Pink-and-grey cockatoo, Red-breasted cockatoo, Roseate cockatoo, Rose-breasted cockatoo, Galah cockatoo
An unmistakable and attractive species of cockatoo, a galah is a familiar sight in much of Australia. It can be distinguished easily from other cockatoos by its distinctive gray and pink plumage. It has a short crest, which it can erect, looks just like a cap when it is lowered, and ranges from white to pink. The male and female can be distinguished by their eye color: dark brown for the male and red to pinkish-red for the female. Juveniles have a wash of gray on their underparts, reaching full adult plumage when they are about a year old.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
Seed predation, often referred to as granivory, is a type of plant-animal interaction in which granivores (seed predators) feed on the seeds of pla...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Congregatory animals tend to gather in large numbers in specific areas as breeding colonies, for feeding, or for resting.
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Flocking birds are those that tend to gather to forage or travel collectively. Avian flocks are typically associated with migration. Flocking also ...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The galah lives in most parts of Australia, including some offshore islands, and it has been introduced to Tasmania. It occupies a range of habitats, including woodland, grassland, and shrubland. It also adapts well to urban areas, pastures, parks, and agricultural land, though it avoids dense forests.
Highly sociable birds, galahs are often seen in huge flocks that number as many as 1,000 individuals. They tend to feed in either the morning or late afternoon. They often mix with other species of cockatoo. In hot weather, flocks spend much of their time sheltering among shrubs and trees. They are often seen in acrobatic postures, sometimes hanging upside down, holding on by one foot only, flapping their wings, and giving a loud “scree!” At dusk, they perform further acrobatics before roosting. They fly swiftly through the treetops, twisting and turning as they swoop towards the ground, screeching as they go.
Galahs are monogamous birds and pairs mate for life. Males display to females by strutting towards them, bobbing and waving their heads and raising their crest, giving soft calls, and also clicking their bill. The breeding season in the north is from February to July, and in the south from July to December. Galahs nest in tree hollows or in cavities in cliffs. Often many pairs nest close to each other. Females lay between 2 and 5 white eggs, and incubation lasts around 4 weeks, shared by the parents. The chicks are fed at the nest by their parents for 5 to 6 weeks. They then leave the nest to gather in a “crèche tree”, along with other young birds. For 2 to 3 more weeks they are still fed by their parents. Then the parents fly away to molt. The young are independent by between 6 and 8 weeks old. Young birds join large nomadic flocks with non-breeding birds until they are 2 to 3 years old. They are ready to breed when they are four years old.
The galah is an abundant and widespread species, and it is not currently considered at risk of extinction. Galahs are, however, considered a pest throughout most parts of Australia and can be trapped, shot, or poisoned in an effort to reduce losses to local agriculture, especially in grain-producing districts.
According to the IUCN Red List, the global population size of galahs has not been quantified, but the species is described as common. This species’ population is increasing today and it is classified as least concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
Galahs are important for seed dispersal, which is of great importance for ecology and the evolution of plants. But often they can cause damage to the trees they roost in by chewing the bark.