Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pale-headed Roselle

The Pale-headed Rosella is 33 cm (13 in) long, which includes the 15 cm length of its tail. Its underparts are pale blue, and upper breast and head are pale cream-yellow, the tail which is blue-black and green and the vent which is blood red. The feathers of the nape, scapulars and back are black edged with bright yellow, giving rise to a scalloped appearance. In these margins of the northern race, the yellow is paler with a pale blue tinge. The cheeks are wholly white in the southern subspecies, and partly flushed with blue in the lowerparts in the northern subspecies. The bill is pale blue-white and the legs dark grey. The eyes are yellow-brown. The sexes are similar in appearance, although the female is slightly smaller and duller.[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The nominate subspecies adscitus is found from the Cape York Peninsula south through to Cardwell in central-northern Queensland. There is a broad range of intermediate forms, while the southern subspecies palliceps extends from Townsville and points inland south into northeastern New South Wales to the vicinity of the Clarence River.[5] It is common throughout its range. Its preferred habitat is open forest, but has adapted well to human modification of the rural landscape and may even become a pest to orchards and cereal crops. Watering troughs help the species in the dryer western limits of its range.[6]
It was also introduced to Hawaii in 1877, but had died out there by the late 1920s.[7]

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