There are 5 main rosella species to control that come in conflict with Australian farmers.
- Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) – North Qld, south eastern seaboard from NSW/Qld border through to S.A
- Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) – Tasmania
- Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis) – South West W.A
- Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) – South East Australia including Tasmania
- Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) – Eastern Australia, Sydney to Cape York
All breed in the spring and egg numbers vary from 3 up to 7 or 8.
As we use similar techniques and sounds on all rosella species, for the purpose of this brief report we’ll simply use the term rosella for all of the above species.
Rosellas usually are seen in pairs or small family groups, however flocks of juveniles may number up to 50. Their diet is eucalyptus blossoms, nectar, seeds, insects, grass and weed seeds and cultivated fruits. Most pairs of rosellas seem to be fairly sedentary and by themselves can cause little damage to a crop. It’s generally the larger numbers of young birds that may appear all of a sudden that start to cause noticeable damage. Sometimes it’s not the fruit that they damage but the flowers and buds of vines or orchard trees in the spring.
It is easier to move the non-territorial juveniles than the older resident breeding pairs, which have no wish to leave, having already established their territory and nesting site.
Multi-sound devices like Crop Gard, Bird X-8, Bird X-1 are the preferred sound units for rosellas. The latest version of the ESC is also highly regarded by Birgard field agents. The sheer volume of the Pro-Amp is the most effective of all.
A little use of a falcon call can also be effective. However, the falcon call should be used strictly as a supplementary sound, as birds may come to ignore it if overused. Possibly, the local resident pair or two may never be moved, but they will cause only minor damage. The main objective is to move on the roving flocks of juveniles.