Crimson rosellas are a joy to behold. Many of the trees and shrubs in my Blue Mountains garden have been planted with these beautiful birds in mind. Top of the list? The native correas. The photo below shows that my efforts are appreciated!
The rosellas love all the nectar producing Australian natives. The bird below has been sipping on Banksia spinulosa, commonly known as the hairpin banksia.
And here is a sweet little grevillea being devoured.
It’s not only Australian natives that are irresistible to these birds. They love a little blue and white striped groundcover called lithodora. Yes, they eat the whole thing. I don’t begrudge them. How could I when this vision appears through my kitchen window?
Fuchsias are another exotic flower that attracts them.
Ah yes, a fuchsia flower treat!
Our garden is a bit of a paradise for birds of all kids. However, accidents can happen. One morning we had a near tragedy when a crimson rosella flew into a window. He was found unconscious by my partner Rob, who put him in a covered cardboard box and just hoped he would pull through. It took nearly all day, but eventually the brave fellow stirred and slowly, slowly managed to stand up. Another hour on the balcony then a couple more in the canopy of tree and he was all good again. Tough characters.
The birds spend as much time in the bird baths as they do in the flowers.
When the deciduous trees are bare and there is not much flowering, the rosellas provide splashes of heart lifting colour. They also do a little pruning of the maples.
Crimson rosellas nest in tree hollows and will compete very fiercely with other species to secure a good site. The female incubates from three to eight eggs.
Juvenile crimson rosellas are more green than red, so it’s easy to identify them. Here is youngster being fed in the wattle tree;
It doesn’t take long before the youngsters learn that red hot pokers provide a sweet treat.
I photographed the bird below in that awkward stage between juvenile and adult. Still cute though.
Transformation almost complete;
Young birds are engagingly playful and curious. Here is one trying to undo the fastening on my little lantern.
The only real threat to the rosellas in the Blue Mountains is the arrival from warmer regions of the Rainbow Lorikeet. leading to increased competition for nesting hollows. Could this be the result of climate change?
The lorikeets are gorgeous, but I hope my crimson friends will continue to fight for their rights.