The Rosella parakeet, a native of Australia, is valued for its bright plumage. Red is a prominent color on the head, and the bird also has white cheeks that are a bluish shade when it is young. The breast is also red, with part of the breast colored yellow and merging to a yellow-green. Blue is prominent on its wings, and edges the bird’s bluish green tail.
The bird is a small parrot averaging about 12 inches (30.48 centimeters) long. It is difficult to distinguish a Rosella’s gender without veterinary aid, but in general the males are brighter and larger than females. Another trait that might help to distinguish the sexes is the white feathers some females have on their wings’ underside. Although originally from Australia, populations are now found in New Zealand. In the wild, they enjoy flying and activity, and can be found in a variety of natural settings, from parks to grasslands and woodlands to the coast.
The Rosella parakeet is not as vocal as some other parrots and it is not a great talker or whistler. As a pet parrot, however, it can be socialized, but success is greater if an owner begins with a handfed youngster who is accustomed to human contact. Successful socialization also requires that an owner spend time with a Rosella parakeet daily. These birds make rewarding and beautiful pets, kept in the home in pairs or alone, and they can live for up to two decades.
Like many birds, the Rosella parakeet likes to splash in water and clean itself, an activity they find very enjoyable, and owners should allow them the opportunity to bathe. These exotic pets need an adequate amount of room to allow for sufficient movement. At minimum, their cages need to measure at least 24 inches (60.96 centimeters) high and 16 inches (40.64 centimeters) wide. Their diet is a variety of fruits, greens and seeds.
In their natural habitat, these birds live in communities of about 20 birds, but this number swells to about 100 in the colder months. In warm weather they begin their breeding by building nests. The female sits on the eggs, which hatch in about three weeks, and the male feeds both his mate and his young. The chicks start showing their distinctive colorful plumage when they reach five weeks old.