"Lloyd Nielsen" <>, <>
"Bruce Cox" <>
Mon, 9 Jul 2007 10:51:47 +1000
From: "Lloyd Nielsen" <>
Subject: Hybrid Rosellas
I have seen both Crimson/Eastern Rosella and Pale-headed/Eastern Rosella
hybrids on Sydney's Northern Beaches. The Pale-headed/Eastern hybrids had to
be aviary escapees or releases but the Crimson/Eastern hybrids could be
either escapees or natural crosses?
Forshaw, in his aviary notes, says that Crimsons and Easterns hybridise but
it is not clear if this referrs to "in the wild" or under aviary conditions.
Again from his aviary notes it appears that all the Platycercus hybridise
with one or more of their kin. Perhaps we have less rosellas than we
twitchers might hope for.
I spent my youth in the Goomburra Valley in SE Qld in the 1940-50s. This
valley runs east-west and is 2 valleys north (about 10 km ?) of the
Cunningham Highway which runs over Cunninghams Gap on the western side of
the Great Divide. We had Eastern Rosellas to the south (Warwick) and
Pale-headed to the north (Pilton - Greenmount). However, all rosellas in
the valley at that time (and they were plentiful) were hybrids between the
two - neither one species nor the other - a very mixed lot with
characteristics of those two species. It was always a highlight to go to
Warwick and see the brilliant red-headed pure Easterns. I left there in
1959 but on a visit back there about 25 years later, I was surprised to
find that all birds in the valley were pure Eastern - no sign of a single
In the early 1950s, one of these hybrids paired with a Crimson Rosella
around my family's farm midway down the valley. Crimson was normally
absent from this more open country (Crimson replaced the
Eastern/Pale-headed Rosellas in the denser wet sclerophyll at the top of
the valley but I never saw signs of hybridisation between Crimson and the
hybrids there despite many visits into that country). The pair flew about
together for about 2 years but we saw no sign of a breeding attempt. My
family had an aviary and a small collection of parrots at that time so we
were quite observant of local parrots.
Mt Molloy Nth Qld.
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