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Rosella parrot (Platycercus eximius)

These feisty parrots hail from Australia, and can be found in Tasmania and even New Zealand. Originally they populated the open savannas, but as settlements expand they have started to appear in crop fields and pasture lands as well as parks on the outskirts of towns. In the wild, Rosellas snack on seeds, blossoms, and leaf buds. They flock to both treetops and peck seeds from the ground, usually traveling in groups of ten to twenty, but there have been reported sightings of up to a hundred Rosellas in a flock. These energetic birds require a lot of exercise, so they flourish in a roomy aviary.

Rosellas have a varied repertoire of calls. In flight, this parrot has a sharp note. When perched they sing a three note ascending scale, but a startled Rosella will let out a metallic screech. Rosellas produce a soft chattering babble while feeding. Though they are not known for talking, these playful birds can be quite vocal. They are also very active and love to climb and chew on branches. Rosellas tend to be aggressive toward other small birds, so they usually need their own aviary to cut down on bickering.

Though difficult to train, Rosellas are easily bred and have mating seasons twice a year. They build nests in tree stumps or hollows, and the female broods four to eight eggs for about twenty days. Young Rosellas become independent after five weeks, but in the wild young birds stay with their parents for several more months.

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