the tail at the top), and green underparts greyish.
The centers to the mantle feathers are dark brown, and the black markings of the wings of the adult are replaced by green. Very young birds rump is green Orange. There is a pale stripe on the bottom of the wings (formed by stains pale in vane inner). It shows red feathers on the head, chest, buttocks and subcaudales coverts and move through the first fall.

Adult plumage is reached in a few 15 months. Immatures of the population in the North are mainly red, and there are less green unripe in Norfolk Island than mainland populations.


Description subspecies Platycercus elegans
  • Platycercus elegans elegans

    (Gmelin, 1788) – The nominal species

  • Platycercus elegans flaveolus

    (Gould, 1837) – With 33 cm.. length, approximately, It is but little that the nominal species, Yellow has no orange hue and there is orange in the neck, chest and abdomen.

  • Platycercus elegans fleurieuensis

    (Ashby, 1917) – IMG – It differs from the species rated as having an intense orange color, Red plumage, the mantle and black gray back, with pale orange-red spots; pale blue medium and secondary wing coverts.

  • Platycercus elegans melanopterus

    (North, 1906) – Of 36 cm.. length, approximately. The bordered red are more narrow, with which the back looks more black. Female as the nominal.

  • Platycercus elegans nigrescens

    (Ramsay,EP, 1888) – With 34 cm.. length, It is smaller than the nominal value and the color red is much more dark. Red feathers are more narrow. Female as the nominal.

  • Platycercus elegans subadelaidae

    (Mathews, 1912) – Approximately from 36 cm.. length. Instead of Red Blend Red, Orange and yellow. Orange red forehead, the Crown and face, they turned to brighter red frontal band. Yellow olive from the low back to the supracaudales coverts


Crimson Rosella

The Crimson Rosella they frequent tropical and humid subtropical forests near the coast and the surroundings of montane forests at altitudes up to 1.900 m.

They are mainly on the edges of jungle, in the secondary zones and in the dense forests of eucalyptus they arrive at a good stage of maturity.

To the South of the hunter river in New South Wales, they are distributed at all altitudes.

The nominal species has a preference for thick wooded areas, but often goes into open areas and farmland where it is mixed with the Perico conr (Platycercus eximius).

It also tends to visit plots of pine trees.

In the Kangaroo Island, where is the only parakeet present, He lives in all types of forest habitats, they are also adapting to farmland.

The subspecies subadelaidae and fleurieuensis, sometimes grouped under the term Adelaide parakeet, frequent valleys forest, arboreal galleries that border the rivers or trees on the edge of the roads. They are also present in the orchards and farmland.

The Flaveolus subspecies attends the same types of habitat, that is to say, curtains of trees dominated by red rubber trees along the river.

To feed, move away from rivers and raid agricultural land, flooded Plains, or bushes “Mallee“.

Adults are sedentary. Usually, they live in pairs or in small groups. On the other hand, juveniles and subadults form noisy groups and many roam locally when leaving dormitory at sunrise.

Its main activity is carried out in the morning and in the evening. in the middle of the day, they rest in the shady foliage. But, If the sky is overcast and the weather is cool, these birds are active during the day.

The Crimson Rosella they seek food on Earth, in trees and shrubs. They often feed in the company of the Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius), But if the joint working group is altered during its activity, the two species are separated in flight and taken opposite directions, each seeking refuge by his side.

The Crimson Rosella they are not very shy and can be approached at a very short distance.
In urban areas, they are particularly friendly.


The breeding season covers the months of August to February and, sometimes even later.

The elegant parakeet build their nests on a branch or in the cavity of a tree trunk. Usually, Choose a healthy or dead eucalyptus, but sometimes they install their nests in a place as strange as the metal beam of a construction crane.

In all cases, the nest is located high above the ground. Spawning usually includes 4 to 7 white eggs, rarely 8, which are incubated during approximately 19 days.

The female incubates the eggs alone, but the chicks receive equal attention from both parents.

The nesting cycle is quite long and it takes around 5 weeks


The Crimson Rosella they have a mainly vegetarian mixed diet. Consume the seeds of black Cypress of Australia (Callitris endlicheri), figs, seeds of acacia and eucalyptus.

The vegetable part of its menu is complemented by a wide variety of imported plants such as Rosa rubiginosa, clover or chickweed (Stellaria media).

