The Rose Breasted Cockatoo
The Galah, Eolophus roseicapilla, also known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo, Galah Cockatoo, Roseate Cockatoo or Pink and Grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia.
It is endemic in Australia (and introduced to Tasmania), where its distinctive pink and grey plumage and its bold and loud behaviour make it a familiar sight in the bush and increasingly in urban areas. It appears to have benefited from the change in the landscape since European colonisation and may be replacing the Major Mitchell's Cockatoo in parts of its range.
The term galah is derived from gilaa, a word found in Yuwaalaraay and neighbouring Aboriginal languages.
Galahs are about 35 cm (14 in) long and weighs 270–350 g. It has a pale grey to mid-grey back, a pale grey rump, a pink face and chest, and a light pink mobile crest. It has a bone- coloured beak and the bare skin of the eye rings is carunculated. It has grey legs. The genders appear similar, however generally adult birds differ in the colour of the irises; the male has a very dark brown (almost black) irises, and the female has a mid-brown/red irises. The colours of the juveniles are duller than the adults. Juveniles have greyish chests, crowns, and crests, and they have brown irises and whitish bare eye rings, which are not carunculated.
Galahs are found in all Australian states, and are absent only from the driest areas and the far north of Cape York Peninsula. It is still uncertain whether they are native to Tasmania, though they are locally common today, especially in urban areas. They are common in some metropolitan areas, for example Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, and common to abundant in open habitats which offer at least some scattered trees for shelter. The changes wrought by European settlement, a disaster for many species, have been highly beneficial for the galah because of the clearing of forests in fertile areas and the provision of stock watering points in arid zones. Flocks of galahs will often congregate and forage on foot for food in open grassy areas.
Galahs are highly social and very long-lived; though they are sometimes kept as pets, this is not something to be undertaken lightly as they bond socially with their owners and may well outlive them, and like most cockatoos, are noisy and require a great deal of attention and care. They are however very easy to keep and maintain as pets. Both male and female galahs are great talkers, but the male is thought to be the better talker. They're very loving and affectionate birds that have a tendency to purr like cats as a sign of their affection. They form a very strong bond with their owner and like to think of themselves as 'part of the family'. However, they do like their privacy at times and are quite happy to simply be around the family rather than be handled all hours of the day.
The Rose-breasted Cockatoo can grow to be 14 inches long and have a Life Span of 40+ years.
Care and Feeding
Specialized pelleted diets are highly recommended and should consist of 60–70% of the diet; use fortified seeds in moderation as they are higher in fat and less nutritious than pellets. Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, pineapple bits, and corn on the cob. Do not feed birds fruit seeds, avocados, chocolate, alcohol or caffeine as these can cause serious medical problems.
If your bird is used to a seed diet, convert to pellets gradually. Fresh pellets or seeds and fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should always be available. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be given daily; discard when not eaten within 24 hours; Cockatoos appreciate quality and variety in their food. Cockatoos ten towards obesity, carefully monitor your bird’s weight and food intake.
Birds acclimate well to average household temperatures; be cautious of extreme temperature change; cage should be placed off the floor in an area that is well-lit and away from drafts. A cage approximately 32" W x 23" D, with metal bars spaced no greater than 1" apart, makes a good home for your Cockatoo; as with all animals, it is best to provide the largest habitat possible; a flight cage is strongly recommended.
Perches should be at least 9" long and 1" in diameter; a variety of perch sizes to exercise feet and help prevent arthritis is recommended. A metal grate over the droppings tray will keep the bird away from droppings; line the droppings tray with cage paper or appropriate substrate for easier cleaning. To avoid contamination, do not place food or water containers under perches.