Rosella (Eastern) Platycercus eximius
Species: P. eximius
Binomial name: Platycercus eximius
Common name: Eastern Rosella
The Eastern Rosella is a rosella native to southeast of the Australian continent and to Tasmania. They were brought to New Zealand as caged pets but have escaped and have formed feral populations in the North Island.
The Eastern Rosella is 30 cm long. It has a red head and white cheeks. The beak is white and the irises are brown. The upper breast is red and the lower breast is yellow fading to pale green over the abdomen. The feathers of the back and shoulders are black, and have yellowish or greenish margins giving rise to a scalloped appearance that varies slightly between the subspecies and the sexes. The wings and lateral tail feathers are bluish while the tail is dark green. The legs are grey. The female is similar to the male though duller in colouration and have an under wing stripe, which is not present in the adult male. Juveniles are duller than females and have an under wing stripe.
The Eastern Rosella is found in lightly wooded country. It eats a wide variety of grains or seeds, fruits or berries, nectar or blossoms, insects and their larvae or eggs.
The breeding season is August to January, with one brood. The nesting site is usually a hollow over 1 m deep in a tree trunk anywhere up to 30 m above the ground. A clutch of generally five or six (although up to nine have been recorded) round, white and slightly shiny eggs, measuring 26 x 22 mm, is laid.
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