Juvenile rosella likely a mutation

UNUSUAL: This juvenile rosella shows signs of mutation not hybridisation.

UNUSUAL: This juvenile rosella shows signs of mutation not hybridisation.

This unusual-looking rosella is feeding at our place with five normal crimson rosellas. It is not readily accepted by them. G.L., Ballarat North

The wings of this rosella are certainly an unusual colour; they appear to be an opaque olive-sandy or olive-yellow tone.

It has the blue cheeks of a crimson rosella, and shows no colouration indicating hybridisation with the eastern rosella, so it is probably a mutation immature crimson rosella. This is confirmed by the other parts of its plumage (green back and tail, red appearing on rump).

Adult rosellas wings are blue and those of immature birds green. Your specimen shows both colours elsewhere on its plumage, so it can produce blue or green pigment. It is most likely a freak-coloured wild-bred immature crimson rosella, almost twelve months old.

  • Send questions and photos to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353, or email to rthomas@vic.australis.com.au