Scientific name: Eolophus roseicapillus
The Galah's size averages about 14 inches (36 cm.) in length and it
weighs about 300 to 400 grams. The Galah is considered a very attractive
bird to look at due to its beautiful coloration. Most of the bird
is a rich dark pink with the forehead, crown, and the back of the neck
a whitish-pink. The back, the wings, and the tail are gray. The lower
abdomen, the vent area, the rump, and the secondary and upper tail feathers
cover the bases of the main feathers are whitish gray. The periopthalmic
ring, which surrounds the eye, is rose-red and the iris is dark brown.
The feet and legs of the Galah are gray and the bill is horn-colored.
DISTRIBUTION and HABITAT:
Prior to the Europeans arriving in Australia, the Galah was restricted
to the very dry interior of Australia. Over the past years, it has
expanded its range to north of Derby, north-west Western Australia
and north throughout
the Northern Territory (Caris, 1999). The Galah originally was found
at lower elevations. It prefers open habitats, which include semi-desert,
open woodland, farmland, grain fields, golf courses, parklands, and
grassland with trees in semi-arid zones.
The Galah is a sedentary bird. It tends to sit around and remains
in one area. When Galahs pair off, they form loose groups with
other pairs. When they are eating, one bird will keep watch and
if disturbed, the entire
flock will fly off. This behavior occurs when the Galah is feeding
with other types of birds such as the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
at that time. It is easier to approach the Galah if the entire
flock is made up only of Galahs. During hot midday hours, Galahs
rest in trees.
Most of the diet of the Galah consists of seeds and other plant
material gathered mainly on the ground. It includes grass seeds
Flinder's grass, Mitchell grass, peppergrass), herbaceous plants
and seeds (lambs quarter,
etc.), grain (especially wheat and oats), fruits, berries, nuts,
roots, shoots, buds, and some insects and their larvae. During
times of drought, seeds of
trees (acacias, eucalyptus) are eaten. Galahs also forage for
food in flocks. While in these flocks, Galahs use their great numbers
to their advantage
in locating food resources. Local agriculture suffer losses from
these immense hungry flocks.
BREEDING and NESTING:
Galahs rarely reach maturity and breed before the fourth year.
Galahs will look for and find suitable mates from February
to July in the
north and July to December in the south. Once paired, they
separate themselves from the flock and begin building a nest. Usual
nesting sites are
that vary from 2 to 20 inches in height. Parents chew bark
rotten wood away from the nest entrance and line the bottom
with eucalyptus leaves.
clutch is made up of two to five oval white eggs about 1.39
x 1.04 inches in size. Incubation lasts 30 days and both parents
brood the eggs and care
for the young. Galah fledglings are moved to a creche that
be about a mile away from the nest. There they wait with other
parents forage for food. Young Galahs become independent about
to six weeks after leaving the nest The Galah is abundant and
widely dispersed over
Australia's interior. It is found in the wild in immense numbers,
probably ranging in the multi thousands. The Galah is not considered
a valuable bird.
Agriculturists of Australia consider them to be a pest, especially
in the grain-producing districts. The Galah is probably on
the increase and settling
in new areas.
Galahs are abundant in the wild.