Crimson Rosella
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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  • An Australian Parrot
  • Scientific Name: Platycercus elegans elegans
  • Common Name/s: CRIMSON ROSELLA
  • Sub Species: 4. (Crimson Rosella = P. e. elegans. Crimson Rosella = P. e. nigrescens. Adelaide Rosella = P. e. adelaidae. Yellow Rosella = P. e. flaveolus.)
  • Origin / Distribution: The nominate sub-species is found in Eastern and south-eastern Australia.  P. e. nigrescens is found only in Queensland and its range does not overlap with the nominate sub-species.
  • Habitat In Wild: Forests and surrounding secondary vegetation.  Will forage in farmlands and urban areas.
  • Status In Wild: Generally secure, but numbers vary widely within its natural range.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Secure
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: May breed at about 12 months of age.  Ideally hens should be 18 months of age or older before attempting breeding.  May take up to 2 - 3 years to reach full sexual maturity.
  • Adult plumage: Starts at about 12 months of age and attain full colour by 16 - 18 months of age
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: Yes
  • Availability: Bird dealers and specialist breeders.
  • Temperament: Popular and colourful but is an aggressive bird and best housed one pair per flight.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $80
  • Description Of Adults: Crimson Rosella sub-species, P. e. nigrescens, is slightly smaller than the nominate race.
  1. Length: Approx. 340 - 360 mm (or approx. 13.5 - 14 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 120 - 150 gms (or approx 4 - 5 ozs)

 Aviary Notes:

Read notes on "Rosellas" web page and use in conjunction with details outlined on this page.

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements: Refer to " Rosellas " and " Housing Birds " web pages for general details on the housing of Australian Rosellas or read on for specific details for this parrot.

As per " Rosellas " web page.

Leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches can be used for perches. These natural perches will be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Diet / Feeding: Refer to " Rosellas " and " Feeding Birds " web pages for general details on the feeding of Australian Rosellas or read on for specific details for this parrot.

As per " Rosellas " web page.

Nesting: A basic overview only.  Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.

All Australian parrots will breed in hollow logs.

  • Nesting months: September to December/January
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth  400 - 600 mm (or approx 16 - 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 175 - 250 mm (or approx. 7 - 10 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 175 - 225 mm square (or approx. 7 - 9 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx. 65 - 75 mm (or approx  2.5 - 3 inches)
    • Inspection hole (square or round) 100 mm (or approx  4 inches)
    • A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    • Location and height of log / nest-box = high in the covered part of the aviary but not too close to the roof to be affected by heat from the roof in the summer months.
    • Angle of log or nest box = 45 degrees through to vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: Decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole. Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening of about 65 - 75 mm diameter and about 100 mm (about 4 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year 1, sometimes 2.  Eggs per nest 4 - 6.  Incubation approx. 20 days.  Fledge approx. 5 weeks.  Independent approx. another 2 - 3 weeks, sometimes up to 4 weeks.

Ideally hens should be 18 months of age or older before attempting breeding.  May take up to 2 - 3 years to reach full sexual maturity.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues: Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site. Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace. Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References: Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol  53 No. 9 Sept 1999 Page 204-207 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol  49 No. 12 Dec 1995 Page 269-271 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol  47 No. 8 Aug 1993 Page 190-192
  • A/A Vol  42 No. 4 Apr 1988 Page 87-92 (Colour mutations)
  • A/A Vol  42 No. 3 Mar 1988 Page 87-92 (Cinnamon)
  • A/A Vol  32 No. 3 Mar 1978 Page 39-40 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol  30 No. 11 Nov 1976 Page 176-179
  • A/A Vol  30 No. 10 Oct 1976 Page 154-155
  • A/A Vol  30 No. 1 Jan 1976 Page 1-2
  • A/A Vol  25 No. 8 Aug 1971 Page 120-121.
  • A/A Vol  16 No 6 Jun 1962 Page 91-92 (Inc colour plate).
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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