Articles

Same Bird, Different Name

Did you know that the name of your favourite native Parrots, Parakeets and Rosellas are known by totally different names in other States and Territories?

Common Parrot names . . .

Brown's, Crimson, Golden-mantle, Green, Mountain (C), Mountain (G), Non-pareil, Polly, Red Lowry, Smutty, Tasman, Tussock, Yellow-bellied, and Yellow-breasted.

Common Parakeet names . . .

Blue-cheeked, Brown's, Rosehill, Smutty, Stanley, and Yellow-cheeked.

Common Rosella names . . .

The Blue, Blue-cheeked, Brown's, Common, Mealy, Morton Bay, Murrumbidgee, Red-headed, Smutty, Stanley, Swamp Lowry, Tasmanian, White-cheeked, White-headed, Yellow-cheeked, Murray Smoker, and the Rosy Rosella.

Local names . . .

Adelaide Rosella - has plumage similar to Crimson and Yellow Rosella.

Lives in timbered valleys in the Mount Lofty Ranges, open forests and woodlands, along waterways and occasionally can be found in mallee and timbered farmland and roadsides.  But its range is usually confined to Mount Lofty and the southern Flinders Ranges (South Australia) from Willunga (south of Adelaide) north to Quorn and east to Murray Bridge, Mannum, Morgan and Peterborough.

Crimson Rosella - most colourful and most familiar parrot is deep crimson with blue cheek, shoulder and tail, mantle heavily mottled black. Queensland has smallest and darkest.

Pairs, parties flocks to about 20, often largely comprised of immatures. Feeds in foliage and on ground at edge of clearings ; dashes for cover when alarmed. Flight fast and swooping, often with deep exaggerated wingbeats, brassy cries ; note contrast of crimson body and rump and flashing two-toned blue wings, tail margined bluish white.

Often tame in parks and gardens. Will come to bird-tables.

Similar Species King Parrot

Voice Contact-call, mellow ringing 'trip-klee' or slow bell-like 'klee-kleekeee' ; in flight, raucous brassy clanging 'kleekleeklee'. Habitat Rainforests ; wetter forests and woodlands to above snowline ; fern gullies. In autumn and winter disperses into more open country, timbered roadsides, shelter-belts and watercourses, coastal scrubs ; cultivated paddocks and gardens. Breeding Nest : on decayed debris ; in tree hollow, at times near ground but mostly very high ; rarely in building cavities. Eggs : 5 - 8 ; white, rounded. Range Coastal east and southeast Australia ; widespread from southeast Queensland (Blackall Ranges to Gympie) south coastally and on Divide to east and south Victoria and southeast South Australia, west to Kangaroo Island ; disperses in autumn-winter, recorded inland to Moree-Warrumbungle National Park to Finley, NSW ; in Victoria north to Bendigo to Little Desert ; in southeast South Australia, north to Bordertown to Fleurieu Pen. The race nigrescens occurs in highlands of northeast Queensland from Mackay to Cooktown. Occasional records from King Island, Bass Strait and northern Tasmania thought to be vagrants or escapes. Introduced to Norfolk Island and to New Zealand.

Status Common : dispersive.

Eastern Rosella - Platycercuseximius Other Names Common, Red headed Rosella or White-cheeked Rosella ; Golden-mantle, Non-pareil Parrot or Poll Parrot ; Rosehill Parakeet, Rosy. Field Marks 2.9 - 3.4 cm. Extremely colourful : head and upperbreast bright-scarlet, cheeks white ; black mottled above, with blue shoulders, mostly yellow below, under tail-coverts red. Female : slightly duller, patchy green on rear crown. Immature : nape and crown more patchy green ; pale wingstripe in flight.

Pairs, parties and small flocks in autumn, winter. Often on roadsides or perched on fences ; raids fruit and nuts, in orchards and gardens.Feeds generally on the ground, but retreats noisily to trees if disturbed.

