Small pet birds and anything related by Pete Etheridge – aka – 'Stanton Birdman'

Archive for June, 2011

Learn more about looking after your birds and get a free gift into the bargain

If you would like to know more about looking after your own pet birds then pick up a copy of my pet bird keeping ebook available from any of these 4 locations:

Instant download at MyEbook

Or also here at Payloadz

On cd-rom from Amazon

On Amazon Kindle

Please email me if purchasing through Amazon Kindle as I do not get notified of any purchases.

You’ll be glad you did, especially as I’m giving away not one but two free gifts for anyone who makes a purchase. When your purchase has been confirmed your free gifts will be whizzing across cyberspace to your inbox.

Stanton Birdman

Update, 26 August 2011.

You can now access all the above links from my new one-page website, where I am also giving away a FREE ebook.  Go there now!

Thanks for your interest!


Pet birds – More information about rosellas

There are several species of rosella, all belong to the genus platycercus which refers to the shape of their tails ie. broad or flat, a common feature in all rosellas.

Medium sized parrots averaging about 12 inch in length, give or take a couple of inches either way depending on the subspecies. All are native to Australia and the nearby islands and have distinct cheek patches and a scalloped appearance to the plumage on their backs.

Absent from the barren outback but quite common in coastal areas where they live in suburban gardens and parks, woodlands and forests, and farmland.

Most live together in flocks or small groups out of the breeding season which is when they then pair up and go their own way. Their natural diet consists mainly of seed and fruit.

Their bright colours make them popular pet birds and in captivity can live for over 20 years, please note however that they are usually very aggresive towards other captive birds with which they have to share their home. For this reason it is advisable to keep them in pairs or alone although I have kept golden mantle rosellas in a large aviary with budgies, cockatiels, and kakarikis with no problem. If doing this though you must be sure to have a large aviary so the birds can get away from each other if they need to.

WARNING: don’t ever keep different subspecies of rosella in the same aviary or cage, they will fight to the death so be sure to prevent them from getting at each other if keeping more than one subspecies. The same applies if trying to keep more than two rosellas of the same subspecies together also.

Green Rosella  Platycercus caledonicus

Sometimes called Tasmanian rosella, the green rosella is not actually native to Australia but to Tasmania and Bass Strait islands. This is the biggest of the rosella family averaging about 14.5 inch (37 cm) in length, and is often regarded as the easiest rosella species to keep in captivity.

The green rosella showcase: Avian Web, Wikipedia, and not just one video but another one also.

Eastern Rosella  Platycercus eximius

This subspecies is predominant mainly in the south east of the country but also Tasmania and has three recognised subspecies itself. Mainly occupying light woodland areas, but these birds have also been introduced to New Zealand where feral populations exist in the North Island, Hutt Valley and Dunedin in the south island. The eastern rosella is about 12 inch (30 cm) in length and is a very popular pet where the bright and colourful plumage is a big attraction.

Of course we like Wikipedia and Avian Web so much because we get more information from there, and we also like to watch a movie.

Crimson Rosella  Platycercus elegans

Also called Pennant’s rosella and Occupying mainly forests and gardens in east and south east Australia but also introduced to New Zealand. The crimson rosella has five subspecies, of which three are actually crimson in colour. In the wild they will gather in small groups, pairs of feeding parties outside the breeding season. Found mainly in coastal and mountain forests and woodlands. Popular pet birds that are about 14 inch (36 cm) in length.

Find the crimson rosella on Avian Web and Wikipedia.

As popular as the green so it features in two movies:  here’s one, here’s the other.

Pale-headed Rosella  Platycercus adscitus

Often known as Mealy rosella this species inhabits open woodland areas and is native to north east Australia. The pale-headed has two subspecies and is very closely related to the Eastern rosella. The length is approximately 33 cm (13 inch) long but almost half, about 15 cm (6 inch) of that is the tail.  The pale -headed rosella is also sought after by bird keepers and does make a hardy pet which is easy to keep.

Pale-headed rosella on Wikipedia and Avian Web, and starring in its own show here.

