Crimson Rosellas as Pets

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Common Names:

Crimson Rosella, Pennant's Rosella

Scientific Name:

Platycercus elegans




Crimson Rosellas are medium sized birds, and on average reach a length of between 10 and 14 inches from the beak to the ends of the tail feathers. They have a rather slender body structure, vaguely reminiscent of the Asiatic Parakeets.

Average Lifespan:

On average, Crimson Rosellas in captivity live for up to 20 years when properly cared for and fed a balanced, nutritious diet.


Known to be less frequently vocal than many other hookbill species, Crimson Rosellas have very loud, raucous calls that they will display from time to time. Owners of Crimson Rosellas have noted that they do need to be worked with and handled every day to remain tame and friendly to their human family members. It has also been reported that some Crimson Rosellas may go through a nippy bluffing phase during adolescence that owners must tough through. Overall, however, these are sweet albeit mischievous little birds. Because of their high intelligence and curious nature, they must be under constant supervision when out of their cages to prevent them from getting themselves into trouble!


Crimson Rosellas are a dimorphic species. Male birds are mostly a vivid red with patches of bright blue on their faces and wings, with black feathers highlighting the feathers on their backs.

They have long blue tail feathers. Females of the species look essentially the same, although they sport a dark greenish patch above the middle of their tail feathers.


In the wild, Crimson Rosellas dine on insect larvae, grass and grass seed, berries, fruits, nuts, and blossoms. In captivity, it is important to provide them a varied and nutritious diet, just as they would receive in the wild.

Most Rosella owners provide their birds with a good quality seed mix formulated for Canaries and Cockatiels, and then supplement that with plenty of fresh, bird-safe fruits and vegetables. Many Rosellas also enjoy bits of boiled egg with their meals, which helps replace the protein lost by not hunting insects in the wild.


Crimson Rosellas as Pets:

Known for their striking beauty, Crimson Rosellas have been popular as pets for many years. While their medium size and eye-catching colors make them appealing to bird lovers of all walks, they are not the best choice as a pet for those who are new to keeping birds, due to several challenges that they present.

Rosellas are notorious chewers who quickly grow bored with their playthings, so it is important to keep a Rosella entertained with plenty of safe and interesting toys for them to play with. If you don't, chances are that you'll find some of your own belongings will come up missing -- Rosellas are infinitely curious little birds, and many have been known to steal jewelry, keys, buttons, and other items from their owners!

While Rosellas are noted as being a "quiet" parrot species, it's important to realize that when they do decide to use their voices, they can be very loud and shrill.

While they are true parrots and they do have the ability to learn to speak a few words, they are not noted as especially good talkers, so they are not a good choice for those who have their hearts set on owning a talking bird.

Rosellas have been known to become rather nippy with their owners if they are not properly socialized. This means that anyone who wants a tame, friendly Rosella must take time out to handle and play with their bird each and every day. Otherwise, you could end up with a grumpy bird and sore fingertips to boot! Practicing bonding techniques is important to keeping a Rosella comfortable with being part of a human family.

If you think you've got what it takes to keep one of these beautiful birds, contact a local Crimson Rosella breeder and see if you can meet with them and their pets.

Witnessing first-hand how these birds interact in a home environment will help you decide if a Crimson Rosella is indeed the best pet bird for you and your family.