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Pale-headed Rosella

Platycercus adscitus


Sexes are similar.Female is duller, often flecked with red on the head in the pale-headed and black-headed races; and smaller off-white underwing stripe persists in younger females to a greater or lesser extent. Head is plain scarlet, white or black, to lores and nape, cheeks are white-edged with pale blue to a greater or lesser extent; according to race. The mantle and scapulars black, the feathers broadly edged with golden yellow, lemon or cream, mid-back to upper tail coverts lettuce green, pale blue or cream, according to race. The shoulders of wing black, grading to mid-blue, on bend of wing and primary coverts; then to dusky washed deep blue on flight feathers; underwing coverts are deep blue. The ventral surface varies according to race; throat and upper breast is scarlet and lower breast and belly yellow-green in red-headed race, throat to belly pale blue or cream-white on throat and breast in pale-headed race and throat to belly is cream, with fine, black feather fringes in black-headed race; crissum is scarlet in all races. Tail, with central pair of feathers uniformly dusky blue-green and all outer feathers dusky blue, with extensive pale or whitish blue tips. Eye dark brown. Bill is bone coloured; cere dark grey. The feet, toes and claws are dark grey.


Eucalypt woodlands, open forests and the edges throughout eastern and northern Australia, inland to fringes of inland plains. These Pale-headed Rosella were in my backyard. Cottoneaster; Mulberry Tree and Jacaranda Trees surround this area.


Photo shows race:- palliceps. Rosella has a loud, harsh, staccato chut-chit, chut-chit....chut-chit, as contact call in flight and in alarm. When perched give tri-syllabic whistle or metallic, piping whistle, possibly to signal position. When tree-feeding, displaying or socializing, they chatter musically. All calls resemble the equivalent vocalizations in Crimson Rosella but are higher pitched. These birds were enjoying time in my back yard while I enjoyed watching them. Reference:- Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds. Photos have been edited.

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Kalen 3 years ago

good closeup

Single D
Single D 3 years ago

Thank you, Mark and Neil for your comments. This site is great for seeing around the world Flora and Fauna. I am not computer savvy and am taking advantage of getting a few pics up, while I have some help. I'm not camera savvy either but love pointing and hoping! My help will be going back to work again, soon, so I want to have some more pictures up before that happens and then it will probably end up being once/twice a month.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 years ago

Lovely spotting, and beautiful photos. I love these guys, and their little chattering as they feed is very distinctive.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 3 years ago

Beautiful. You've made me want to visit Qld (but we're not allowed)

Single D
Spotted by
Single D

Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Feb 25, 2019
Submitted on Jun 1, 2020

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Crimson Rosella Crimson Rosella Eastern Rosella Crimson rosella

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