Adelaide Rosellas

Adelaide Rosella

Adelaide Rosella

From time to time we have the local Adelaide sub species of the Crimson Rosella in our garden here in Murray Bridge. This morning I observed two of them in the mallee scrub at the back of our house. They were in the company of the resident Mallee Ringneck parrots until they flew off.

Adelaide Rosellas are found in the Mt. Lofty Ranges and mid north of South Australia, as well as suburban Adelaide. The Crimson Rosellas are much brighter in colour (see photo below) while the Adelaide sub species has a washed out orange colouring on the front feathers. Throughout their range there is considerable colour variation in the intensity of the orange.

Here in Murray Bridge, some 75km south east of Adelaide, this species is near the eastern edge of their range. Consequently I only observe them several times a year. Normally I have to go 10-15 kilometres to the west to see them on a regular basis.

Crimson Rosella, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra

Crimson Rosella, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra


8 Responses to “Adelaide Rosellas”

  1. Heather says:

    Hi there Trevor, (I’m a fan of your Magpie blog.)

    Late this afternoon I witnessed, from my window, an Eastern Rosella (that was feeding on some old hay on the ground), being taken by a bird of prey of some kind: all I saw was the fawn-coloured back of a bird around twice the size of the ER. I shortly afterwards spotted my resident magpie family screaming and swooping to the ground just 100m away, in the bush, and as I approached, the raptor arose and left the injured ER on the ground – it is now safely housed in my laundry and will go to the vet recommended by my local wildlife carer in the morning.

    What raptor might this be? It was certainly not a wedge-tailed-eagle as it was not big enough. I’d really like to know what bird I witnessed, if you have any ideas. (I’m in central/south Gippsland, Victoria.)

    Btw, thanks for your super website.



  2. Trevor says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for visiting my site and for your kind words.

    From your description it is hard to determine exactly which raptor tried to capture the rosella but it was possibly a Brown Falcon. Do you have a bird field guide (or can you borrow one from the library) to check it out?

  3. Heather says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction – there are so many raptors and I saw only its back so I had little idea where to begin. Yes I think it was either the Brown Falcon or the Brown Goshawk. Shame I didn’t see its legs!

    The rosella is now in the expert hands of Harry Pappas “The Bird Man” of Gippsland, and stands a good chance of recovery. Harry was kind enough to show me the 140 birds in his care. His knowledge and dedication is astounding – it takes him about six hours every single day to complete two feeding rounds. Perhaps you have met him or heard of him in your travels.

    Thanks again for your advice, hope all is well over your way.


    Heather James.

  4. ian says:

    Hi Trevor and Heather,
    i just wanted to let you know that there are a Adelaide rosella’s that made a hole in my roof and have went in and layed 5 eggs.

  5. Trevor says:

    Hi there Ian,

    That’s an interesting observation. I have found that many bird species are opportunistic when it comes to nesting sites.

    The question I have is: are you charging them rent?? LOL

  6. ian says:

    LOL,they are so cute and birds are my favourite animals. i love animals. they’re just so cool and cute.

  7. ian says:

    Hey trevor, ill send you the pictures of the bird sitting on the eggs in the roof and the picture of the eggs and the picture of the babys when they hatch if you want. but i need to find out how to send the photos. thanks.

  8. Trevor says:

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the photos – a very interesting observation.

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