Northern rosella


image source

The northern rosella (Platycercus venustus), also known as Brown’s parakeet or smutty rosella, is found in Australia’s Top End. It is unusually coloured for a rosella, with a dark crown and white cheeks similar to its relatives the pale-headed rosella and the eastern rosella.

At 28 cm long it is smaller than all bar the western rosella. The forehead, crown and nape are black in colour with white-on-blue cheek-patches. The back and wing feathers are blackish with yellow borders, while the feathers of the belly, chest and rump are pale yellow with black borders giving rise to a scalloped appearance. The long tail is bluish green. The beak is pale grey and the iris dark. Immature plumage is similar to adult but duller.

The northern rosella is found from the Gulf of Carpentaria, through Arnhem Land to the Kimberleys in open savannah country.

It is not a gregarious bird, found solitarily or in pairs. Nesting occurs in tree hollows in winter, with two to four eggs laid.

The northern rosella was first described by German naturalist Heinrich Kuhl. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin venustus “charming, lovely or graceful”. A subspecies, var. hilli, was described by Mathews in 1910, however is not felt to be valid.

In captivity, they are said to continue with their early mating habit, which is not a problem in Australia but more so in other countries. source

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