Australian Bush Birds
Eastern Rosella  -  Platycercus eximius
eastern rosella
Eastern Rosella with red head and multi-coloured body. (Gosford, NSW)
eastern rosells
Eastern Rosella showing off its colours. The extended yellow fringing on the back feathers indicates this bird may be one of the variant known as the "Golden-mantled Rosella" found in north-eastern New South Wales. (Casino, NSW)
map map The Eastern Rosella - Platycercus eximius - is a brightly coloured bird with red head and breast with white cheeks; nape is red with yellow patches. Lower breast is yellow, belly is lime green merging to red behind the legs. Underside of tail is pale grey. Back feathers are black with prominent light green or yellow borders forming a scalloped pattern. Wings are black and deep blue. Reaches 28 to 33 centimetres in length.

Found in south-east Australia from Spencer Gulf across Victoria, Tasmania and much of New South Wales to south-eastern Queensland.

Eastern Rosella - page 2
There are three variants; the Tasmanian variant is darker red with larger white cheek patches; the variant in south-east Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales has more extensive yellow fringing on the back and is sometimes known as the 'Golden-mantled Rosella'. Range overlaps with the Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. Species inter-breed in the overlap area.

Feeds on the ground individually or in small flocks. Abundant in suitable habitats.

Lives in woodland with scattered trees but mainly grass, on farmlands and croplands, in trees along watercourses. Generally in open environments below 1200 metres elevation.
Eastern Rosella Eastern Rosella
Comparison of yellow fringes on black back feathers. The left hand photograph, from the Central Coast, shows the usual width yellow fringe on the back feathers. The right hand photograph, from Casino, shows a wider yellow fringe to the bird's back feathers.
Eastern Rosella Eastern Rosella
Left. Eastern Rosella on beach grass on the Central Coast.
Right. Eastern Rosella perched on radio aerial at Casino displaying underside colouring.