Eastern Rosella

Golden-mantled Rosella, Cecilia's Rosella

Family: Psittacidae "Betty Boop" is a Golden-mantled Rosella or (Eastern Rosella)Platycercus eximius cecilaePhoto Courtesy Andy Sennett
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My rosella has looked like a male in coloring forr 3 years, re ently its coloring had gotten all mixed up and now looks like a female is this normal  Pam Adams

   The Eastern Rosella is one of the most popular and most beautiful parakeets in aviculture. Being so very brightly colored, they are very attractive birds!

   The Golden-mantled Rosella or Cecilia's Rosella is an active bird and a very skillful flyers. They love to play, climb, and chew. Though they are not great talkers they can be quite vocal. They are also very hardy, very resistant to disease, and are not difficult to feed and care for. Once they are established with an acceptable mate, they are easy to breed.    All the Rosellas, including the Golden-mantled Rosella or Cecilia's Rosella are very energetic. They are a more difficult bird to tame, requiring a lot of consistent firm training and close interaction. For this reason, they are not really considered to be a beginners bird.

   The nature of Rosellas is one of aggression toward other rosellas and other parakeets, as well as other parrot-like birds. It is not recommended to house them together unless as a breeding pair or to house them in adjoining aviaries or cages. They are so bickery they will even bite at the sides of the cage if next to each other.

"Dr. Jungle admires Betty Boop... posing from all angles!"
"Betty Boop" Golden-mantled Rosella is posing from the back! "Betty Boop" Golden-mantled Rosella posing for a side shot!
Photos courtesy: Andy Sennett

   "Betty Boop" is a rather young Golden-mantled Rosella or Cecilia's Rosella. This is apparent because of the green still showing on the hind part of the neck. A fully mature Eastern Rosella will have his whole crown red, including the back of the neck.

To learn more about Parakeets and their needs visit:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Parakeet

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Psittaciformes
  • Family: Psittacidae
  • Genus: Platycercus
  • Species: eximius cecilae

Scientific name: Platycercus eximius - Eastern Rosella

Sub-species: Platycercus e. ceciliae - Cecilia's or Golden-mantled
                                         Platycercus e. eximius
- Red Rosella
                                         Platycercus e. diemenensis
- (North)

Distribution:    The Eastern Rosella is found in southeastern Australia including Tasmania, and have been introduce to New Zealand. They originally inhabited the open savannas but today are found in areas cultivated with cereal crops and in pasture lands. They are also familiar birds in gardens and parks on the outskirts of towns and cities.

Description:    The Golden-mantled Rosella and the other two Eastern Rosellas belong in the Platycercus genus which contains six species. They are members of the parakeet family, usually grouped with Australian Parakeets. The word 'parakeet' means long tail and Rosellas have long tails! Rosellas are fairly easy to recognize by their pronounced cheek patches, strong mottling on their backs, unique and bright colors, and feathers that are scalloped.
   The Eastern Rosella has a red head and breast with a white cheek patch. The belly is a greenish yellow and the rump is a pale green. The back and wings are black edged with yellow. The outer wing and tail feathers and blue. The two sexes are very much alike, although the females often have less red on the head and breast. The females are often duller in color as well. juveniles are similar to the females and also have green on the the nape of the neck and crown.
   The Golden-mantled Rosella or Cecilia's Rosella can be distinguished by a bluish-green rump rather than pale green, and the red on their head and breast is a darker red.

Care and Feeding:    Fresh food and water must be provided daily.
   In the wild, Eastern Rosellas eat a variety of seeds and blossoms, berries and fruits, nuts, blossoms, leaf buds. They feed both in the treetops and on the ground. Their diet consists of a good seed mixture supplemented with sprouted seed, various fruits, and green foods. In addition to these foods, you can offer them vegetables and commercial pellets.
   They also enjoy the same nutritional foods humans eat, including cooked chicken. Cooked beans, rice, and grains are also enjoyed, but soft foods like these will spoil in about 4 hours. An occasional millet spray is a nice treat. The Golden-mantled Rosella should also be offered grit with charcoal.
   See About Parakeets: Care and Feeding for more detailed information.

Housing:    The Eastern Rosellas originally inhabited the open savannas but today are found in areas cultivated with cereal crops, in pasture lands, and even in orchards. They are also familiar birds in gardens and parks on the outskirts of towns and cities.
   A roomy cage is required, and time out of the cage for exercise and flying is very important for them. They will do very well in an aviary and are not as sensitive to varying temperatures as some parakeets.
   See About Parakeets: Housing for more extensive housing information.

Maintenance:    The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Weekly you should wash all the perches and dirty toys, and the floor should be washed about every other week. A total hosing down and disinfecting of an aviary should be done yearly, replacing anything that needs to be freshened, such as old dishes, toys and perches.

Social Behaviors:    In the wild, these birds live in flocks in the winter,from 8 to 20 birds, though occasionally they will be seen in flocks of up to 100. In early spring the pair up and set up breeding territories and the males are quite quarrelsome.
   In captivity Eastern Rosellas are very aggressive toward other rosellas and parakeets, as well as other parrot-like birds. It is not recommended to house them together unless as a breeding pair. Do not even house them in adjoining aviaries or cages as they are so bickery, they will bite at the sides of their cage.

