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Home > Birds > Eastern (Golden-Mantled) Rosella: Traits, Food & Care (With Pictures)

Eastern (Golden-Mantled) Rosella: Traits, Food & Care (With Pictures)

Eastern Rosella side view_Wang LiQiang_Shutterstock

The Eastern Rosella or Golden-Mantled Rosella as it’s also called is a colorful rosella native to Southeastern Australia, including Tasmania. This bird is a favorite among bird lovers because of its striking appearance and even-tempered nature. This is a drop-dead gorgeous bird with bright colors gracing its feathers. If you’re interested in owning one of the most colorful and popular parrots in the rosella family, this may be the perfect bird for you.

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Species Overview

Eastern Rosella
Image by: Nel_Botha-NZ, Pixabay
Common Names: Golden-Mantled Rosella, Red Rose Rosella, White-Cheeked Rosella, Red-Headed Rosella, Rosehill Parakeet
Scientific Name: Platycercus eximius
Adult Size: 12 inches
Life Expectancy: 20 years

Origin and History

The Eastern Rosella was first named in 1792 by English botanist/zoologist George Shaw. When early settlers from Europe encountered the Eastern Rosella in New South Wales, they called it the Rosehill Parakeet which eventually became the Rosehill Rosella. After being introduced to New Zealand in the early 1800s, the Eastern Rosella became feral with large populations found in the North Islands and the hills around Dunedin in the South Island. While these rosellas are native to Australia and nearby islands, they’ve never been found in the outback as they prefer living in coastal mountains and plains.

Eastern rosella
Image Credit: Rebecca Tregear, Pixabay

Temperament

It’s clear why the Eastern Rosella is one of the most popular birds kept as pets as this beauty has an easy-going temperament. This gentle bird doesn’t like to cuddle but it likes to be near its owner. This bird gets very attached to its owner and may even become despondent if it’s not getting enough attention. With its gentle nature, an Eastern Rosella can make the perfect pet for families with small children, as long as the children are taught how to respect the bird.

The Eastern Rosella doesn’t like to be petted and fussed over, and it’s not a bird that makes a lot of noise. Of course, like other rosellas, this bird can chatter a bit which can be loud at times.

If you enjoy listening to birds whistle, an Eastern Rosella would be a bird you’d love because they are good whistlers! While this bird isn’t an amazing talker, it can learn a few simple words.

Pros
  • Gentle and even-tempere
  • Very sociable when consistently interacted with
  • A good pet bird for families with children
Cons
  • Does not like cuddling
  • Can become despondent if it doesn’t get a lot of attention

Speech & Vocalizations

The Eastern Rosella’s contact call sounds like a high-pitched whistle. When this bird is alarmed, it may make a shrilling sound and some softer calls when feeding or roosting. This is not an overly noisy bird as it mostly chatters, whistles, and squawks.

While this bird can’t learn to mimic human speech, it can repeat a word or two it hears often. It’s possible for an Eastern Rosella to learn simple melodies that it hears over and over again and it will likely whistle along if you play a CD of whistling sounds or music.

Eastern Rosella bird
Image Credit: hartono subagio, Pixabay

Eastern Rosella Colors and Markings

The Eastern Rosella is a stunning bird with bright red on the head and the nape of the neck that extends to the upper breast. The cheeks and beak of this rosella are bright white. The crimson red chest changes to yellow on the lower breast which merges into a pale green on the belly. The back feathers are black with green margins and the over wings are blue. The feathers of this bird are red under the tail.

Young Eastern Rosellas attain this bright adult coloration after experiencing two molts when they are about 14 months old. The females of the species tend to be duller than the males, which is common in most birds.

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Caring for an Eastern Rosella

The Eastern Rosella does best living in an aviary where it can freely fly around. If you don’t have the room or desire to build an aviary, get your Eastern Rosella a spacious cage so it can spread and flap its wings and move freely about.

These birds don’t get along well with birds of different species and should therefore be housed alone. If you want to get a pair of Eastern Rosellas, you should get two cages so the birds are separated from each other. Plan on keeping the cages in the same room so the birds can chatter and sing together.

Eastern Rosellas like chewing so you should provide your bird with some wood toys it can chew on and a cuttlebone it can chomp away at when it wants. This bird also enjoys spending time on a swing and playing with ropes.

It’s important that an Eastern Rosella doesn’t get bored as this bird can become depressed wherein it may begin picking at its own feathers. As far as grooming goes, your Eastern Rosella will groom his own feathers. You can help him keep his claws in check by putting a special pedicure bird perch in his cage that will naturally trim and maintain blunt, well-groomed nails.

In addition to drinking water, you should place a larger bowl of water in your Eastern Rosella’s cage he can use for bathing. Just be sure to change the water frequently so it’s always clean.

Eastern Rosella in the grass
Image by: Nel_Botha-NZ, Pixabay

Common Health Problems

Eastern Rosellas are hardy birds that can live up to 20 years. However, like other rosellas, these birds can develop some common health problems including:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Aspergillosis
  • Psittacosis
  • Intestinal worms
  • Proventricular worms
  • Fatty liver syndrome

To help your bird maintain good health, visit the vet once or twice a year for routine checkups and provide your bird with a healthy diet and a clean cage. Some signs to watch for that could indicate your bird is unhealthy include a lack of appetite, feather loss, unusual behavior like feather picking and scratching, and general lethargy. Don’t ignore any of these signs as they could indicate something is seriously wrong with your pet bird.

Diet and Nutrition

In the wild, Eastern Rosellas feed mainly on the ground, foraging for seeds, fruits, buds, flowers, insects, and larvae. When kept in captivity, these birds can be fed a birdseed diet or solid pellets, although seeds are their favorite.

An Eastern Rosella won’t turn down a few blueberries, cherries, raspberries, or strawberries. You can also drop a few mealworms into an Eastern Rosella’s cage to fulfill this bird’s daily protein needs. If you want to give your Eastern Rosella a special treat now and then, fill his food dish with a seed and grain blend for a little tasty variety.

Some other treats to give an Eastern Rosella include:

  • Corn on the cob
  • Small pieces of apples, oranges, kiwi, mango, and papaya
  • Grated carrots
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
Eastern Rosella on the roof
Image by: ArtTower, Pixabay

Exercise

Eastern Rosellas enjoy flapping their wings and moving about. Ideally, this bird does best living in an aviary where it can fly freely to get the exercise it needs. But if that’s not possible, get a large flight birdcage so it can spread and flap its wings and move about freely. When your bird has a large cage to live in, he’ll be able to stretch his wings and enjoy his natural flying ability.

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Where to Adopt or Buy an Eastern Rosella

It’s possible to find an Eastern Rosella to adopt at a local shelter. If you decide to adopt one of these birds, find out as much information as you can about the bird’s background and general health.

If adopting a bird doesn’t appeal to you, visit your local pet store to see if they sell Eastern Rosellas. Remember that pet shop birds are often under-socialized which means you must give your new bird time to get used to you and its new home.

There are many people breeding Eastern Rosellas so there may be a good breeder in your area that sells these birds. Again, ask the breeder questions about any bird you have your eye on to find out about its background and overall health.

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Conclusion

The Eastern Rosella is a strikingly beautiful bird that’s bursting with color! If you’re looking for a loyal feathered companion that’s relatively easy to care for, the Eastern Rosella may be the right bird for you. While this bird doesn’t like to cuddle or be petted, it will be more than happy to hitch a ride on your shoulder as you walk around your home!


Featured Image Credit: Wang LiQiang, Shutterstock

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