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Pale-headed Rosella

 (Platycercus adscitus)

Also known as: Mealy Rosella or Parakeet, Moreton Bay Rosella or Parakeet, Blue Rosella, White-headed Rosella, Blue-cheeked Rosella

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Pale-headed Rosella
© Jim Bendon | Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Pale-headed Rosella usually nests in hollow tree trunks, but have also been known to use fence posts.

Academic Research

Related publications: Platycercus adscitus

Species Profile

Genus: Platycercus | Species: adscitus

Size:

30cm (11.7 in)

Weight:

95-120g (3.3-4.2 oz)

Races including nominate:

two: P.a. adscitus, P.a. palliceps

Colour Adult:

P.a. adscitus: Male-pale yellow crown to ear coverts; white upper cheek patches, blue lower; yellow upper breast; blue lower breast and abdomen; red undertail coverts; black back with pale yellow mottling; blue outer wing coverts. Bill white. Eye brown.  Female-in general duller than male; pale underwing stripe present.
P.a. palliceps: Both adults plumage variable; green/blue rump and upper tail coverts; yellow/white head; golden/yellow mottling to back; blue underparts reaching into yellow/white breast, but variably blue may reach up to throat and lower cheeks. Slightly larger in size.

Colour Juvenile:

P.a. adscitus: Grey crown and nape, tipped yellow or orange/red; pale yellow underparts; pale underwing stripe present.
P.a. palliceps: As in juvenile adscitus, but green/blue rump and upper tail coverts.

Call:

Contact call while in flight described as sharp and short; while perched a three syllable whistle on ascending scale or metallic piping. Alarm call is shrill and screechy. Feeding is done in silence. In treetops there is much soft chattering in groups.

Listen Now

Video Links:

Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3

More Information:

Avibase
Handbook of the Birds of the World

Content Sources:

CITES
BirdCare
Lexicon of Parrots
BirdLife International
Internet Bird Collection
Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World, Juniper and Parr, 1998
ML Media Collection Catalogue 173656, Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus, Mathers-Winn, Cedar, Queensland, Australia, Dec 21 2012, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Site
Parrots of the World, Forshaw and Cooper, 1977. 2010 edition
Parrots of the World, Forshaw, 2006.
Parrots in Aviculture, Low, 1992.

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Pale-headed Rosella
© Jim Bendon | Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Pale-headed Rosella usually nests in hollow tree trunks, but have also been known to use fence posts.

Academic Research

Related publications: Platycercus adscitus

Species Care

Captive Status:

Common in EU, less so in US.

Longevity:

15+ yrs

Housing:

Walk-in enclosure, minimum length 4.5m (14.7 ft). Do not house this species next to other rosellas.

Diet:

Small seed mix such as: canary, oats, safflower and a little hemp; spray millet; limited sunflower seed, dry, soaked or sprouted; sprouted mung beans, cooked butterbeans and lentils; boiled maize; green leaves such as: Swiss chard, lettuce, sowthistle, dandelion, chickweed, daily; vegetables such as: carrot, corn, celery, zucchini, squash, green beans and peas in the pod; fruit such as: apple, pear, orange, banana, pomegranate; nuts such as: lightly cracked hazelnuts, pecans and roasted peanuts; complete pellet.

Enrichment:

Enjoys scratching around in soil; for this reason needs to be regularly dewormed. Enjoys bathing, so provide overhead misters or shallow bowls of water. Vigorous chewer, so provide bird-safe, unsprayed flowering, fir, willow or pine branches; heat sterilized pine cones, wooden toys, different sized perches. Also ladders, swings and ropes.

Nest Box Size:

Vertical box 9" x 9" x 24" (22.8cm x 22.8cm x 61cm).

Clutch Size:

4-5

Incubation Time:

20 days

Fledging Age:

5 weeks

Hatch Weight:

Not recorded.

Peak Weight:

Not recorded.

Weaning Weight:

Not recorded.

Specialist Club:

Avicultural Society of Australia

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Pale-headed Rosella
© Jim Bendon | Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Pale-headed Rosella usually nests in hollow tree trunks, but have also been known to use fence posts.

Academic Research

Related publications: Platycercus adscitus

Species Wild Status

World Population:

Unknown, increasing.

IUCN Red List Status:

Least Concern

CITES Listing:

Appendix II

Threat Summary:

None at present.

Range:

P.a. adscitus: Confined to Cape York Peninsula, N Queensland.
P.a. palliceps: NE New South Wales north to NE Queensland.

Habitat:

Found up to 700m (2296 ft) in a variety of habitats including open woodland, scrub, riverine woodland, grasslands, roadsides, Lantana thickets, agricultural areas, orchards and coastal heath.

Wild Diet:

Feeds on fruits, flowers, seeds, nectar, insects and nuts.

Ecology and Behaviour:

Seen in flocks or pairs feeding quietly on the ground or vocalizing in the bushes. Has benefitted from cultivation and the addition of artificial watering areas. Are noisy and conspicuous early in the day.

Clutch and Egg Size:

4-5 rounded eggs, 26.0 x 21.5mm (1 x 0.8 in).

Breeding Season:

September-January

Related Links:

Wikipedia
Research: Flock size of of feeding Eastern and Pale-headed Rosellas
Research: Diet of Eastern and Pale-headed Rosellas
 

Click photo to visit gallery

Wild Pale-headed Rosella
© Jim Bendon | Wikimedia Commons

Did You Know?

The Pale-headed Rosella usually nests in hollow tree trunks, but have also been known to use fence posts.

Academic Research

Related publications: Platycercus adscitus

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