With their striking red and blue coloration, it is no wonder that Rosella birds are highly sought-after pets. They’re allure you with their chattering and whistles too!
They are somewhat social – able to be kept in an aviary with other beautiful birds of their kind. But they aren’t exactly the most social bird out there with people.
Still, many people keep them as pets – especially those that aren’t interested in having an overly-attached bird. They can live up to 30-years, so they are not a minor commitment in the least.
There are six species and nineteen subspecies of the Rosella birds, though only a few are widely available. Most are found at specialty stores or through breeders. They aren’t quite as popular as some other breeds.
1. Western Rosella
Image Credit: David Steele, Shutterstock
Western Rosellas are found in Western Australia. They have a unique and varied coloration. Their head and underparts are bright red, while they have yellow patches on their cheeks that help them stand out from other Rosellas.
Males and females look quite different. Males are brighter colors than females, who tend to be primarily green without the bright red coloration. Juveniles also lack a distinctive coloration.
This species is primarily widespread in Australia, where they are commonly seen in aviaries and zoological gardens. They are friendlier than other Rosellas and much quieter. Their pink-pink vocalization is much less intrusive than others.
If you’re looking for a bird that doesn’t wake you up at 5 AM yelling, this species is a much better option.
The Western Rosella breeds quickly in the wild. Males and females can breed during the first year, increasing the population of captive birds quickly.
These birds have been in captivity since the 19th century – both overseas and in Australia. A captive confirmation has developed. Most captive birds are similar to those in the wild.
Most captive bloodlines have been in captivity for a while. Therefore, they do tend to differ some from their wild cousins. That’s just what happens when humans choose which birds to breed together.
2. Crimson Rosella
Image Credit: Martin Pelanek, Shutterstock
The Crimson Rosella is one of the most popular Rosellas found in captivity. If you find a Rosella in captivity, it is probably a Crimson Rosella.
In the wild, these birds are native to south-eastern Australia. However, they have also been introduced to New Zealand and Norfolk Island, where they are commonly found in the wild.
Usually, their native habitat consists of gardens and mountain forests. However, they’re very adaptable birds. If forced to, they can live just about anywhere.
Their striking blue and red coloration are hugely appealing to most bird owners. You can thank their coloration for their increasing popularity.
It’s hard not to look at these birds when you see one!
This species is extremely noisy, though. If you’re looking for a quieter bird, this is not the option for you. They will wake you up early in the morning and continue to chat all day long. It doesn’t matter if you keep them with other birds or not.
Typically, these birds usually congregate in pairs or small groups. Juveniles can make bigger groups of up to 20 individuals. They are extremely noisy, especially when they are foraging. They are monogamous and usually spend much of their time with their mate during the breeding season.
3. Green Rosella
Green Rosellas are green – just as their name suggests. They are the largest species of Rosella, measuring at about 14.5 inches.
This species is almost entirely green. They have red bands above their beak and violet cheeks. Beyond this, they are pretty plain-looking. This lack of bright coloration is probably largely why they are not super popular in captivity.
They aren’t as bright as other Rosella. When your options are a Crimson Rosella or a green one, you’re likely going to purchase a crimson option.
Both males and females have similar plumage. The females are slightly duller than the males, but they also have brighter red markings. Juveniles are mostly all green.
If you’re looking for this species, you may have to wait a while. They are hardier than some other species and more adaptable to captivity.
Still, they are not a popular species. Their subdued colors likely have a significant effect on their small following.
The Green Rosella is prone to weight gain. Like most animals, excessive weight gain can cause serious problems. Obesity can lead to health problems of all sorts. They need a large aviary and plenty of exercise.
It is difficult for most people to own a 15-foot aviary – which may also contribute to their lower popularity.
Treats are a no-go with this species, especially things like sunflower seeds.
4. Pale-Head Rosella
While not as striking as some other breeds, the Pale-Head Rosella is beautiful in its way. They have a pastel-blue body with an extremely light-green head. Their cheeks are primarily white, hence the name “pale-head.”
This species prefers open woodland, where it can easily find seeds and fruits. They nest in larger trees, preferring hollows. Some have even been found to have nests underground in trees rather than above ground.
This species is extremely hardy, making it easily adaptable to captivity. You’d think it’d be rather popular for this reason.
But they can also be quite aggressive. Unlike other species of Rosella, they cannot be kept with other birds successfully.
They usually aren’t bred in captivity. Some are, but it is pretty rare to find a captive-bred bird. You’ll likely need to purchase one captured in the wild – if you can find one at all!
