Australian Bush Birds
Pale-headed Rosella  -  Platycercus adscitus
Pale-headed Rosella
The Pale-headed Rosella has a pale yellow or nearly white head.
Pale-headed Rosella Pale-headed Rosella
The Pale-headed Rosella - Platycercus adscitus - has a pale yellow head with white cheek patch. Upper breast and throat are pale blue; deep blue extends onto the upper wing. Red under tail. Upper back feathers are black with yellow fringes; lower back is variable yellowish, washed pale blue. Reaches 28 to 34 centimetres in length.

Found from north eastern New South Wales and eastern Queensland to Cape York.

There are two versions which were thought to be different species. Variant palliceps, found roughly south of Townsville, is as described above. Variant adscitus is also known as the 'Blue-checked Rosella' and has a blue-violet lower edge to the white cheek patch as well as yellow upper breast. Variants hybridise around Cairns and Townsville. Feeds in pairs or small groups on the ground or in trees.

Lives in grassy woodland, on farmland with scattered trees, in trees along watercourses and roads, on dry scrubby ridges but not on higher ridges.

Breeds in August to January or after rain in March to August after rain in drier parts of its range.

The nest is built in a high, often small, hollow of a trunk or tree limb. A clutch of rounded white eggs 27 by 22 millimetres is incubated by the female alone for 9 to 21 days. The male feeds the female on the nest and helps to feed the young.

Pale Headed Rosella - page 2
map map Young Pale-headed Rosellas leave the nest hollow fully fledged at about four weeks old.

An abundant, sedentary species. Some authorities consider Pale-headed Rosellas to be variants of the Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius).

Pale-headed Rosella
The Pale-headed Rosella's red tail coverts can cause identification confusion.