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are rosellas good pets?

Do Rosella Parrots Make Good Pets?

(Last Updated On: January 10, 2023)

Rosellas make unique companion animals. Their colorful cheeks, quiet melodies, and independent nature set them apart from other parrots.

If you’re looking for a medium-sized bird that’s not too clingy, a rosella could be the right parrot. Rosellas love to play, but they aren’t cuddly parrots. That said, they’re striking to look at. With a lifespan of 20-30 years, getting a rosella is a long-term commitment.

Although not aggressive, rosellas may bite if they feel threatened. Since they’re naturally more defensive than most other parrot breeds, you’ll need patience when taming a rosella.

What Do Rosella Parrots Look like?

Rosellas (Platycerus) are distinctive and beautiful parrots. The first thing you’ll notice about them is their cute cheek patches, as rosellas have different colored cheeks to the rest of their face.

It’s not just their cheeks that are bright, but their whole bodies. Depending on the breed, rosellas are a mix of bright yellow, crimson red, neon green, and deep purple.

Although these colorations are striking, they’d serve as camouflage in the wild. According to Taylor and Francis Online, originating from the Australian bush, brightly-colored rosellas would perfectly blend into their natural surroundings.

Another thing to know about rosellas is that they have long, flat tails (Platycerus means “flat tail”). This makes them look regal and elegant when they walk around, almost like mini peacocks.

All rosellas are striking but don’t look the same, and the colorings differ between the subspecies.

rosella parrot personality

Types of Rosella Parrot

The most common type to keep as a pet is the Eastern Rosella (sometimes called the Golden Mantle). Use the table (below) to learn more about the six main types of rosellas:

Type of RosellaDescription
Eastern RosellaA striking red head and breast with bright white cheeks. The feathers are yellow, fading into green – a very tropical-looking parrot.
Western RosellaA bright red head and breast, with cute yellow cheeks. Feathers tend to be speckled blue and green—the smallest of the rosellas.
Crimson RosellaAlmost completely red, with black/gray markings on the wings and cheeks.
Green RosellaA bright yellow head and breast with blue cheeks. The back wings are a mixture of black and green – the largest breed of rosella.
Pale-headed RosellaThe head and upper breast are a very light cream color, and the rest of the bird has hues of blue.
Northern RosellaA black forehead, with white/blue cheeks. A pale, cream-colored breast with dark blue and black feathers on top. The Northern Rosella looks quite different from the others as its colors are more muted.

Rosella Parrot Personality

To help you decide whether a rosella is right for you, you should consider its personality.

Rosellas are shyer than other parrots like African Grays and Amazons. This means they’re less likely to become clingy or choose a favorite person in the house.

That’s not to say that rosellas aren’t sociable. Some rosellas will enjoy playing and have a lot of energy, but they aren’t as cuddly as lovebirds or cockatoos. They also value their own space.

Rosellas have a melodious voice. They’re quieter than most parrots but chirp away when happy.

According to Lafeber, rosellas might bite if they feel threatened, and this might be too threatening if you thrust your hand into their cage or try to pet them too much.

If you respect a rosella’s temperament, you are unlikely to get bitten.

How Big Do Rosella Parrots Grow?

The rosella is a medium-sized parrot. Rosellas are similar in size to most cockatiels, and the exact size also depends upon the breed. Look at the table below for more precise guidance:

Type of RosellaApproximate length
Western Rosella26cm or 10 inches
Northern Rosella28cm 0r 11 inches
Pale-headed Rosella30 cm or 12 inches
Eastern Rosella30 cm or 12 inches
Crimson Rosella36 cm or 14 inches
Green Rosella37 cm or 15 inches

Are Rosella Parrots Loud?

A single rosella won’t make much noise but will chirp periodically throughout the day, and their chirps aren’t as loud as a cockatoo’s. That said, if you’re looking for a cockatoo-sized bird that’s a bit more peaceful, a rosella could be the ideal choice.

Can Rosella Parrots Talk?

One of the potential downsides of a rosella parrot is that they don’t talk much. According to Science Direct, rosellas are the least likely to talk along with grass parrots.

