|Subspecies|| E. roseicapilla albiceps|
E. roseicapilla kuhli
E. roseicapilla roseicapillus
The galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) is an Australian parrot of the cockatoo family, one of the most ubiquitous in non-forested rural areas, and certainly one of the most distinctively beautiful. In flight, their alternate grey and deep pink as they turn and wheel in flocks that can be over 1000 strong, are immediately recognisable.
They are widespread throughout the open plains of mainland Australia and have been introduced to the appropriate areas of Tasmania. They require open ground with sufficient food (seeds basically, though they do eat the odd grub) and trees with hollows for nesting. The galah is also known as a household pet and has been known to form an attachment with the family dog or even cat.
The word "galah" originally came from the Aborigine Yuwaalaraay language (gilaa). Galahs are also known by other names, in part for their pink color: the pink and grey cockatoo, the rose-breasted cockatoo, the roseate cockatoo. Although these birds are recognized as being intelligent, the word "galah" has become slang in Australia for an idiot or stupid person.
340-380mm long (including 150mm tail). The bird's plumage is pale-grey above, rose-pink to deep rose-red below. Both male and female are similar, with the exception of the eyes: male eyes are dark brown, female eyes are reddish.
They can be found singly, in pairs or in flocks, throughout their habitat which is open ground with occasional trees. They pair for long periods, if not for life, and nest in hollows in trees or, occasionally, caves, where they lay 2 to 5 eggs. Fledglings are immediately airworthy although landing can be a problem. Only one in ten galahs reach sexual maturity. They have enjoyed the pastoralisation of the Australian outback with its increase in surface water through the use of wind-powered bores to bring artesian water to the surface. (It is common to see cattle competing with a multitude of galahs at the troughs beneath an iconic Australian windmill)
- Pizzey, pages 186-7
- Pizzey, Graham. A Field Guide to Birds of Australia. Harper Collins, Sydney, Australia (1989)