Flight is strongly undulating with alternating bursts of wingbeats and dips ; note the brilliant bright yellow-green to turquoise rump.

Voice Flight-call, brisk high-pitched 'pink-pink' ; Contact-call, slow ringing 'pee-ppeeee', usually from a leafy tree : also makes soft chatterings. Calls are higher pitched than the Crimson Rosella. Habitat Open forests and woodlands with adjacent grasslands : timbered watercourses ; paddocks and grain-crops ; roadsides, parks and gardens. Breeding Nest : on decayed debris ; in tree hollow, occasionally in stump or hollow fence-post. Eggs : 4 - 7 ; white, rounded. Range Southeast Australia and Tasmania : from about Gympie Queensland, through eastern NSW inland to Moree, Parkes and Griffith ; most of Victoria, to southeast South Australia. In Tasmania, widespread mostly from north-central coast through midlands to the southeast.

Status Common : sedentary.

Green Rosella - Platycercuscaledonicus Other Names Green or Mountain or Tasman Parrot, Tasmanian Rosella, Tussock Parrot ; Yellow-bellied Parrot, Yellow-breasted Parrot. Field Marks 3.2 - 3.6 cm. A very dark Tasmanian Rosella : dark green above, with heavy black mottling; head and underparts deep-yellow, red forehead-band and blue throat-patch ; blue shoulder and edge of wing, tail edged blue-white. Female : smaller, duller, throat washed orange-red. Immature : duller, olive-grey above, dull olive-green rump and tail, olive-yellow below ; pale wingstripe in flight.

Pairs, parties flocks to 20 or more in autumn and winter ; may be wholly or predominantly comprised of immatures. Feeds in foliage of Eucalypts, and on the ground. Flight strong and direct, sometimes very high ; note rich-yellow head and underparts.

Similar Species Eastern Rosella

Voice Curious loud 'kussik, kussik', repeated ; also bell-like contact note and shrill piping alarm notes. Habitat Dense mountain forests to lightly timbered farming country ; timber along rivers ; briar-scrub and roadside hawthorn hedge ; crops, orchards, gardens. Breeding Nest : on decayed wood debris ; in hollow trunk or branch. Eggs : 4 - 8 ; white, rounded. Range Confined to Tasmania and islands of Bass Strait.

Status Sedentary.

Northern Rosella - Platycercusvenustus Other Names Brown's - Parakeet, or Parrot or Rosella. Smutty - Parakeet, or Parrot or Rosella. Field Marks 2.8 - 3.0 cm. Distinctive : a yellowish rosella with a large cap ; fine dark margins to feathers of underparts give scaly look ; cheek-patch, shoulders and tail blue, under tail-coverts red. (In some, cheeks almost wholly white). Immature : duller ; may have reddish marks on head and breast ; in flight pale wingbars.

Pairs to small flocks (usually) ; feeds on ground and in foliage of shrubs and trees. Flight swift and strongly undulating.

Similar Species Hooded Parrot

Voice Rapid succession of high-pitched notes, 'trin-se trinse' ; chatterings when feeding Habitat Open woodlands and scrublands and nearby clearings ; timber along watercourses ; occasional mangroves ; roadsides, crops gardens. Breeding Nest : on decayed debris ; in tree-hollow, usually a eucalyptus near water. Eggs : 2 - 4 ; white, rounded. Range Northern Australia and coastal islands : from Spring Creek, northwest Western Australia and Kimberlies to far northwest Queensland ; south in Northern Territory to Pearce Point to Katherine to Macarthur River. Status Generally uncommon ; sedentary.

Pale-headed Rosella - Platycercusadscitus Other Names Blue-cheeked Parakeet or Rosella ; Blue, Mealy, Morton Bay or White-headed Rosella. Field Marks 2.8 - 3.2 cm. Palest-headed Australian Parrot. A variable species, easily recognized in all its forms by white or pale-yellow head and rosella-like behavior and calls. Nominate race : head white or yellow-white with large white and small blue throat-patches, feathers of mantle black, edged yellowish or bluish ; shoulders blue, sides of breast yellow, underparts and rump pale blue-grey to cobolt-blue, under tail-coverts red. Immature : like adult but duller.

