Backyard Buddies
Eastern Rosella

Photo: M Hooper

Eastern Rosella

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The Eastern Rosella is also known as the rosella, white cheeked rosella or rosella parakeet. They mainly eat seeds but will also eat berries, blossoms, nectar, fruit and insects.

Their flight is undulating and close to the ground, and they glide upward into trees, fanning their tails as they land.

Their heads and necks are bright red, their cheeks are white. Feathers on their backs and wings are black, edged with yellow-green or yellow. Their flight feathers are blue.

Males and females appear similar but the colours of females are duller on the head and breast than males.

Many people recognise rosellas as the symbol on sauce bottles and soup cans in kitchens around Australia.

These brightly coloured parrots are still found in urban areas where you can hear them chatter as they feed in open ground among mature trees.

You might find Eastern Rosellas in pairs or small groups feeding on seeds fallen to the ground. They are not timid and often allow people to approach close enough to admire their beautiful feathers. When they do move to the tree tops rosellas have a different song. While perched they produce a metallic piping sound.

They nest in the hollow branches of dead or living gum trees. Nests have also been found in holes in rotting logs lying on the ground but the loss of old trees is now creating a shortage of homes for these birds.

You can make your neighbourhood friendlier for Eastern Rosellas

Rosellas eat various types of seed, berries, blossoms and nectar. Our gardens and parks can be a safe place for Eastern Rosellas and will provide them with the food they need.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The Eastern Rosella is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like the Eastern Rosella, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what Eastern Rosellas do and do not like.

Eastern Rosella’s love:

Native grasses – they search the ground for fallen seed.

Native trees – they move through the tree tops to gather a variety of seeds.

Safe parks and gardens – where cats and dogs will not chase or attack them as they feed.

Hollow branches – which provide safe and secure nesting sites, beyond the reach of predators.

But they don’t like:

Cats and dogs - which can frighten or attack them.

Garden pesticides - which poison the birds if they eat contaminated seeds.

 Be a buddy to the Eastern Rosella

Try to:


Don’t be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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