Family Parrots (Psittacidae)

Least Concern

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus)


French: Perruche à tête pâle German: Blasskopfrosella Spanish: Perico pálido

Psittacus adscitus


, 1790,

Cooktown, Queensland, Australia


Forms a species-group with P. venustus and P. eximius, and sometimes considered conspecific with both. Proposed form mackaiensis (Mackay, E Queensland) synonymized with palliceps; form elseyi is an intergrade between latter and nominate. Hybrids of present species with P. elegans were originally thought to be a separate species, “P. mastersianus” (Masters’s Rosella)#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. adscitus (Latham, 1790) – N Queensland, in NE Australia.
  • P. a. palliceps Lear, 1832 – E Queensland and N New South Wales.
  • Descriptive notes

    30 cm; 100–175 g. Bill and face white shading to yellow, lightly edged black, on nape and sides of neck; chin and lower cheeks grey-blue; mantle, back and scapulars... read more


    Flight call is a loud, dry “chit-chit”, repeated in loose series. When perched utters rather... read more


    Occurs in variety of habitats, including savanna woodland, paperbark woodland, riverine and swamp... read more

    Food and feeding

    Wide range of plants utilized, with 47 species recorded; forages more arboreally than P. eximius. Seeds of Eucalyptus... read more


    Feb–Jun in N, though with some variation depending on rainfall, Sept–Dec in S. Nest in deep hollow in living or dead tree,... read more


    Sedentary; some local movements at the edges of range are related to climatic pressures.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Abundant throughout most of range, benefiting from agriculture and cereal cultivation; only in S, where sympatric with closely related ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Boesman, P. (2020). Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus). 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 29 January 2020).