Handling/Training:    The Rosellas are a more difficult parakeet to train and will need a lot of patience, as well as a loving but consistently firm handling and close interaction. These birds are not really considered a beginner's bird.
   See About Parakeets: Handling and Training for detailed information.

Activities:    Golden-mantled Rosellas are very energetic birds! Besides flying, which is important for all parakeets, these birds love to chew! Be sure you provide them with lots of assorted toys and wood chews, perches and swings.

   All the rosella's are easily bred, and the Golden-mantled Rosella will usually breed twice a year. In the wild they build their nests in the hollows of trees or stumps. Each pair will need two nesting boxes to choose from.
   Once the nest box is selected the female will lay four to nine eggs, though usually five. The female broods the eggs. The young hatch in 18 - 20 days and will leave the nest in about 5 weeks. In the wild they will stay with their parents for several months unless there is another mating, but in captivity it is recommended that you remove the young about a month after they are on their own.
   As importation of these beautiful birds is prohibited by the Australian government, many believe that it is important that the species are kept from cross-breeding to insure their continuation. Even though the rosella's will easily cross-breed, and it has been noted that there are possibly hybrids in the wild, there will be no more pure species brought into this country.
   See About Parakeets: Breeding and Reproduction for more information.

Potential Problems:
   Though the Eastern Rosellas can have a loud call, are healthy, hardy birds. With a proper environment and a good balanced diet, they are very hardy and resistant to disease.
   If they are kept in an outdoor aviary, the Eastern Rosellas often acquire worms. This is because of their frequent contact with the ground where they like to pick up seed. You may need to talk to an avian veterinarian about a regular de-worming schedule.
   See About Parakeets: Potential Problems for more information.

Availability:    Golden-mantled Rosellas or Cecilia's Rosellas are available from time to time at pet stores or from breeders.

Author: Clarice Brough, CAS
Lastest Animal Stories on Eastern Rosella

Pam Adams - 2014-09-05
My rosella has looked like a male in coloring forr 3 years, re ently its coloring had gotten all mixed up and now looks like a female is this normal

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-09-07
    Nutritional problems have been known to cause feather color changes in parrots. Also a derangement of the metabolism or a disruption to the nutrition of a bird during the time when feathers are being formed can cause color change and can also affect the quality of feathers. With a corrected diet, it will molt back to its original coloration. Discolored feathers can also be due to a malnutition or liver disease, so you may want to take your bird to an avian vet for a checkup.
Helle - 2008-11-10
One year ago I bought my Eastern Rosella at a petshop, she was 3

Crystal M - 2009-10-22
I've read so many 'fact's about rosellas, only a few of which I've found to be true with mine.
I bought an unhandled, 7 year old male who had only been used as a breeder. He's a stunning Opaline (or Firery) Eastern Rosella. In the span of 7 weeks he's gone from wild and unhandled, to happily stepping up on a stick, learning to step up on my hand, and even tolerates touching of his back and wings. He lives in a very large cage with my 4 cockatiels and single budgie. He's not the slighest bit aggressive, and gets along WONDERFULLY with them. When let out of their cages, he gets along just fine with my lovebird as well. He's been a joy to have around, a quick learner and a great addition to my flock.
Perhaps he's just an exception to the 'rules' of Rosellas, or perhaps people don't give them enough credit. Seems to me they make wonderful pets (and he is definitely a male).

Bernie Winn - 2009-12-21
I have recently gotten 3 Rosellas, a Golden Mantle, a Mealy and a Rubino, all 3 live together in a large cage and generally get on very well together. Occasionally they have a shouting session, but overall they live perfectly well together.
Reading one of your letters where Emma had just got her first bird and was worried that it was not friendly and biting, to get it to go on your finger takes a lot of patience. I`ve had mine 4 months now and only one is coming onto my fingers, the other 2 are close but need more time. All I can say is be patient and gentle in your approach and in time they will get on your finger. I have trained mine to a stick first and then to the finger

r.j. kris - 2005-03-30
I had purchased a female yellow mantle and find this bird to be absolutely prolific. She was approximately 1 year old at purchase. She used to "keek, keek" a lot..thought I would get her a mate, some how I thought she was calling for a mate and ever since I bought the male for her she has been somewhat quiet. I will always have these birds as one passes on I will acquire another. Also the female accepted the male immediately, and they mated in an active home environment. About everything the books said they would not do.....THEY DID! I also believe they are very acceptable to family life to be held and played with. The female I have was adaptable to just about everything....this may be unusual but I have had very good luck with the rosellas. They are now paired and breeding and as far as I know never fight. The female is attentive and loving both to her babies but ALSO to the MALE.

Ben - 2014-02-05
An eastern rosella flew out of a tree and landed on my girlfriends shoulder. It was looking seriously malnourished and desperate. Needless to say Madeleine brought it home. When I saw it I didn't believe it was an eastern rosella, it had no feathers on it upper body what so ever, and without any feathers on his face he reminded me of Steve buchemi with his google eyes. That's how he got his name Steve. Steve was surprisingly tolerant of human contact, it was almost like he was hand reared and had escaped. After some research we worked out he was still very young as he still had juvenile down under his wing feathers.


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