The Australian Galah

 

314 GALAH Cacatua roseicapilla

 

Other Names: Goolie, Goulie, Roseate or Rose-breasted Cockatoo; Willie-willock, Willock.

 

Field marks: 340 – 380 mm. Well known: pale-grey above, rose-pink to deep rose-red below, with low cap-like crest. Male’s eye dark-brown; female’s reddish. Nominate race has whitish crown and crest, deep-red eyering; race assimilis has pinker larger crest, underparts whiter, specially rump and tail; eyering pale-grey. Imm: (both races) breast washed grey; eyering grey. Singly, pairs to very large noisy flocks, easily identified from afar by the alteration of grey and pink as the wheel. Feeds much on the ground but also in foliage: often a pest in grain, haystacks, domestic fruit or nut-trees. Waters and roosts in noisy antic companies; hangs with wings spread, flies wildly.

 

Voice: Unmistakable thin high-pitched splintered call, ‘chill chill’; harsher screeches.

 

Habitat: Open country with suitable trees, typically on watercourses. Expansion of grasslands, cereal crops and provision of waterholes and tanks has greatly expanded habitat; town parks, playing fields, even beaches.

 

Breeding: Nest: in hollow tree, living or dead; occasionally in cliff. Two unusual features: bark is typically stripped from round entrance; nest-hollow is lined with green eucalypt leaves and twigs. Eggs: 2-5; white, oval.

 

Range and Status: Formerly inland and drier coastal areas where water available; has greatly expanded range coastwards since settlement. Now very widespread in suitable habitat except some wetter coastal areas. Nominate race: e. and se. Aust.; vagrant King I. and other Bass Strait islands; in Tas., recent records (? escapes) mostly near Hobart and Launceston; also Legana, e. Tas. Assimilis: n. SA, s. NT and s. WA. Common to very abundant; sedentary.

 

 

Pizzey, Graham. (1980)
A field Guide to the Birds of Australia
Angus & Robertson
ISBN 0 207 173 82 6

 


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