Pairs to flocks ; feeds on ground and in foliage and blossoms ; may raid crops and/or orchards. Flight is strongly undulating with regular dips and shoots ; note colour of rump : greyish or yellowish.

Voice Flight-call, 'crikcrik', deeper and higher than equivalent 'pink pink' of Eastern Rosella. Also ringing rapid, high pitched 'fee feefee'. Habitat Open woodlands and scrublands, timber along watercourses, grasslands adjacent to these ; clearings in woodland and forest ; roadsides, farmland, orchards, agricultural land and small crops ; on the moon hehe ; lantana thickets. Breeding Nest : on decayed debris ; in tree-hollow. Eggs : 3 - 5 ; white, rounded. Range Eastern Australia and some coastal islands, from Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, south to Clarence River and Woolgoolga, NSW.in Queensland, inland to about Richmond to Longreach to Cunnamulla ; in NSW inland to about Bourke to Walgett. Status Common ; sedentary.

Western Rosella - Platycercusicterotis Other Names Stanley Parakeet or Stanley Rosella, Yellow-cheeked Parrot or Yellow-cheeked Rosella Field Marks 2.5 - 2.8 cm.

The smallest of the Rosellas, and unlike any other parrot in southwest Australia. Male : scarlet head and body set off by prominent yellow cheek-patch, feathers of mantle black, margined grey-green. Female : green above, cheek-patch duller; head and breast mostly green, with red forehead and touches of red and yellow below. Immature : greener, no cheek-patch.

Pairs, small parties ; quiet and often tame ; feeds in foliage of shrubs and trees and on ground, flies up to nearest tree if disturbed. Flight gentle with few undulations ; female and immature show pale wingbar.

Voice Soft 'chink chink'. Habitat Open forest and woodland with clearings ; trees along watercourses, and grasslands or crops with a few trees ; farmlands, roadsides, orchards, surrounds of homesteads, and gardens. Breeding Nest : on decayed debris ; in tree-hollow, usually in Eucalypt, often at no great height. Eggs : 3 - 7 ; white, rounded. Range Confined to southwest Western Australia Status Fairly common ; sedentary.

Yellow Rosella - Platycercusflaveolus Other Names Murrumbidgee or Swamp Lowry or Rosella ; Murray Smoker Field Marks 3.0 - 3.4 cm.

Mostly pale-yellow ; forehead red, cheeks and shoulders blue ; feathers of mantle black, with broad yellow margins giving heavily mottled look ; tail blue with whitish margins. Some of both sexes have reddish wash on throat and/or breast. Immature : upper parts and rump dull olive-green, yellow-green below ; pale wingstripe in flight ; some assume dull adult plumage from nest.

Pairs to small flocks.

Feeds on ground in open forest, grassland and in foliage and blossoms of Eucalypts and Acacias ; fond of peppercorns and fruit ; visits orchards and gardens 

Similar Species Adelaide Rosella

Voice Flight call, ringing 'rik-rik' ; when perched, bell-like call of two slow notes, then two very short notes : 'ding-ding, didit'. Habitat River red gums on and near watercourses, woodlands of black and grey box and mallee ; grassy clearings, grazing country and cropland ; timber along roadsides, shelter-belts ; parks and gardens. Breeding Nest : on decayed debris ; in tree-hollow, usually high ; often in river red gum overhanging or standing in water. Eggs : 4 - 5 ; white, rounded. Range River red gum forests along Murray, Darling, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Goulburn, and other rivers and tributaries in south and southwest NSW, north in Victoria, and southeast South Australia. Status Common ; sedentary.

Additional Information You may also wish to examine the rec.birds "newsgroup" for additional information, or to "post" a request for information about, and/or your comments on, any "bird" related topic.