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Australian Rosellas

I have taken a few minutes to review the beautifully coloured Rosellas. Australia is home to six species of these amazing birds.

Rosellas are generally identified by their distinctive cheek patches and white beak.


Broadly speaking, there are three groups of rosellas: white-cheeked rosellas, blue-cheeked rosellas and yellow cheeked rosellas. They are amongst some of the most colourful birds of Australia and to top it all off for us birders, they are actually tame and a common sight in suburbs.


Blue-cheeked Rosellas


Credit © Luke Seitz


The Green Rosella is native to Tasmania and is one of the most common birds of the island. They are the largest species of the Rosella family. They are mostly yellow and have facial patches similar to the Crimson Rosella.


The Crimson Rosella is native to eastern and southeastern Australia where they are a commonly seen in forests and gardens. They are a beautiful sight when feeding amongst green foliage.


White-cheeked Rosellas


Credit © Laurie Ross & Steven Pratt


The northern rosella is native to, you guessed it, northern Australia where it ranges from Kimberley to the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is unusually coloured for a rosella with a black head and neck and predominantly white plumage;

The eastern rosella is one of the most coloured of the species. It ranges from Tasmania to southeast Australia. Like all other rosellas, its diet consists of seeds and fruit.


The pale-headed rosella ranges from the Cape York peninsula to central north Queensland. It is mostly pale blue and has pale yellow upper breast and head.


Yellow-cheeked Rosellas


Credit © Geoffrey Groom


The western rosella is the only representative of this category. You also guessed it, they are endemic to south western Australia. They have beautiful bright red underparts and yellow cheeks which distinguishes them from other species. They are also the only species to exhibit sexual dimorphism with the female being duller overall.


Australia is truely gifted with some beautifully coloured birdlife!



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© 2020 by Oliver Lavillette

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