Rosella deaths

Subject: Rosella deaths
From: Geoff Ryan <>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 16:53:47 +1100
We have 2 nesting boxes in our back yard and over the last 3 years Eastern Rosellas have raised chicks in one of the boxes. On 4 October there were 4 bonny, but still naked, chicks about 100mm long in one of the boxes. They were receiving constant attention from both parents. We were away on the 6 and 7 October but on 8 October noticed that a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets were spending a lot of time around and near the box, landing on the perch and peering inside. Whilst doing so they were making harsh repetitive calls.

We had seen the male rosella chase lorikeets away from the area around the nesting box on several occasions. On one occasion we saw a Rainbow Lorikeet enter the nesting box which, we believed, contained the female rosella and 4 chicks. It became obvious by 9 October that the rosellas had abandoned the box. On 10 October we saw both a lorikeet and the rosella enter the box for a short period of time.

Today (11th) I took the box down to find 4 dead chicks well consumed by numerous maggots.

Rainbow Lorikeets are constant residents and have never previously shown any interest in the nesting boxes or the rosellas. Over the last few years we believe they have nested in an old date palm next door. 

Has anyone observed lorikeet predation of rosella chicks? Is this a common event? Or, is there some other explanation?   

Would like to hear your opinions.
Thanks  Geoff
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