Adelaide Rosella

Adelaide Rosella

Adelaide Rosella

Last Sunday we were delighted to observe two Adelaide Rosellas in our garden. It has been several years since our last sighting of this species so close to home. They are infrequent visitors, coming here every few years, sometimes staying around for a few weeks before leaving again.

The Adelaide Rosella is a common parrot of the Mt Lofty Ranges and Adelaide Plains in South Australia. They are common about 30 to 40 kilometres to the west of here in Murray Bridge. In my encounters with this species, the River Murray is about the furthest east that they venture.

This species is actually a hybrid of the Yellow Rosella found further upstream along the River Murray and the Crimson Rosella of eastern Australia and the south east part of South Australia. The feathers can vary from a rich orange through to a quite pale washed out colour.

The photos shown above and below were taken at Gawler, north of Adelaide.

Click on the photo to enlarge the image.

Adelaide Rosella

Adelaide Rosella


18 Responses to “Adelaide Rosella”

  1. […] @ Trevor’s Birding. Trevor writes a wonderful post about the Adelaide Rosella. He includes wonderful details about the appearance of this lovely bird. […]

  2. […] the most distressing sight of the whole journey involved two species. An Adelaide Rosella had fallen victim to a passing car and was lying on the roadside. It is always sad to see this […]

  3. […] the Crimson Rosella. The Crimson Rosella is a bright red in colour. Similarly, the orange coloured Adelaide Rosella found in the Mt. Lofty Ranges of the Adelaide area in South Australia, is also a race of the […]

  4. Chris Bell says:

    Several years ago I saw a pair of Adelaide Rosellas for sale in a bird shop. I did not know what they were but thought they were so beautiful. I later went back and purchased them and then tried to trace where they had come from. I found the trail began in California. They were probably bred there by a breeder. Then they were sold to another breeder in Oregon where I live. He kept them outside in a large flight with attractive plants and flowers. But they never bred so he sold them to a pet shop (where I found them). I talked to another reputable breeder because I didn’t know why these two beautiful birds molted so heavily to the extent that they actually lost all their tail feathers – something I doubted would have happened in the wild. This breeder told me that they were probably inbred and irresponsibly bred. He had often seen this.
    I only want to keep these birds in a healthy happy way so I’m going to try to build them a very large outdoor flight. I wish I could set them free but there is no way they could survive in our climate nor would they have the skills even if there were the food they need. ON a good note they are so beautiful and I enjoy watching them.

  5. Trevor says:

    Hi there Chris. welcome to my blog about Australian birds. They are really beautiful birds in the wild, a species we often take for granted here in South Australia because they are so common.

    You are certainly wise in keeping your birds in captivity. They would not cope in the wild and would soon fall victim to birds of prey or even the weather. Having been provided food for their entire lives would also mean that they could starve very quickly if released. Just enjoy them is my advice.

  6. Marie says:


    Just a quick question i have a crimson rosella ? or a Adelaide rosella ? could either be out in a avairy with a galah and budgies and quails and a guinea pig.


  7. Trevor says:

    Hi there Marie,

    Thank you for your question. I am not at all experienced in keeping birds in aviaries but I do have a very good reference book. It says that all species of rosellas are aggressive in captivity and should not be placed with other species of parrots. I guess that the galah could fend for itself, but the budgies could become very stressed. I doubt if the quails or guinea pig would be affected.

  8. Lyn says:

    Hi Trevor,

    I have had a pair of Adelaide Rosellas visit my yard over a few years. For a couple of years I thought they might nest in a little alcove under my roof as they visited it several times a day for a month or two but I guess they had other options. A couple of weeks ago I hung a feeder in our oak tree which they seem to love. It’s right by my window and they visit several times a day – it’s like having an open Aviary.

    The pigeons eat the seed they drop but I have not seen any other birds eat from my feeder.
    Great blog Trevor and I will keep an eye on your tweets now – great photos.

  9. Trevor says:

    Hi there Lyn,

    Thanks for sharing your great photos with my readers. I agree with you – having lots of birds in the garden is like having an open aviary. Ours is 5 acres in size so we have plenty of birds.

  10. Jenny says:

    Hi Trevor,
    My son came across a crimson Rosella while working out in the bush. (North eastern Victoria)It had no tail feathers and could not fly. They stopped the vehicle and picked it up.
    It is happily living in a large cage in the back yard and has been for over 6 months. It’s tail feathers grow back until they are about 5 cm before they fall out again. It has the colorings of an adult bird.
    It is on a wild bird seed mix and has access to native flora.
    We plan to let it go when it has tail feathers and can fly. Is there anything you can suggest? Diet? Supliments?

  11. Trevor says:

    Hi there Jenny,

    Sorry about the delay in replying.

    This certainly sounds like a diet deficiency, but this is an area where I have little knowledge or experience. You could try some fresh fruit and vegetables (eg apple, banana, carrot, silver beet, thistle, green feed such as grass).

    As for supplements try asking your local pet shop owners for advice.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  12. Mark says:

    We have a health colony of crimsom rosella at our cafe in the dandenong ranges in victoria. i have notices a juvenile bird that is burnt orange in colour,is it an adelaide rosella that has made its way here or the result of a cross or in breeding

  13. Trevor says:

    Hi there Mark,

    Sorry about the delay in replying.

    There are 2 possibilities. The bird you are seeing might have some form of genetic problem – a bit like when you get albino animals and birds. Not all the pigments are apparent. That is very much a layman’s explanation.LOL

    The other, more likely, explanation is that it has is an Adelaide Rosella which has escaped from someone’s aviary – they are very common in captivity.

    It is far too far from its normal range to occur there naturally – though stranger things have happened!!

  14. chris says:

    Does anyone know of a web site that owners of lost birds might post? There is a crimson rosella that has landed in my front yard a few times over the last week or so. I assume it’s a pet because i can hand feed it (until such time it trys to attack me) and it responds to my whistling. Thanks

  15. chris says:

    I’m in Glenunga, South Australia.
    The bird has visited a few times and may come back again, I won’t try to catch it unless i know who the owner is (assuming there is one) because i have no where to keep it.

  16. Lyn says:

    Chris there is a group you can pop an email through to Email address It is a free group across Adelaide. Some years ago I had luck finding the owners of a bird through this group however it is not as active as it once was but worth a try. Will see if I can hunt up any other places that may be able to help … Lyn

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