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

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  • An Australian Parrot
  • Scientific Name: Platycercus caledonicus
  • Sub Species: None
  • Origin / Distribution: Tasmania and islands of Bass Straits.
  • Habitat In Wild: Found throughout Tasmania and King Island and occupy the diverse habitat range of this southern Australian island State. Occupies forested areas as well as open grasslands.  Will forage into orchards and urban areas.  Sometimes considered as a pest in commercial orchard areas.
  • Status In Wild: Fairly common in Tasmania, but declining on King Island due to loss of suitable habitat.
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity: Low
  • Age To Sexual Maturity: 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: attained at about 14 - 16 months
  • Best breeding years (estimate): The Green Rosella may take 3 or more years to start breeding. There after they are usually regular breeders.
  • Lifespan (estimate): approx. 15 or more years
  • Sexing: Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations: Possibly one.
  • Availability: Not a popular aviary bird possibly due to its lack of colour and its reputation of being aggressive.
  • Temperament: Generally not a good breeder in warmer areas/states. Prefers a large aviary.  They can be aggressive to other birds and double wiring between adjacent aviaries is essential.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $350
  • Description Of Adults:
  1. Length: Approx. 350 - 370 mm (or approx. 14 inches). Largest of the Rosellas.
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 170 gms (or approx  6 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.

The Tasmanian Rosella is best housed in a large aviary as this should maximize the activity of this bird and reduce the chances of becoming overweight.  This bird occurs naturally in Tasmania and when it is housed and bred in warmer states it may suffer from the heat.  Careful shading of the aviary should be considered if there are any signs of heat stress.

An aviary of up to 5 metres in length and 1 metre wide should give these sedentary birds enough room to gain sufficient exercise and maintain good health.  The roof should be fully roofed and the aviary be well shaded in the warmer states during the summer months.  Although these Rosellas require more shade than other parrots, they need adequate sunlight to maintain good health.

Due to their aggressive nature, they are best housed as one pair per aviary.
The aviary should be no smaller than 3 metres long.

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.

In the wild they consume foods from native and exotic trees and shrubs.  Fruits, berries and flowers are consumed.  Seeds of grasses, flower and leaf buds, nectar along with insects and insect larvae may be consumed.  They have adapted to include fruits from farmlands and gardens in their diets.

Green Rosellas have a tendency to become overweight so grains such as Sunflower should be monitored closely.  Basic diet includes a quality Budgie mix or Canary mix with added sunflower and safflower seed.  A variety of fruits and vegetables should make up a good portion of their diet to help avoid excessive weight gain.  The Green Rosella, along with most captive birds, like to nibble on seeding grasses and greens.  Leafy green vegetables such as silverbeet and endive should be offered.  Fresh eucalypt branches and other suitable fresh branches can be offered so the birds can chew the branches and eat any fruits or berries.  The sunflower and safflower seeds can be offered in separate dishes so the breeder can monitor the amount of these seeds consumed.
Soaked or sprouted seed can be offered.
Some birds will consume insects such as mealworms.  Insects can be a good source of easily digested protein during the breeding season.

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: October to January/February
  • Log / Nest-box:
    • Length / depth  400 - 600 mm (or approx 16 - 24 inches)
    • Log internal diameter approx. 250 - 300 mm (or approx. 10 - 12 inches)
    • Nest-box internal dimensions approx. 250 - 275 mm square (or approx. 10 - 11 inches square)
    • Diameter of entrance hole approx  75 mm (or approx  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: = In warmer climates the nest must be protected from direct sunlight and in an area with good air flow.
    • 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.

Nest inspections are generally NOT tolerated.

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 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 or 5.  Incubation approx. 19 - 21 days.  Fledge approx. 5 weeks.  Independent approx. another 2 - 3 weeks, sometimes up to 4 weeks.

The young should be removed from the parent birds after they have become fully independent so as to avoid aggression from one or both parent birds.

For best pair compatibility of the Green rosella, it is preferable to introduce the birds to each other as juveniles. Adults form strong pair-bonds. If you are luck enough to have several young birds and the space to house them in the same large aviary, let the birds choose their own partner. The birds that show an interest in each other can then be placed in an aviary of their own.

In the wild, it is thought these birds may mate for life.

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 54 No. 1 Jan 2000 Page 20-23
  • A/A Vol 30 No. 9 Sept 1976 Page 146-148
  • A/A Vol 15 No. 12 Dec 1961 Page 157-158.
  • A/A Vol   4 No 2 Feb 1950 Page 26-27.
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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