What is a Galah Cockatoo?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

The galah cockatoo, or rose-breasted cockatoo or roseate cockatoo, is a bird native to Australia. These birds are often kept as pets, but wild galah cockatoos also exist in Australia. These pink-breasted, gray-backed birds can live for up to 50 years, becoming sexually mature at two or three years of age. These birds can bond socially with their owners in captivity, and are known for traveling in flocks or pairs in the wild. They are considered a fairly easy cockatoo to keep as a pet because they are generally playful and intelligent, and can learn to talk to some degree.

The Eolophus roseicapilla, or galah cockatoo, is considered one of the most common cockatoos in Australia. They seem to thrive both in open, sparsely treed wilderness habitats, and in metropolitan areas. They are typically about 14 inches (35 cm) in length and can weigh between 9.9 and 11.3 ounces (280 to 320 grams). They typically live for 40 to 50 years, and are able to reproduce at two to three years of age. They normally feed on fruit and seeds.

When mating, the male of the species generally displays his crest, waves his head and struts around the female. The female may chatter softly in response. The typical female galah cockatoo lays three to four eggs at once, and sits on them for about 28 days.

As pets, galah cockatoos require plenty of exercise and stimulation. These intelligent birds can bore easily and will appreciate both toys and interaction with their human owners. These birds are said to enjoy learning tricks, and are considered very trainable. With proper training, a galah cockatoo can learn to talk.

The galah cockatoo often thrives best on a low-fat diet. These birds should, ideally, be supplied with chew toys on which to sharpen their beaks. Galah cockatoo owners may need to discipline their birds to ensure that they don't chew on inappropriate objects, such as home furnishings. Owners are also recommended to discipline their birds to discourage displays of aggression, as these birds have been known to bite and even attack members of the household who displease them.

While these are not considered the noisiest of birds, the call of the galah cockatoo can seem loud to some people. Training can help discourage domesticated birds from calling loudly, though it probably cannot altogether stop a bird from screeching. Those considering acquiring a galah cockatoo for a pet are widely advised to acquire one that has been raised in captivity. Wild birds are considered more susceptible to behavioral problems when kept in captivity.

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