Crimson Rosella feeding Juvenile Eastern Rosella

To: "" <>
Subject: Crimson Rosella feeding Juvenile Eastern Rosella
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 00:55:37 +0000

Yes I was “referring to the Eastern Rosella in Kym's excellent photo”. Although Mark added a legitimate alternative point. Kym identified it as a juvenile and as I was not there to see the interaction, my default point was my usual, to agree. Maybe it was making begging noises typical of young birds. Maybe Kym noticed the wing bars whilst flying. Maybe Kym could add more detail about why (?) It looks like a juvenile to me from the photos (mainly from the extent of greenish around the nape). If it is an adult female, then on plumage, it is a very dull one (but within possible range). It is mid February, so I would expect dependant young feeding more now than courtship feeding would be. Although in this odd weather, odd things are possible. Courtship feeding is surely prominent during the same time of year as the “Activity at nest” phase, not after the breeding season is over. See below extract:


However, I did not look at the beak colour, as the above considerations didn’t raise it for me. The difference between adults and young in that feature is minor. From HANZAB “pale yellow or orange at fledging, changing to off-white (as adult) within first few months”. These 3 photos show the beak colour differently but Mark is right, it doesn’t look like a very young bird on that feature. Could the bird already be in transition, especially if the change occurs within the first few months(?)



Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius

A conspicuous bird, by its bright colours, noise and confiding disposition. At home in any garden area, it

readily comes to seeds and fruit trees. ………………

Breeding records appear to have been stable. Activity at nest from mid August to mid December. Dependent

young from mid October to mid March though the majority are in December and January.



From: Mark Clayton [
Sent: Friday, 14 February, 2020 6:45 AM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Crimson Rosella feeding Juvenile Eastern Rosella


There is only one thing wrong with Mr Veerman's comments, assuming he is referring to  the Eastern Rosella in Kym's excellent photo. The Eastern Rosella is an adult bird as told by the bone coloured mandibles, as is the Crimson Rosella. To me it looks very much like courtship feeding.




On 13/02/2020 8:30 pm, Philip Veerman wrote:

That is a really good observation and great that we have someone with camera skills to document it. We have regular records of hybrids, but as far as I know, even though both are abundant species, we have nothing to show how that situation arises, only guesses. Is this relevant? Maybe but I also see it as not a hybrid, but shows a rare interaction that is not aggressive. It suggests to me to be a result of maybe where Crimson Rosella parents took over a nest where Eastern Rosellas had recently laid eggs and raised the chick. The chick can then imprint on the wrong species which might later cause cross mating.




From: kym bradley
Sent: Thursday, 13 February, 2020 5:30 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Crimson Rosella feeding Juvenile Eastern Rosella


also, the bee-eaters are gathering they will be on the move shortly as they do this every season prior to moving on


Crimson Rosella feeding  Juvenile Eastern Rosella could be a hybrid but appears eastern


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