Eastern/Crimson Rosellas

To: <>
Subject: Eastern/Crimson Rosellas
From: "Marlene Lyell" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 15:36:36 +1100
Hi all,  Newcomer here, both to birding-aus and the electronic age.
Thought you might enjoy the following:

I live in the heavily timbered hills in the northeastern suburbs of
Melbourne.  The predominate rosella is the Crimson. Up until four years ago,
an occasional Eastern would thrill us with it's presence.
Four years ago (1997) we put up a nesting box on the north-eastern end of
our 60' long balcony, with the box being approximately 10' off the ground.
We presumed the Crimsons would pounce on it, but to our delight a pair of
Easterns took up residence.  5 eggs were laid.
After hatching, the box quickly became crowded with one of the chicks being
continually sat upon.  Four of the chicks flew into the wild blue yonder,
the 5th had trouble flying so we took it to Healesville Sanctuary.
Hopefully it is enjoying a long life.
We built a larger box.
1998 Again a pair of Easterns took up residence. 6 eggs. Again 5 flew into
the surrounding hills, but unfortunately the 6th was found dead under the
1999.  Our balcony was in a derelict condition, so we started renovations
around July (husband retired), but left the box sitting on the bearers after
we'd removed the railing and decking.
This was not about to deter the Easterns.  Again a pair laid 7 eggs.
Balcony renovations ceased for 2 months! (I'd waited 10 years for this
balcony to be fixed, what was another 2 months!!)
The male eastern was definitely in attendance at the beginning of the
season. We then noticed a Crimson paying more and more attention to the box,
while the male Eastern appeared less and less.
Then to our amazement, one day the Crimson entered the box.
A little bit of moonlighting going on here!
The male Eastern would land in a Euc.nichollii nearby, but ceased coming to
the box.
7 birds hatched, but only 6 fledged, with the 7th dead in the box. All
Easterns *white cheek patch.
I also recall there was a second sitting with 3 eggs laid, but can't
remember any further details.

2000.  After finishing the renovations at the beginning of the year, we
built another slightly larger box. Also installed another box at the
southeastern end of the balcony.
The female Eastern again took up residence at the northern end, but this
time with a male Crimson.  8 eggs have been laid, hatched and in the last
week, all despatched.  100% success rate...we hope. At lest we haven't found
any evidence otherwise.
They all had the markings of Crimson Rosellas.
The other exciting happening is that the southern box has been taken over by
another pair of Easterns, which laid 6 eggs.  We now have 4 seven day old
nestlings in the box.
If  the four southern birds successfully leave the nest, we'll have
contributed 12 rosellas to the local population with just one sitting.
Just yesterday, the northern eastern/crimson pair were back at their box.
So I'll keep you posted on the outcome of that.
I thought birders would be interested in all this.  Amazing what can be
accomplished with just a couple of nest boxes sitting on a balcony rail.
We eat most of our meals on the balcony (in amongst the Bell Miners) and the
birds have become quite accustomed to us, although if anyone strange arrives
they seem to know.  They will still come to the box, but rather
Hope you all enjoyed this wonderful story.. We're thrilled with our avian

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