Western Rosella  Platycercus icterotis

Sometimes known as the Stanley rosella this little parrot is native to timbered areas and eucalyptus forests in south west Australia. Usually found in pairs but will form groups of about twenty or so to forage. The western is the smallest rosella averaging about 10 inch (25.5 cm) with two subspecies. As with many rosellas these are often kept as pets or aviary birds where, as is usual with rosellas, their bright colouring is desired.

Read about the Western rosella at Avian Web or Wikipedia.

Watch a short movie featuring Western rosellas in the lead role.

Northern Rosella  Platycercus venustus

Also called Smutty rosella or Brown’s parakeet and is native in the north of Australia as it’s name implies, ranging from the Kimberleys and through Arnhem land to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The northern rosella is the second smallest of the common breeds at about 28 cm (11 inch) long. They live singurlarly or in pairs throughout the open savannah country.

Northern rosella on Wikipedia and Avian Web

Video link for Northern rosella

View lots of rosella pictures on the ‘Stanton Birdman’ ‘Facebook’ page

All the above are available to the bird keeper but the desire for birds with colourful plumage has outstripped demand in many areas so a premium price often accompanies the purchase of a rosella. Don’t expect to pay less than £80 for one unless you’re lucky!

Hub about habitat damage

Wrote a hub a while ago and submitted it to HubPages

It’s about the habitat damage caused by human demand for pet birds please click on this link and read it!

Once you’ve read it please share it with everybody!


Native Australian birds as pets – An introduction to rosellas

Of all native Australian birds used as pets the rosellas are amongst the most sought after. This is due to their wonderful variety of colouring, their size and their unique markings. Their scalloped feather markings on the back is what makes them unique in the avian world. There are several different species of rosella, all of them unique in their own way, and they all have similar requirements when used in aviculture.

Common in all rosellas is the scalloped pattern to the feathers on the back and all have distinctive cheek patches. A very colourful and medium sized parrot native to Australia and the surrounding islands. On the Australian mainland these colourful birds tend to inhabit areas of farmland, woodland, forests and suburban gardens and parks, in the coastal mountains and plains but not the outback. Specific breeds tend to inhabit a particular area. Most species of rosella live in large flocks in the wild but not all.It is commonly held that their name originates from the area of Australia in which they were first noticed by early pioneers, the Rose Hill area of Sydney.

The most common species appear to be: Western Rosella – smallest of the species with two subspecies itself and is found in south west Australia. Crimson Rosella – five subspecies and inhabiting east and south east Australia. Green Rosella – the largest species and native to Tasmania. Pale-headed Rosella – two subspecies and found in the eastern part of Australia. Eastern Rosella – three subspecies and although native to the eastern area of the country they are found in many regions including Tasmania and have been introduced to New Zealand where feral populations can be found. Northern Rosella – mainly found in the north as the name suggests but can also be seen in open savanna country and a few other areas, this one is also more likely to be found in small groups or just in pairs in the wild. All these are popular as pets.

An aviary is the best option when keeping rosellas in captivity as this ensures an environment as close to their natural habitat as possible. If an aviary is not an option then they will do OK in cages, as long as the cage is adequately large enough for their requirements. They will need to have regular exercise outside the cage however and should get the opportunity to have a fly around. These birds are not usually talkers and will mainly chirp & squawk, although they could learn a few unique sounds or the odd whistle. A single rosella will form a very strong bond with its owner.

An important warning with regards to keeping rosellas:

They are best kept alone or in pairs as they can be very aggressive towards each other if a lot are enclosed together, a strange thing about captive ones this is as they tend to live mainly in flocks in the wild. Whether kept in aviary or cage try to only have no more than two, and ensure they are of the same species subfamily. These birds will fight to the death in captivity if different sub-species are allowed access to each other, so make certain that if keeping more than one type of rosella to separate the different sub-species by housing in separate aviaries or cages. If the aviaries are connected together you must at the very least double-mesh so as these birds cannot get any physical contact. Beautiful birds yes, they do have these requirements however, but they are easily achievable.

