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Peace and goodwill

December 18, 2015

We live on a bush block surrounded on three sides by open farmland. Unsurprisingly the majority of birds we have seen on the property are woodland birds. Some of the birds associated with the more open country have never been seen in our bush. So we have Crimson Rosellas but no Eastern Rosellas, Grey Fantails but no Willie Wagtails, which feels strange because Eastern Rosellas and Wagtails for example are abundant at the end of our driveway and all along the road leading to it.

crimson rosella and young IMG_0428

crimson teenager IMG_0398

Teenager ‘coming out’

For five years now we have monitored on a daily basis using a motion-sensing camera the birds that visit the bird bath. So far we have recorded over three dozen species (and a dozen species of non-avian fauna). These days the visitors are the ‘same old suspects’. Until last week. In the past couple of months the most frequently photographed birds have been Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans), usually in family groups in all states of maturity. We record them as adults (all red and blue plumage), juveniles (all green plumage), pictured above,  and teenagers (a manky-looking in-between state, pictured right).

IMG_0617
Last week while trawling through the previous days pics we came across a two teenage rosellas that didn’t quite look the same. Closer examination showed one to be the expected Crimson Rosella but the other to be an Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius), for the first time ever. Every day since these two have flown in together, drunk together, washed together and then flown away together, several times a day.

I’m not sure how this relationship has formed and what message I should take from it. Given the time of the year I am going to put it down to the fact it is the time of peace and goodwill among all man-(and rosella)-kind irrespective of race, colour or creed.

P.S. Geoff, our bird man from Yea suggests that the bluish tinge to the white cheeks of the Eastern Rosella could indicate that it is a hybrid, that is, has both a Crimson Rosella and an Eastern Rosella parent. Integration indeed!

One Comment leave one →
  1. ccobern permalink
    December 27, 2015 9:06 am

    Hi Ron.
    It is not that uncommon for Crimson Rosella’s to cross-breed with Eastern and Pale Headed Rosella’s in captivity and occasionally in the wild.
    Check out this link: http://birdsinbackyards.net/forum/EasternCrimson-Rosella-Breeding

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