Of the two different species of Rosellas pictured here (Eastern on the left and Crimson on the right) the Crimson is said to make the best family member. There are several species of Rosella in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand and many color mutations have been developed by Avian Husbandry folks; but we will concentrate on these two because they are said to be the easiest to obtain in the U.S. and other countries and other Rosellas are not specifically differing from these two, by and large.
The Rosella grows to about 12-14 inches, weighs about 115 grams and has a life span of 20-30 years. They are considered to be of the Parakeet family. Their diet should consist of a good pellet, but; they do relish a few seeds such as millet, canary grass seed, saffron, shelled oats, buckwheat, hemp and flax. Minerals and vitamins must be included in their diet as well as fresh fruit, from the safe fruit list and vegetables.
They particularly relish carrots and greens. Before purchasing a Rosella to share your life with, you must consider that they can have rather loud, raspy voices as well as sweet, melodious songs. The do not mimic human speech very well, but; do readily learn whistled tunes and entire songs and jingles. Rosella’s need to have human contact constantly reinforced, even bred away from the wild and you must insure that any Rosella you purchase is hand fed, hand weaned and in constant contact with humans, otherwise they will withdraw from being a well socialized bird and return to being human shy and territorial (Not unlike the Quaker Parakeet). T
hey are not serious biters, even though every bird does bite – they will just avoid human contact, if left to their own devices for too long. They need plenty of interaction and out of cage time. This isn’t much different than the rules of thumb for most parrots, but; recidivism can occur much more quickly with the wonderful Rosella. Like Quakers, they are aggressive toward other species and interaction should be avoided or strictly supervised. If you want your Rosella to have a playmate, make that playmate another Rosella.
One Rosella will live nicely and a medium sized 30×30 square cage or similar. Two Rosella’s should have more elongated, flight cage type accommodations. (Jan Santor)