The Green Rosella is known as Tasmanian Rosella, Green Mountain Parrot, and Yellow-bellied Parrot.
Description Adult Male
The adult male measures approximately 14 inches in length. The head, face, throat, breast, belly and under tail-coverts are yellow tinged with olive; they have a red frontal band; cheek patches are a deep blue; nape, back and wings are dark green with blackish-brown centers; rump olivegreen, marked with dull orange near sides of the tail; underwing-coverts, secondaries and parts of the primaries are pale blue; central tail feathers bronze-green, lateral tail feathers blue edged with white. The hill is grayishwhite; iris brown and the legs are gray.
The above description relates to birds of the more open forest country and fruit growing areas of Tasmania. Birds which inhabit the mountain ranges of the west coast, which are heavily timbered, are much duller green with little evidence of yellow on the breast, also their feathering gives the impression of being somewhat fluffy in appearance and this could possibly be brought about by the cold and heavy rainfall in this type of habitat.
The coloration of the adult female is similar to the male, the head is smaller and the upper mandible is narrower
than that of the male. The presence or the absence of an underwing-stripe is not a true guide to sexing. The wing stripe referred to is a whitish band across the underside of each wing.
In immatures the head and general underparts are dull olive-green, back and wings olive-brown with a little scalloped feathering showing on the back and nape; cheek patches are dull blue; frontal band dull red and the underwing-stripe is evident. Like many species of this genus the Green Rosella can vary in plumage coloration.
The Green Rosella as its popular alternative common name, Tasmanian Rosella, indicates is restricted to Tasmania and several nearby islands of Bass Strait. (The island state of Tasmania is separated from the Australian mainland by Bass Strait.)
This rosella is quite common and is dispersed over most parts and not confined to any particular locality. My observations of this species have occurred in varying habitats from the high mountains, coastal scrubland, parks and gardens, open woodland orchards to farming areas. During the non-breeding season they tend to form small groups with numbers increasing after the breeding activities have come to a natural conclusion.
Although this species is the largest in its genus, its power of flight from one feeding ground to another is quite noticeable. It has a distinctive call, "kussik, kussik" which is uttered mostly when in flight.
As already mentioned, the Green Rosella inhabits practically all of Tasmania. This varies in terrain from high mountains by Australian standards (the highest being Mount Ossa which attains a height of somewhat less than 5,100 feet) which, generally speaking, are well covered with dense forests descending through the undulating tree and shrub-covered hills of the lake country, to the open grazing and cereal growing country of the midlands, and scrub covered hills along the eastern coast. As these birds are primarily seed and fruit eaters they are usually to be found in any, or all, of these areas. The variety of seed would. of course, vary from one area to another depending on the grasses and shrubs available, the latter including such natives as acacias, casuarinas, and callistemons.
They also partake of many of the flowers and fruits of eucalypts, extracting both nectar and seeds from these and, in so doing, devour a percentage of small insects. Other grubs and leaf insects are also eaten in reasonable quantities.
In relation to eucalypts Tasmania is well endowed being host to such giants as the Mountain Ash Eucalyptus regnans, one of the world's tallest-growing trees which reaches heights of over 300 feet. I have observed pairs of Green Rosellas feeding high in this species of tree during one of our trips along the Huon Valley (an area noted for apple orchards).
Bolanld, D.j., Brooker, M.l.H., Chippendale, G.M .. Hall. N., Hyland, B.P.M., .Johnston, RD., Kleinig, D.A., Turner, .J .0. Forest Trees of Australia. Thomas Nelson, Melbourne, Australia: 1984.
Condon. H.T.,Checklist of the Birds of Australia Part 1. Non-Passerines. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. Melbourne, Australia: 1975.
Hutchins. B.R. A Conducted Tour of Bird Fanciers in Tasmania. Bird Keeping in Australia, pp, 50-51, 57-59, 67-68, 91- 92, 109-110, 119-120: 1967.
Hutchins, B.R. & Lovell, R.H. Australian Parrots: A field and Aviary Study. Avicultural Society of Australia, Melbourne. Australia: 1985