5. Eastern Rosella
Image Credit: Wang LiQiang, Shutterstock
Probably one of the most colorful birds around, the Eastern Rosella is decorated with just about every color.
Their head is bright red with white cheeks. Much of their underside is yellow, while their flight feathers are also blue. Their tail is a greenish-blue color.
There are three main sub-species, with slight coloration differences between them. For instance, the P. e. diemenensis has larger white cheek patches and a darker head.
This species is commonly available as pets. Their bright coloration helps their popularity considerably. It is tough to withstand the allure of this bird.
They do make good pets when hand-raised. However, they need regular handling or easily decide that they don’t like people. They can become “wild” again.
We recommend choosing your bird from a breeder. Otherwise, they may not be handled enough. Preferably, you want taming to go as efficiently as possible – which often requires that the bird is already used to handling.
Even when tamed, this bird isn’t as friendly as others. They are known to be nippy and unaccepting of human company. They are not nearly as friendly as other birds – even with members of their same species.
6. Northern Rosella
Out of all the Rosella species we’ve discussed, the Northern Rosella is one of the most unique. It is colored with a lot more white and cream than other variations.
Instead of the bright blues and reds of other Rosella avians, this bird looks far more average.
It has a dark head and neck with paler cheeks. The rest of the bird is primarily white, though some blue and red markings appear. Both sexes look the same, though younger birds usually have duller colorations.
The Northern Rosella nests in tree hollows and primarily lives in woodland and open savannah. Like most Rosella, they are primarily herbivorous, living on grasses and seeds. They may occasionally eat insects, but usually only when other food is not available.
This species is not nearly as common as other species in captivity. Its light colors are easy to miss next to the bright blues and crimsons of other Rosella species.
However, it does have a small following. Some bird enthusiasts admit that there is just something about this species.
Breeding the Northern Rosella is a bit complicated. Even in the northern hemisphere, these birds breed in the same months as they would in the southern hemisphere.
This makes things a bit more complicated.
While the bird’s internal clock says that it is the perfect time to breed, that isn’t the case when you consider the weather outside. Many clutches laid early in the season don’t make it.
Breeding these birds in captivity is difficult, then. They are more difficult to find in captivity for this reason, especially outside of Australia.
What Rosellas Can Live with Other Birds?
Some species can live with other birds, while others are a bit too aggressive.
In captivity, it is almost always best to keep these birds in pairs or solitary. They can be territorial and aggressive. They don’t’ do well with others in their space – especially after they hit puberty. They are not the friendliest birds.
In most species, they only flock together during their younger years or outside of mating season. Most do not like being around other birds when they are mating.
In captivity, this behavior can be challenging to replicate. You’d need to remove all other birds during mating season, which can be difficult.
Unless you have many extra cages lying around, it can be challenging to manage these Rosellas with other avians.
Of course, the personality of the bird matters as well. Some are perfectly fine with other birds. Many Crimson Rosellas are less aggressive, for instance. Many are friendly.
However, other birds are pretty aggressive. Unless you want them plucking one of your other feathered friends, it may be best to keep them separate.
Image Credit: Squirrel_photos, Pixabay
Do Rosellas Make Good Pets?
Most Rosella species act very similarly. Some are a bit less tamable than others. But, overall, they have the same general temperament and behaviors.
This species is different from many others. They aren’t as friendly as most other pet birds. Many are only somewhat sociable. They require regular handling to remain tame. Otherwise, they may refuse to be handled. They are known for being a bit nippy.
Many people love their charismatic sounds and beautiful colorations, though. They will never be great at being handled, but they can make excellent companions for those who don’t care.
Plus, these birds are hardy and adaptable in captivity. They may be suitable for new owners for this reason.
Rosellas are best known for their beautiful colorations.
Usually, the Crimson is what most people think of when this species comes to mind. Their bright red colorations are striking and sure to turn heads.
However, there is a variety of other species as well. Some of them aren’t quite as striking as the Crimson, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make good pets.
Most of them have a unique coloration all their own. Some of these are a bit more subtle, while others practically feature every color. If you’re looking for a colorful bird, any of the Rosellas would be likely due.
All six species look very different from each other. Some have different behaviors as well. Certain species are loud. Others are quiet. Many are aggressive and territorial, but a few do get along with other birds.
Like with any pet, we highly recommend doing your research before adopting any Rosella. They are beautiful, but they also come with a considerable commitment. One bird can live up to 30-years.