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Northern Rosella

Northern Rosella

The forehead, crown and nape of the adult Northern Rosella is black, sometimes with red markings; cheek-patches white above, violet-blue below; feathers of back and wings are black broadly margined with pale yellow; median wing-coverts are black; rump and under parts are pale yellow, the feathers narrowly edged with black; under tail-coverts scarlet; under wing-coverts and outer webs of flight feathers blue; central tail feathers blue washed with green, lateral feathers pale blue tipped with white; bill grayish-white; iris dark brown; legs grey. The Northern Rosella inhabits north-western and northern Australia from the Kimberleys, Western Australia, and east to the Northern Territory-Queensland border; occurs on Bathurst, Melville and Milingimbi Islands. Northern Rosellas inhabit savannah woodland, timber bordering watercourses, littoral forests and occasionally coastal mangroves. The undulating flight of the Northern Rosella is surprisingly swift and somewhat erratic, normally flying close to the ground, gliding up into a tree and then fanning the tail before alighting.  The diet of the Northern Rosella comprises seeds of grasses, shrubs and trees, principally eucalypts, melaleucas and acacias, and fruits, berries and blossoms. The call of the Northern Rosella is a disyllabic, high pitched note repeated three or four times. When feeding in the treetops a soft chattering is emitted. 

The courtship display and general nesting behavior of the Northern Rosella is similar to other rosellas.

Text and information with permission from Joseph M. Forshaw author of Parrots of the World.


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