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Adelaide rosella
Title : Adelaide rosella Adelaide rosella
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Creator : Gould, John, 1804-1881
Source : Birds of Australia, vol. 5, p. 22
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : The author
Date of creation : 1848
Format : Book
Dimensions : 855 x 675 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Also known as the Smutty Parrot and Brown's Parrot, the Adelaide Rosella (Platycercus elegans adelaidae) ranges from the southern Mount Lofty Ranges to the lower Flinders Ranges. It eats seeds and fruits and nests in a hole in a tree, and is considered a subspecies of the Crimson Rosella.

Distinguished British zoologist and ornithologist John Gould and his wife Elizabeth (nee Coxon), also an accomplished naturalist and illustrator, voyaged with their children to Australia in 1838 on the Parsee (ship), landing in Tasmania. Gould visited New South Wales, spent several weeks exploring the Murray scrubs in South Australia, mainly in the company of Charles Sturt, and also visited Kangaroo Island. Adelaide did not impress Gould: it was described as (1839) merely 'a chaotic jumble of sheds and mud huts'. Returning to Hobart, he went to New South Wales with his wife and two children, another son having been born in the meantime.

The Gould party left Sydney on 9 April 1840, and publication of The Birds of Australia began in London on 1 December 1840. The final parts, making a total of thirty-six, appeared in 1848. They were bound in seven volumes and the cost to subscribers was £115 (A. H. Chisholm, 'Gould, John (1804 - 1881)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp 465-467).

As he states in his text, Gould obtained some of his best bird specimens in Adelaide. Accordingly, he named the 'Adelaide Parrakeet'. Gould recorded this bird as being plentiful along the entire course of the River Torrens, and throughout the Adelaide hills. He was concerned for its continued existence, as the colonists hunted the bird extensively both for sport and for the table.

Diary kept by pioneer Mary Thomas during the voyage to South Australia aboard the Africaine in 1836. The Thomas family brought the first printing press to South Australia. The first South Australian newspaper was printed from this. In time, Mary settled her family in Hindley Street. There, Mary attempted to preserve English traditions, including plum pudding but also became accustomed to such delicacies as parrot pie.

Related names :


Coverage year : 1848
Period : 1836-1851
Place : South Australia
Further reading :

Cayley, Neville W. What bird is that? Dingley, Vic.: Redwood Editions, 2000

Gould, John. The Birds of Australia London: Published by the author, 1848 (London: Printed by Richard and John E. Taylor)

Andre, Roger. 'Friends-funded artworks' Bibliofile vol. 10, no. 4, August 2002

'Gould commemorative issue', Emu, October 1938

Hankel, Valmai. 'Our very special wrens', Friends of the State Library Newsletter no.1, August 1996

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