Everything You Need to Know About The Rose-Breasted Cockatoo – The Galah Bird

If you’ve ever been to Australia, then it’s highly possible that you have heard or seen a Galah.

Also called the pink and grey cockatoo, it is one of the more popular cockatoos in Australia and commonly found in almost all parts of the continent. It is considered a smaller species of cockatoo.

The name comes from the word ‘gilaa’ from the Aboriginal language of the Yuwaalaraay, a tribe that originated from the northern tip of New South Wales.

Gilaa means ‘clown’ or ‘fool.’ The name is considered apt for the rose-breasted cockatoo due to the playful nature of the birds.

They love to hang upside down on branches of trees and even slide down wires. Because of this, they are often called the clown of the bird world.

Centuries ago, galahs were believed to be living in open plains of the eastern, western, and northern parts of Australia.

But with the entry of many European settlers and the clearing of lands for farming, these birds started to spread across the continent.

Soon, they lived in coasts and even many cities in Australia to take advantage of the abundant food supply.


How Galah Birds Look Like

You can easily identify these birds thanks to their striking and colorful appearance.

Their heads, face, and chest are colored pink, which explains why it is sometimes referred to as the rose-breasted cockatoo. Its back, meanwhile, is colored either silver or grey.

The crest is slightly lighter in color than their face. These birds are about 14 inches long.

Their wings are narrow enough for agile and fast flight. Their wings are colored bright pink to red.

The crest of the galah is another important physical feature of the bird. This raises immediately when the galah cockatoo is alarmed or excited.

When it is lowered, the bird’s feathers fold back over his head to cover the crest.

Adult galahs look almost the same. The difference, however, is in the color of the eyes. Adult males have dark brown or black eyes. On the other hand, female galahs have pink or red eyes.

Juvenile galah cockatoo birds tend to have duller body colors compared to their adult counterparts.

Their chests, crowns, and chests are colored grey. The eye rings are whitish in color while the irises are colored brown.


Australia: Galah’s Native Habitat

Galahs are indeed native to Australia. In fact, there are three sub-species of galah found in different parts of Australia.

The Eolophus Roseicapillus is found in the central and northern parts of Australia. This type of bird is noted for its pink periophthalmic ring.

You can search and find the E. roseicapillus assimilis galah species in the western part of Australia.

This galah cockatoo has a paler plumage with a more pronounced pink crown and grayish-white periophthalmic ring.

Finally, the E. roseicapillus Kuhli galah is found in the northern part of Australia. It has a grey-red periophthalmic ring and a pale plumage.


Where These Birds Live

As mentioned earlier, the galah eolophus species has become a familiar fixture in all of Australia.

They are widely found across the country except for the dry areas down south. They are found in many large flocks in habitats that are near water.

You can likewise search and spot them in urban areas in Australia, including the big-name cities like Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide.

Galahs can be found sheltering in trees in the morning before congregating in the afternoon, often in huge flocks. The bird can be spotted feeding in grassy areas.


What These Birds Eat

In their natural habitat, galahs feed on a variety of food such as berries, seeds, herbs, grasses, roots, and green shoots.

Their diet likewise consists of grains, fruits, and cereal crops. They can feast on insects when they need extra protein, particularly for breeding birds.

If you are to take care of a galah eolophus as a pet, you can feed it with seeds, oats, corn, leafy fruits and vegetables, and grass.

You may even provide the bird with cuttlefish for calcium nourishment.


Frequently Asked Questions: The Short Answers

1. Do Galah Birds Talk?

Galahs can mimic the sounds and phrases they hear from their environments, making them appear to ‘talk.’ They can easily mimic short and simple words such as ‘hello,’ ‘kiss,’ and ‘love.’

They can even impersonate mundane sounds like a telephone ring, horn, and whistle. Male galahs are much better talkers than females.


2. Is Galah a Good Pet?

Yes, a galah can be an excellent pet. The bird, after all, is friendly, affectionate, and playful. Because it lives in flocks, this type of bird covets attention.

Therefore, you must be ready to spend time with this bird if you get one as a pet.

Galahs love to play around. Their easy-going nature means they won’t hesitate to come out of their cages and interact with their human families.

This type of bird is also smart enough to understand and follow basic commands and requests.

And because they can talk, galahs can bring so much fun and cheer to any home.


3. What is the typical lifespan of the rose-breasted cockatoo?

In captivity, it is possible for a galah cockatoo to live up to 80 years.

But in the wild, these birds tend to live shorter because they are the usual targets of bigger animals like cats.


4. What do galah sounds mean?

This bird likes to make soft and muted calls to communicate with other cockatoos. It can also be for initiating close contact.

When they are relaxed, galah cockatoos make high-pitched sounds. And when threatened, galah birds often make a screeching sound.


5. Are galah birds noisy?

Unlike other birds such as the sulfur-crested cockatoo and macaws, this type of cockatoo is not noisy at all.

They do make sounds often in the morning and afternoon, which is actually a natural behavior for most if not all birds.

However, the noise level is tolerable and not annoying at all.


6. What animals do galahs hate?

Be sure not to keep pets like dogs and cats if you are to take care of a galah because these animals can threaten the cockatoo.