A great egret looks for breakfast at Calamvale Creek


Scientific stuff

Pale-headed rosella
— also called
Moreton Bay rosella,
yellow rosella, or
mealy rosella

Platycercus adscitus

About 30 centimetres (12 inches)

Looks like a large budgerigar. Yellow head, white cheeks, yellow back with dark spots. Colours range from dark blue on the wings to pale blue on the chest, red underbelly, tail feathers start at yellow near body and then change to olive green, then blue near tip of tail.

Juveniles often have ginger feathers on top of head, which disappear after 3 months.

Sociable. Likes to be in groups — usually in small flocks.

Using our photos

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Pete and Tweet's photos

Pale-headed rosellas usually appear in small flocks around Calamvale Creek in warmer weather.

The photographer said:
“I called the two rosellas featured here Pete and Tweet.

“I was fortunate one Saturday morning to have them start playing in the trees near me.

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“They even seemed to be showing off — one perched on a tree trunk upright like a woodpecker (see photo above).

“Usually the pale-headed rosellas dart around and fly off when someone comes near them.

“But this Saturday they stayed around and didn't seem to worry that I was taking photos.

“The photos here were not all taken on the same day. The juvenile appeared on his own one day just long enough for me to get a single photo.”

Critters of Calamvale Creek

Pete and Tweet, the pale-headed rosellas

Also known as Moreton Bay rosella; yellow rosella; mealy rosella

Platycercus adscitus

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Tzik-tzik. We are Pete and Tweet, pale-headed rosellas that frequently visit Calamvale Creek in Brisbane, Australia.

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Pretty birdies

We are an attractive yellow and blue colour, with various other colours mixed through our feathers.

The young pale-heads, like little Pzeet in the photo at left, have a reddish brown or grey splotch on the top of their heads. But they lose this by 13 weeks.

Pale-headed rosellas are similar to eastern rosellas, except that eastern rosellas have a bright red head and neck.

Where do we like to hang out?

We like tree-lined watercourses, lightly timbered woodlands, farmland with scattered stands of trees, and low-lying scrubby ridges. Our family lives all along the east coast of Queensland and into north-eastern New South Wales. Calamvale Creek is a great place for us. We love it.

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What are our nests like?

We nest in the hollows of high tree limbs or trunks, and sometimes in old hollowed-out fence posts. We line the nest with wood dust or pieces of rotten wood.

The female incubates up to 8 small white eggs on her own for 19-20 days. The male calls in regularly to feed the mother and later to help raise the kids. The young leave the nest when they are 4 or 5 weeks old.

Mother pale-headed rosellas can continue to lay eggs and raise chicks successfully for up to 10 years.

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What do we eat?

Seeds are our favourite meal. We also eat berries, small fruit, and flower buds, and we chew on twigs. We sometimes eat cereal crops on farms, but we also help farmers because we eat burrs and thistles.

In cooler months we may eat the insects that are attached to eucalyptus leaves. This is an easily digested extra source of protein.

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We can find food from many trees and plant sources throughout the year.

Many food sources exist around the creek, and even though you are more likely to see us around the area in the warmer months, you are likely to see us darting through here any time.

We'll be looking out for you.

— Pete and Tweet, the pale-headed rosellas