The GALAH – listed as “Least Concern” Posted on 9 Jun 00:00

Written by: Tzar the Paddington Poodle.

 Normally I would write a blog on one of our endangered wildlife, but after hearing an amazing story about these perky little pink and grey birds, I just had to put pen to paper.  I was out shopping when I bumped into one on my neighbours.

Jo and  her beautiful big groodle were kicking back having morning tea and enjoying the heat from the autumn sun, so I plonked myself down at the table beside her and we chatted about everything “nature”. 

Now, who would have thought that birds would play like human beings?  It would be hard for most of us to believe, unless we were a witness to it, but I was not in the least bit surprised given the amazing things I have seen on my travels around Australia.

Jo and her husband were renovating their house in the country and had just finished putting the last sheet of colourbond on the roof. They downed tools and quickly cleaned up and sat outside in the garden.  Feeling very chuffed with their efforts they poured themselves a glass of red wine and sat back to admire their handy work, when a flock of galahs flew into the yard and perched themselves on the surrounding trees. There would have been at least thirty or more of these plucky birds, all screeching at the same time and generally making as much of a racket as they could.

Feeling frisky, the galahs decided to play games swinging from branch to branch like they were kids in a playground. One side of the roof was very steep so they used it as a slippery dip. They would fly to the peak, then close their wings and slide down the roof on their backs. As they skidded towards the gutter they would unfold their wings and take flight and chase each other around then do it all over again. The galahs were having such a great time, playing slip and slide and Jo and her husband sat in awe and watched these beautiful Australian birds having fun for the next two hours.

What a magical thing to bear witness to.

Whether our indigenous wildlife are on the endangered list or not, it is our responsibility to make sure that we take care of our environment so that our children and our children’s children can enjoy our rich flora and fauna.

Here are a few facts about these beautiful birds:

  • The galah is also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoo or the roseate cockatoo.
  • They can be found in all parts of mainland Australia.
  • The term galah is derived from gilaa, a word found in Yuwaalaraay and neighbouring Aboriginal languages.
  • The galah nests in tree cavities.
  • The galah can reach up to 70 – 80 years of age when living in captivity.
  • The galah socialises adequately and can engage playfully in entertainment activities.
  • The galah can be easily identified by its rose-pink head, neck and underparts, with paler pink crown, and gray back, wings and undertail.
  • Birds from the west of Australia have comparatively paler plumage.
  • Galahs have a bouncing acrobatic flight, but spend much of the day sheltering from heat in the foliage of trees and shrubs.
  • Huge noisy flocks of birds congregate and roost together at night.
  • Galahs form huge, noisy flocks which feed on seeds, mostly from the ground.
  • Galahs form permanent pair bonds, although a bird will take a new partner if the other one dies.