Most bird keepers will suggest that rosellas are not to be kept in a mixed aviary with other types of birds because of their aggressive nature. This may be so but I have in the past kept a pair of Eastern Rosellas (golden-mantled rosellas) in the same mixed aviary with budgies, cockatiels, grass parakeets and kakarikis and have had no problems, the rosellas tended to keep themselves to themselves and do their own thing. It would be best to get advice from an avian professional if unsure.

To summarise there are several types of rosella available to the bird keeper, but their demand can often lead to having to pay a substantial fee in order to purchase any. Their physical appearance however is well worth the expense.

All the information you need for looking after your pet birds is in my ebook, go to for your copy.


Today’s nest box inspection revealed:  6 cockatiel eggs, 9 Java sparrow eggs in two nest boxes, 8 budgie chicks (5 in one box, 3 in another) and 3 budgie eggs.  Looking good!

A great day out for all

Located in the heart of rural Leicestershire in the UK is the village of Desford. Just a normal English country village apart from one main difference, the residents of Desford are used to seeing all types of foreign exotic birds flying and climbing about the village, many now consider that their village wouldn’t be the same without the daily appearance of these birds. You see Desford is also the home of ‘Tropical Birdland’ (sometimes known as ‘Tropical Bird Garden’) a small visitor attraction within the village.

It is a great day out for all the family and especially those who are interested in exotic birds. Many of the feathered residents of ‘Tropical Birdland’ are free-flying, which basically means that they are allowed to roam free about the area; so don’t be surprised when visiting there to find the occasional exotic bird coming along to share your lunch.

I don’t really have the space to go into detail here but I have visited ‘Tropical Birdland’ with my family on a number of ocasions and we have always had a great time and returned home with some fond memories.

For more detail check out their website at and then go and pay them a visit. You won’t be dissappointed.

Pet birds – The impact of domestic demand on the natural habitats of exotic and foreign birds

Bird keeping is a very popular pass-time throughout the world. However the demand for exotic or foreign birds in the past and mankind’s increasing intrusion has had a dramatic effect on wild stocks and their natural habitats. Fortunately new laws are being introduced throughout the world in an attempt to maintain the ecosystem and put back what has been taken.

Some time ago many wild birds were captured from wild sources to be kept in captivity with the intention of breeding for the pet, zoo and show bird markets. This unfortunately led to many wild bird species being brought to near extinction. Fortunately nowadays this activity is carefully monitored and policed around the globe which has gone some way to restoring wild stocks. Unfortunately many species are still endangered – to a critical extent in some cases – so careful policing and monitoring methods will need to be ongoing for many decades yet to come – some possibly permanently. However mankind is now beginning to notice the damage done to wild animals, native plant life and natural habitats and is constantly striving to pay back what has been taken so, with optimism, things can only get better for our wildlife, however this will undoubtedly prove to be a very long task. Only with dedication and determination will this ever be achieved.

Many countries now ban the import of domestic livestock and many others impose a strict regime with regard to the matter. This is of course an absolutely necessary precaution to help achieve the desired results. This does of course mean that many previously easily available exotic or foreign pets now have to be bred in the country to meet the demand in the market. This coupled with inflation, has ultimately had an impact on the availability and cost associated with each species; They’re not as cheap as they used to be! However many exotic or foreign pet birds are readily available for the right price with the most popular breeds being the least costly.

Many people keep birds as pets and many new enthusiasts are appearing all the time so the market is by no means saturated and there is still much demand. This assures that breeding conditions are being improved continuously with new technology being incorporated to improve the chances of success. Also many private breeders are making use of the demand to help fund the cost of their bird keeping ventures. Mass breeding is still going on but fortunately new regimes are often being incorporated to improve the living conditions of birds in captivity, sometimes brought on by the influence of animal rights activity, but this is a good thing and can only help.

To summarise almost anyone with a desire to keep exotic or foreign birds for whatever reason can find many to choose from and some at little cost. Almost every pet shop in the civilised world will have a stock of pet bird related foods and equipment. Bird keeping is proving to be a desirable pass-time with a massive market to meet demand.

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