Rosellas are often sought out as pet birds because of their striking appearance. They tend to be kept in an aviary setup with others of their kind; however, a well-socialized, hand-tamed rosella can be a sociable companion.
Native Region / Natural Habitat
Rosellas are native to southeast Australia and nearby islands. It inhabits open forests, woodlands, gardens as well as parks, and its wild diet consists many of native grass seeds, herbs, fruits and flowering buds.
Care & Feeding
Rosellas need space and a good diet to help them thrive. The largest cage you can afford is ideal, but be careful that the bars are the correct spacing for a bird with this head size. An aviary situation is ideal for rosellas, which will live peacefully with others of their kind in a large enough space. Rosellas love to bathe, so provide a shallow dish of water for them to bathe in.
A standard diet for a rosella should include lots of fruit and vegetables, and some healthy table foods. Your hand-fed, tame rosella might sit on your shoulder at the dinner table, and will be quite well behaved, unlike many birds that will tend to wander. This is a good way to reinforce the bond between you and your bird, and you can feed him tidbits from you plate. These birds are reported to live for more than 25 years if cared-for properly.
Personality & Behavior
While rosellas might not be inclined to cuddle or want to be petted like other parrots, they can be sociable if they are consistently interacted with. Rosellas make great aviary birds, and will still retain their pet quality in a flighted situation if you take the time to play with them.
Speech & Sounds
Rosellas are capable of loud chatter, especially in the morning and in the evening. Rosellas are not great talkers, but may pick up a few simple words. Rosellas are, however, great whistlers and can learn to whistle songs. Play a CD of whistled tunes for your rosella, and you might be rewarded with your rosella’s “playback” of the tune.
Health & Common Conditions
Rosellas might be more susceptible to fungal infections and intestinal worm infections, namely because they are commonly housed in an outdoor aviary where they forage on the ground. Housing a rosella in an outdoor aviary means diligence in keeping the enclosure clean. Rosellas are also prone to psittacosis.
Get a Rosella
There are eight species of rosella, although two are most commonly available as pets — the golden-mantled, or Eastern rosella, and the crimson rosella. Rosellas are more likely to be available from a bird breeder or from an avian-specialty store.