Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crimson Rosella

Australia has more than 50 varieties of Parrots, one more strikingly beautiful than the other. Every other bird I see here, turns out to be a colourful bird of the parrot family. Today I feature the Crimson Rosella ( Platycercus elegans ) a parrot native to eastern and south eastern Australia. I have seen them high up on the Blue mountains, 1000 meters above sea level to the coastal gardens around Sydney. I spotted these in pairs at the Burragorang lookout point on the blue mountains.
Well the parrot has one amazing ability- Crimson Rossella's come is various shades from deep crimson red to pale yellow. These various shades of the bird had puzzled biologist for many years. But new recent research has finally raveled the reason for the varying hues; a virus infection !! A deadly virus called  Beak and Feather Disease Virus, which can destroy a species affects these birds. But the bird has evolved to resist the virus and  the only effect it has is the discoloured plumage. Now that's evolution at work. 

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