Avian Expert Articles

Get To Know The Galah: The Pink ‘Too

rose-breasted cockatoo; galah cockatoo
Galah cockatoo by David Cook Wildlife Photography

Nothing brightens a face more than to watch a brilliantly colored bird of any kind do what beautiful birds naturally do — flying, flexing wingspans, singing and talking, feeding, and a myriad of other bird-centric things. Birds of all kinds are fascinating in so many different ways. But what makes each species stand out from other birds is their uniqueness in both looks and colors.

Often, birds have splashes of coloration that draw your attention. Sometimes, however, it is their reduction of many colors into those of just a few brilliant ones that give them a special appeal. One bird known to be mostly white is a cockatoo, but they are not always white. Some are typified by their standout, singular colors. One such bird is the rose-breasted cockatoo, or galah. With their vibrant pink and gray colors, they are easily “ooh”-inspiring and appealing to the first-time viewer.

Galah Cockatoo Facts

The galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) is found in most of Australia. In conservation status designation, they are considered to be of “least concern.” And as any inhabitant of Australia could tell you — or any visitor for that matter — the galah cockatoo in the wild is a sight never too far away. It is a bird that weighs approximately 12 ounces, and about 12 inches or slightly more in height. Interestingly, not only are these birds found in exotic Australian locations, they seem to be just as comfortable in urbanized areas. The aboriginal term “galah” was supplied to the bird with the meaning of “clown” and “fool,” even “idiot.” But a pink cockatoo is far from an “idiot.”

Intelligent, Social, And Hardy

The stunningly beautiful galah is considered quite intelligent and can learn to mimic a wide range of sounds and vocabulary. In captivity, they are in need of constant attention as they are a highly socialized bird that thrives in flocks. With that, they require a steward who is wholly dedicated and understanding of their nature. As discovered by their easy interaction in urban settings, a galah is not afraid of humans. They are also considered a parrot with strong resistance to things that might normally impact another kind of exotic bird. This hardy nature contributes to their natural ability to survive in many settings. The general life span of a rose-breasted cockatoo is around 40 years. In captivity, they could live to 70.

Dangers In The Wild

Not every person is fond of these gorgeous birds. There are actually some who term the galah cockatoo in the wild as a pest. They are attracted to crops and will choose them as a source of food. Farmers become frustrated and find it difficult to deal properly with galahs in the wild. They have a tendency to claim ownership of things like livestock watering containers.  Often, hundreds can descend on important crops and create terrible losses for farmers. This can have catastrophic effect on not only the crops but the birds as well. Farmers will,  and often do, resort to many inhumane means to protect their crops.

With their beautiful pink crests and their vibrant pink chests and faces accenting their gray wings, the galah makes a beautiful pet with a world of possibilities for friendship, adopted tricks, a full vocabulary, and love. If given the proper settings, a pink cockatoo can become a lifelong companion.

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3 thoughts on “Get To Know The Galah: The Pink ‘Too

    1. Leticia– it IS a Rose-Breasted cockatoo, also known as a Galah. Major Mitchell cockatoos have a very colorful crest resembling a Native American war bonnetm and their feathers are more coral-colored and not bluish pink..

  1. We have a Galah cockatoo. Rosie is a doll. She interacts with my husband and I all the time. We allow her to fly around the house and when she is thirsty or hungry she flies into her cage on her own. She plays with her toys and swings on her swings. She loves to be outside of her cage sitting near us chatting away. I feel as long as you give them food and water and a clean cage they are happy. We talk to Rosie and she dances to music all the time. I can’t imagine life without her!

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