Western Rosella


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Western Rosella: A Colorful Parrot of Southwest Australia

The Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis), also known as moyadong, is a striking parrot species native to the southwestern regions of Australia. With its vibrant plumage and unique features, the Western Rosella captures the hearts of bird enthusiasts worldwide. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the fascinating world of these charming parrots, covering everything from their appearance and behavior to their conservation status and aviculture history.

  1. Endemic Habitat: The Western Rosella inhabits eucalypt forests and woodlands in southwestern Australia.
  2. Distinctive Appearance: Bright red head and underparts, mottled black back, and a yellow cheek patch set it apart from other Platycercus species.
  3. Herbivorous Diet: Western Rosellas primarily feed on seeds, grasses, and other plant materials.
  4. Aviculture Popularity: These parrots are popular in aviaries due to their sociable nature and captivating colors.

Now, let’s explore the Western Rosella in more detail.

Appearance and Behavior

Colorful Plumage

The Western Rosella boasts a stunning color palette. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Males: Their head, neck, and underbody are predominantly red.
  • Females and Juveniles: Their plumage is mottled red, with less intense colors.
  • Cheek Patch: The yellow or cream cheek patch is a distinguishing feature.

Behavioral Traits

  • Communication: Western Rosellas emit a soft “pink-pink” call.
  • Unobtrusive Behavior: They often remain unnoticed in eucalypt forests until they venture out to feed on seeds in cleared areas.

Habitat and Diet

Preferred Environment

  • Eucalypt Forests: Western Rosellas thrive in eucalypt-dominated habitats.
  • Geographic Range: Their distribution spans southwestern Australia.

Dietary Preferences

  • Seeds: Grass seeds and other plant seeds form the bulk of their diet.
  • Occasional Treats: They also consume nectar and insect larvae.

Conservation Status

The Western Rosella is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, localized threats and habitat loss warrant ongoing conservation efforts.

Aviculture History

Early Encounters

  • Edward Lear’s Lithographs: The Western Rosella’s aviculture history dates back to the 1830s when Edward Lear created lithographs of live specimens in England.

Breeding in Captivity

  • Successful Breeding: Captive breeding began in the early 20th century.
  • International Popularity: Western Rosellas are cherished as aviary birds worldwide.

Subspecies and Hybridization

  • Two Subspecies: The Western Rosella comprises two subspecies:
    • Platycercus icterotis icterotis: Inland group residing in agricultural districts.
    • P. icterotis xanthogenys: Coastal subspecies found in kwongan, tall forests, and woodlands.
  • Hybridization Zone: The intersection of their ranges exhibits hybridization.


The Western Rosella’s vivid colors, unobtrusive behavior, and popularity in aviculture make it a delightful addition to any bird enthusiast’s collection. Whether you’re an experienced breeder or a curious observer, these parrots continue to captivate our imaginations.

Remember, conservation efforts play a crucial role in preserving the natural habitat of these magnificent birds. Let’s celebrate the Western Rosella and ensure its continued existence for generations to come.

Additional information


3-5 Months, 6-9 Months, 10-13 Months


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