RFI: Crimson Rosella colour variations.

To: <>
Subject: RFI: Crimson Rosella colour variations.
From: "Cas and Lisa Liber" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 07:26:07 +1100
Interesting - the presence of hybridization is one reason why separate
species are reclassified as subspecies (as has what has happened here).
Recently, the Hooded Crow and Carrion Crow were reclassified from subspecies
to species on the basis of reduced vigor and narrower than expected range of
hybrid forms (!). Not sure how universally this has been accepted though.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Michael Ramsey
Sent: Friday, 14 December 2007 6:25 PM
To: ; 
Subject: RFI: Crimson Rosella colour variations.

Hi Marlene,
I would suspect these birds are integrades between Yellow and Crimson
subspecies of the Crimson Rosella. I too was preplexed with birds as you
have described birds when I was growing up around Albury and Wangaratta. 
Gundagai I would expect is around the range where these two subspecies meet.
I encountered the same around Albury and Wangaratta. The more mountain
habitat of the Crimsons would meet the more lowland river red gum forest of
the Yellow race. 
Over my time in these areas it was not that uncommon to see birds that
seemed to be crosses between the two subspecies. Some birds were like Yellow
Rosellas but has a orange wash to their breast, other more like Crimson
Rosellas but not quite right. more orange toned, somewhat like the birds you
described, and all colours in between. 
I was always curious as to why I never saw these two subspecies together,
but after time I did see a few lone Crimson Rosellas with flocks of Yellow
along the river red gum watercourses, never the other way around though. I
often suspected that in winter when the Crimsons came down from the hills
and wintered in the Yellows habitat along rivers some stayed behind and
became part of the Yellows flocks. Therefore some interbreeding may have
occured. I have seen Crimsons with flocks of Yellow Rosella along the Lower
Ovens State Park, in the Killawarra Forest, in Chiltern, around Wangaratta
and Albury/Wodonga. I have seen Crimsons travel as far as the Barmah forest
too, well into Yellow Rosella territory.
The Forshaw book on Australian parrots has some great colour plates on the
Crimson Rosella complex and describes more of what I have discussed above. 
Michael Ramsey. 
> Travelling through Gundagai in early October, I took some photos of a>
Crimson Rosella. My first impression was 'Adelaide Rosella" but an Adelaide>
Rosella shouldn't be in Gundagai, unless they're escapees. > > A small flock
of 6-8 birds were observed for quite a while, foraging on some> cape weed
type vegetation in the caravan park.> > After checking the photos and
referring to all the field guides, I am still> at a loss as to which race
the rosella belongs.> > The breast and head were the orange/red of the
Adelaide Rosella, certainly> nothing like the crimson of the normal Crimson
Rosella, which is probably> the rosella you would expect to find around
Gundagai. The scalloping on the> back is quite defined, but to add to the id
problems, was a green rump> tending towards red/orange at the upper tail
coverts area.> > I am happy to forward the photos to anyone who might care
to look at them.> Or if someone would care to put them up on b-a with a
'link' to them, that> would be great and everyone could see them without
waiting for me to reply.
It's simple! Sell your car for just $30 at

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