In the South of its range, they eat the fruits or flowers trees of Melaleuca, banksia and casuarina.

Insects are not forgotten in your menu: Hemiptera, psyllids, termites, aphids and larvae of beetles.

These parrots times behave as true pests in orchards, eating apples, Plums, pears and quinces.


Confined to the coastal area of Eastern Australia where are widely distributed in the wooded areas along and East of the Great dividing range.

There is an isolated population in the North between the surrounding of Atherton, Northeast of Queensland, to the South of the mountain range of Clarke and Eungella (the population in Eungella It can also be isolated).

The main population is distributed around Gympie, Southeast of Queensland, in the North, across the border with New South Wales, coming up to the Warrumbungle National Park, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga, where are approaching the eastern end where the Yellow Rosella.

In Victoria extends from the East to the Grampian and the Edenhope district, where spills into the Southeast end of Australia, coming to Kingston at its western end.

There is also an isolated population in the Kangaroo Island.

The species is found in the wild around Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, and leaks from birds have been around Perth. There are records in the North of Tasmania and the islands of the bass strait, probably, also refer to birds Getaways.

It is common in the Norfolk Island where it was introduced in the century 19, but is absent in the vicinity of Nepean and Philip Island; an attempt to introduce the species in Lord Howe Island failed.

Was also introduced in New Zealand, showing in the West suburbs of Wellington, and some birds can also persist in the District of Dunedin of South Island where can hybridize with the introduced Perico conr.

The world's population is above 200.000. Moderate numbers in captivity.
The birds can be eradicated with a permit in States where the destruction of crops occurs.


Distribution subspecies Platycercus elegans



• Current category of the Red List of the UICN: Least concern

• Population Trend: Decreasing

The size of the world's population has not been quantified, Although it is estimated above 200.000 specimens.

The Crimson Rosella they are infrequent at both ends of its distribution area, but in other places, they are locally abundant and common.
In the North, they are slightly less numerous. In the past recent, they have colonized successfully parks and urban gardens, so now are very widespread in the suburbs of Canberra and Adelaide.
In the Norfolk Island, the import is so successful that they now represent a competition and a significant danger to the Red-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae).

"Crimson Rosella" in captivity:

Moderately loud, very active, they are acclimatized to the owner. It is not usually compatible with other birds.
A sample of the subspecies subadelaidae lived 26,8 years in captivity
Rare in captivity.

Alternative names:

Crimson Rosella, Adelaide Parakeet, Beautiful Lory, Blue-cheeked Rosella, Campbell Parakeet, Crimson Rosella (Crimson), Mountain Lowry, Murray Rosella, Murray Smoker, Murrumbidgee Lowry, Murrumbidgee Rosella, Pennant’s Parakeet, Pennant’s Rosella, Red Lory, Red Lowry, Red Parrot, Swamp Lory, Yellow Parakeet, Yellow Parrot (ingles).
Perruche de Pennant (French).
Pennantsittich, Adelaidesittich, Pennant-Sittich (German).
Rosela-Pennant (Portuguese).
Perico Elegante, Rosela Roja, Periquito Pennant, Rosella Carmesí (español).

scientific classification:

Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Psittaculidae
Genus: Platycercus
Scientific name: Platycercus elegans
Citation: (Gmelin, JF, 1788)
Protonimo: Psittacus elegans

Images “Crimson Rosella”:

Videos "Crimson Rosella"

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans)


  • Avibase
  • Parrots of the World – Forshaw Joseph M
  • Parrots A Guide to the Parrots of the World – Tony Juniper & Mike Parr
  • Wikipedia
  • Loromania
  • Birdlife
  • AnAge: The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database – Anagé Database

  • Photos:

(1) – An adult Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans), Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria, Australia By JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(2) – A Crimson Rosella photographed though a window in the Blue Mountains, Australia By John Poulakis from Australia (Crimson RosellaUploaded by Snowmanradio) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(3) – Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) photographed taken in Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia Fir0002 [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons
(4) – A Crimson Rosella in a bird bath Canberra, Australia By Duncan McCaskill (Picasa Web Albums) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
(5) – Juvenile Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by David CookFlickr
(6) – An adult Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) Jacques Barraband [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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