The Australian Galah

 

Common Name:
Galah

 

Scientific Name:
Eolophus roseicapillus (Eastern Australia)
Kuhli (Northern Australia)
Assimilis (western Australia)

 

Life Span:
60 years +

 

Body Size:
- Male: 34cm
- Female: 34cm

 

Body Weights:
- Male: 353g
- Female: 347g

 

Sexing:
The Galah are monomorphic. Both male and female look the same in feather colouring. Although if you look closely at there eyes and note their colour you are able to determine there sex. Males have black eye colour while females have a pinkish deep red eye colour.

Male:
The beak is white fawny colour, while sitting on top of the crown an erectable greyish white short and stubby cocky comb. The cocky comb will be displayed in times of aggression, fright and mating rituals etc. With the cocky comb down. it forms a greyish cap that extends to the back of the head covering half. The remaining parts of the neck, face, chest and abdomen are pink in colour. The wings and underside of the vent are grey with greyish colour feet and black nails. Their is pink colour flesh around the eyes.

Female:
Identical in appearance to the male with the exception of reddish pinkish colour eyes.

 

Young Birds:
Young birds are typically similar to the adults with the exemption of eye colour, being black in both male and females. There pink feathers often have a greyish tinge on them, which will change after there first molt. Babies are sexually mature between the ages of 2.5 - 3 years.

 

Types and Hybrids:
I have seen a couple of varieties of Hybrids in which are all born sterile. These are:

- Sulphur crested Cockatoo x Galah
- Corella x Galah

 

Distribution:
Galah can be seen in many parts of Australia, because of this the galah is so easily accommodated, commonly nesting were ever it decides and roaming in many house front lawns to graise for grasses and seeds etc.

 

Avairy Notes:
The Galah as noted before is a very common bird seen in all areas of Australia. Its large body size requires a large flight aviary that excludes any wooden frames. They are highly destructive to wood like all cockatoos, and will destroy wood in piece's as if it was like paper. The aviary size should be at least 3 meters D x 2 meters W x 2 meters H, If you have larger space for a bigger aviary and if you can afford it make a large aviary for them. There are a couple of reasons why the aviary needs to be large, firstly to accommodate the body size and enable it to fly quiet freely. The other reason is to enable you to provide large and deep nest boxes or logs. It doesn't really matter if the aviaries are the standard forms or suspended forms. I prefer the standard to allow me to fully enter the aviaries and interact with the birds. A good breeding pair that have been bred in captivity will maintain a quiet friendly attitude, and will not scatter around the aviary madlessly as you enter the aviaries.

 

Feeding and Diet:
The Galah is relatively very easy to maintain for a large bird. The diet should consist of a large parrot mix, pelleted foods, fresh high quality fruit and vegetable's. These types of diets will allow for perfect feather quality and of course it will keep your birds in great shape for breeding. Not to mention a variety of fruits will enhance the birds Psychological relief from stress of being caged. While in breeding the advantages are that the babies get a much more varied diet while growing.

List of common fruits and vegetables I feed are:

Fruits = Apples, Pears, Peaches, Cherries, Nectarines

Vegetables = Carrots, Corn, Lettuce, Capsicum, Spinach

Other = Hard boiled eggs, nuts (almond, cashews, penuts etc.), pelleted foods,

 

Breeding:
When Breeding it is advisable to monitor both hen and cock for signs of aggression. If there is any signs of aggression a strategy that has been used by breeders is to clips the wings or a wing of the cock to slow him down a little, this will allow the hen some extra time to escape should she need to. Although having just said this its pretty rare for them to fight. The usual breeding season for Galah's is around July to December, and large nest boxes or logs should be placed in high positions and in different positions in the aviary. Such nest boxes can either be made out of thick wood or an alternative to a wooden nest box is a aluminum garbage bin with a hole cut out. To allow inspection of babies easier a hole with a cover should be placed down near the base of the breeding box or log. A nest box should be lined with chewed soft decaying woods and plain potting mix with out chemicals etc. should be sufficient. Plenty of foods should be made available when breeding Galah's as there babies grow extremely rapidly, and they will need all the nutrition as they can get to allow correct bone and body growth. Once the pair have eggs or babies don't harass them much , as many Galah's do not like to be checked on during incubation and rearing young, and often they will attack you if you enter the aviary so becareful.

 

Eggs per clutch:
4-5

 

Incubation period:
29-30 days

 

Nest box size:
Large nest boxes or logs sizes would be 30cm D x 30cm W x 60cm H

 

Noise level:
The Galah can be quiet noisy like all large birds. So if you are living in a house that is close to neighbours you should consider smaller types of birds, because the birds can be very vocal especially if they hear other Galahs flying above them.

 

What are these birds like for pets?
The Galah, is a very nice looking bird, and its personality is quiet charming, although You will have to remember these birds do have loud screeches should they wish. And this can be irritating to some, and usually you will find that being neigbours. Please take care when deciding to have a Galah as a pet, I seriously can not stress that point enough. Many people go and by these birds on impulse because they are quiet beautiful, and they do not think of the consequences should be bird become to loud. Don't think you will be able to stop it from screaming should it wish to vocalise. Because just merely placing the bird in dark rooms constantly will lead to future problems, and besides getting the bird to stop vocalising when it wishes, if taken into context would be just like me preventing you talking any time you wish to.

Weigh the pro's and cons before purchase, if you decide that you can accommodate such beautiful birds, then by all means go ahead, do some background research, find reputable breeders and above all make sure the birds are captive bred. There personality is quiet sweet, while some hand raised birds particularly like to cling and bond to one person only. Once this happens other people in the house or visitors mat get bitten, so extra caution may be needed. They are easy to look after if you can allow for a large cage. With all this said these birds are excellent value for money and provide a different character with their stunning colours and behaviours to any aviary, or inside they make adorable cuddly companions if treated correctly. Lastly, be aware of their long life span, too many birds are bought and after awhile surrendered because of their noise.



 

 

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Accessed: March 2005

 


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