The Galah – Eolophus roseicapilla (Vieillot, 1817) – belongs to the Eolophus genus, which is closely related to the Cacatua genus, where most cockatoos belong. Previously the Galah was included in the Cacatua genus (classified as Cacatua roseicapilla) but recent studies has moved it to the monotypic Eolophus genus and Cacatua now only contains the white cockatoos.
The Galah is widespread across most of Australia with millions of individuals, but among breeders outside Australia it is more rare as there is an export ban. They are often a little more expensive than the more common yellow crested cockatoos. However, they are often easier to breed in captivity.
Young birds are easy to tame and can also learn to imitate words or short sentences. Older birds will be harder to tame and will often be shy.
The Galah is often very curious and always busy; don’t expect them to sit still and cuddle for a long time – this is in contrast to some of the white cockatoos that love attention and cuddling. Like most cockatoos they form a very close and lifelong bond with their mate.
In captivity a Galah can be up to 70-80 years old with proper care and a healthy diet; the lifespan of wild birds however is usually below 20 years.
Pink chest. Grey back and wings – the color may vary from grey to a bright grey that is almost white. The crest is pinkish white with a wide and very short shape. Pale grey rump. White/grey eye-ring. Horn coloured bill.
The male usually has dark brown eyes – the female has reddish-brown eyes.
Juveniles have dark gray eyes; they get the adult color when they are about two years old.
Length: 35 cm.
Three subspecies are recognized:
The Galah is endemic to the mainland Australia; the sub specie Eolophus roseicapilla albiceps has been introduced to Tasmania.
It is widespread in most of Australia except the far north of Cape York Peninsula.
They can be seen in large flocks and are also common in urban areas.
Wild birds mainly feed on grasses and seeds, as well as small insects.
In aviculture it is important to give the birds a low fat diet, as the Galah tends to get fat, the so-called lipomes.
Wild birds nest in three cavities.
They are relatively easy to breed in captivity. They are not sensitive to cold weather. They are not particularly destructive, but they have a strong beak and love to chew so take that into account when choosing a cage or aviary. Give them plenty of bird safe wood or other toys which they can chew on. The Galah do not mix well with other species so keep them in separate aviaries. The birds should have a spacious volire so they get ample exercise.
The clutch usually contains up to five white eggs. Both the male and female take part on incubation. The eggs are hatched after about 25 days; the chicks leave the nest about 50 days later.
When the chicks are able to feed by themselves, they should be taken away from the parents to avoid being attacked.
BirdLife International 2018. Eolophus roseicapilla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22684758A131874469.
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