Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus)


French: Perruche gracieuse German: Brownsittich Spanish: Perico gracioso

Psittacus venustus


, 1820,

Arnhem Bay, Northern Territory, Australia


Forms a species-group with P. adscitus and P. eximius, and sometimes considered conspecific with both. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. v. hilli Mathews, 1910 – N Western Australia (Kimberley).
  • P. v. venustus (Kuhl, 1820) – N Australia from N Northern Territory (including Bathurst I and Melville I) E through Barkly Tableland to extreme NW Queensland.
  • Descriptive notes

    28 cm; mean 85 g. Bill whitish; head black except for off-white lower cheek and chin; underparts, lower back and rump pale yellow lightly edged black, giving weak scaled... read more


    Commonest call is a loud doubled or tripled “kwe-kweep!” or “kwe-kwee!-kwup” heard in flight. When... read more


    Eucalyptus and Melaleuca woodland in hilly country where access to water greater... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds of eucalypts, Melaleuca and Acacia, also C. intratropica; grass seeds and nectar also recorded. Birds in... read more


    Jun–Sept, sometimes earlier. Nest in hollow limb or hole in tree, usually a eucalypt near water. Eggs 2–4; incubation lasts c.... read more


    Probably mainly sedentary, although in dry season birds retreat to vicinity of watercourses.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Considered to be relatively uncommon overall, and only locally common. Evidence of former abundance disputed, so not clear if any decline... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2018). Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 March 2018).