However, that’s not to say that rosella parrots never talk, and some owners have trained their rosellas to learn some words. However, if your heart is set on a talkative parrot, a rosella might not be best for you.

Can You Tame a Rosella?

Rosellas have a reputation for being untamable, but is this true?

Well, rosellas are less friendly and cuddly than most other companion parrots, and Rosellas can also be quite shy and a little defensive.

They all have unique personalities, and some love to play. Many will enjoy family life as long as they’re being treated and handled in a non-threatening way.

Keep these tips in mind when taming a rosella, particularly a shy one:

  • Don’t stare your parrot directly in the eyes, as this can be very threatening. Stand side-on or approach your parrot by walking backward.
  • Your rosella will want to watch you from a distance before it feels comfortable to interact. Don’t force interaction but let your parrot observe you. It’ll be interested in almost anything you do.
  • If you think your rosella might be ready to interact, approach slowly with a snack (e.g., a berry). Offer your hand out so the parrot can peck the treat.
  • If your parrot feels quite safe, hover out your arm and invite it to walk onto your hand. Avoid sudden movements, as this can be startling. If your parrot doesn’t want to oblige, leave it for now. You can try the above process again later. Once you’ve built enough trust, your rosella should start to step onto your hand.
  • Most rosellas don’t enjoy being petted much but enjoy interaction and play. A study by Nature found that rosellas who play have larger brains and stronger cognitive abilities.

Remember that rosellas are quite shy birds, especially compared to other parrots. You’ll need patience and compassion to successfully tame a rosella bird.

Can You Train a Rosella?

Rosellas are somewhat trainable, i.e., through using food as reinforcement. However, they’re not as “malleable” as other parrots because they’re more reserved and enjoy their own space.

They’re also unlikely to learn lots of words like some parrots do.

That’s not to say that a rosella should be ignored. Rosellas are intelligent, so they can learn things through play and must be allowed to play.

But rosellas are quite independent birds, meaning they’re less teachable than a macaw or a budgie. If you’re looking for quite an independent pet, then a rosella could be a good choice.

How Long Do Rosella Parrots Live? 

When choosing a new pet, one of the first considerations is how long it will live.

Rosellas live for 20-30 years, so they’re quite the commitment. It would be quite rare for a rosella to reach 30, but 25 years old is certainly not unheard of.

Despite their long life span, rosellas reach sexual maturity quite young (about 18 months). They’ll breed quite a lot, given the right conditions.

can you tame a rosella?

Can You Breed Rosella Parrots?

Rosella parrots are attractive to parrot fanciers because they’re relatively easy to breed.

As mentioned, rosellas reach sexuality maturity quite young (18 months). As a point of comparison, some macaws don’t reach sexual maturity until 3-5 years old.

According to Research Gate, Rosella parrots prefer exclusive pair bonds, meaning they prefer to stick to the same mate throughout their lifespan.

In the above study, around 30% of wild rosellas did mate with a second partner when necessary, suggesting that rosellas can adapt their mating behavior if needed.

Can Rosellas Live with Other Parrots?

Rosellas are sometimes kept in an aviary with other parrots. This can sometimes work, but you must monitor your parrots carefully. Also, some parrot combinations are a no-no.  

According to Exotic Direct, mixing rosellas with ringneck parrots can cause them to gang up and become aggressive to other birds in the aviary.

If breeding rosellas, it’s best to keep them in a separate cage. Avoid placing breeding pairs in cages near each other, as this can increase the chances of aggressive behavior.

Are Rosellas Good Pets?

Rosellas have many good qualities that can make them excellent pets. Of course, you must consider the cost of buying a Rosella parrot and the ongoing expenses.

They’re strikingly beautiful, reasonably quiet, and fun to play with. They’re also relatively self-sufficient as far as parrots go, so you won’t have to deal with a clingy rosella.

That said, if you want a parrot that’s cuddly, friendly, and talkative, a rosella may not be your best choice. Rosellas also live for a long time, so you must be committed.

Though reserved, rosellas love to play, so you’ll need to provide a stimulating yet non-threatening home environment. Though not a pet for everyone, rosellas can be the ideal parrot.