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(Eolophus [Cacatua] roseicapillus)
Alternate name(s): "Rose-breasted Cockatoo", "Roseate Cockatoo", "Willie-willock", "Willock", "Goulie"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "albiceps": "galah", "gilaa" [gamilaraay, yuwaalaraay]; "kalemji", "gillumba"
Race "roseicapillus": "biako"

Size: 35-38 cm
Weight: 270-350 g


Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Galah at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "roseicapillus"



Frontal view of a male Galah mobbing two dependent juvenile Australian Hobbies (photo courtesy of D. Dyer)
[Cervantes, WA, December 2018]

Near-frontal view of a male Galah; the dark eye characterises this bird as a male (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Dianella, Perth, WA, December 2014]

Near-lateral view of a male Galah feeding on a lawn; the grey colour of the carunculated skin around the eye is typical of nominate race "roseicapillus" (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Dianella, Perth, WA, December 2014]

Lateral view of a male Galah feeding on a lawn (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Dianella, Perth, WA, December 2014]


Pair of Galahs during a "house inspection" of an Australian Hobby's nest (photo courtesy of D. Dyer)
[Cervantes, WA, July 2020]

Sex unknown

Near-lateral view of a Galah (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Swanbourne, Perth, WA, April 2021]

Race "albiceps"

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .



Close-up frontal portrait of a male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Close-up frontal portrait of a male Galah - note the dark iris
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Full-frontal view of a male Galah in mellow sunlight (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Goondiwindi, QLD, March 2018]

This male Galah is giving a good look at its underwing plumage (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, January 2015]

In this frontal view the male Galah is picking at one of its feet, thereby showing very clearly how its toes are aligned, with two toes pointing forward and two backward; Galahs are classified as "non-passerine" birds
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Frontal view of a male Galah on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2011]

Close-up near-frontal portrait of a male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Near-frontal view of a male Galah; the dark eye characterises this bird as a male
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Near-frontal view of a male Galah on the ground with its head turned
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2011]

Close-up near-lateral portrait of a male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Close-up lateral portrait of a male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Close-up lateral portrait of a male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Lateral view of a male Galah feeding on grass seeds
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2012]

Lateral view of a male Galah displaying its crest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Near-dorsal view of a male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2011]

Lateral view of a male Galah in flight
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, July 2014]


Close-up portrait of a female Galah, showing clearly the warty skin around its eyes; the reddish iris characterises this bird as a female
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Frontal view of a female Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, August 2011]

Near-frontal view of a sleeping (female) Galah
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Lateral view of a female Galah
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2010]

Three Galahs in flight
[Near Narrabri, NSW, April 2011]

Small group of Galahs in flight
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Flock of Galahs in flight
[Near Bourke, NSW, September 2017]

Three Galahs landing to join their mates for a meal
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2015]

"Galah on Ice"... (photo courtesy of C. Lawrence)
[Canberra, ACT, August 2014]


Lateral view of a pair of Galahs in flight
[Paroo Darling NP, NSW, March 2008]


This young male Galah was just learning how to feed itself; most of the time it still spent in a tree screeching to be fed
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2009]

Direct comparison of an adult female Galah, right, and a fledgling male, left; note the different colour patterns - the young bird has has a lot more grey in its plumage; the eye-rings are also different
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2010]

Two fledgling Galahs just out of their nest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, November 2006]

Another fledgling male Galah
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Portrait of the same fledgling Galah as above
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Again the same fledgling Galah, now clambering to a vantage point from which to launch itself into the wind and fly away ; note the short tail typical of all fledgling birds
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Ruffled young Galah after a hefty shower; the local animal rescue team helped it until it had dried up, eaten and flown away again
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Galah recovering after a severe storm with 20-mm hail stones
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2016]

Juvenile Galah being fed (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, January 2014]

Fledgling Galah being fed by dad; the young begging for food sound almost like donkey's calls - to make the parent regurgitate food, the young thrust their bill forward repeatedly in jerky motions
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2008]

Here a young Galah being groomed by one of its parents
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2011]

This young Galah turned up in our garden without its parents; having to feed itself at a very young age, it was weak when found
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2014]

Galah "nursery", where juveniles were "parked" by their parents to nibble on the lawn while waiting to be fed on a 40+ C day
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2014]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Nov Eggs: 3 - 6 Incubation period: 24 days Fledging age: 42 - 49 days

The breeding season depends significantly on geographical latitude. In the northern tropics Galahs breed Feb - May; given the right conditions, Galah can breed any time of the year. Cockatoos are sociable creatures which often nest in loose colonies, also in conjunction with other species.

Pair of Galahs working on the next generation...
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2018]

In 2007 the first young Galahs fledged around mid-November, much later than the young of other species, such as e.g. Magpie-larks or Australian Magpies, both of which had their young out of the nests by mid-October, while the first batch of Welcome Swallows was already gone by mid-September.

Nest building: Male? Incubation: Male & female Dependent care: Male & female


"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Tree hollow Material: Leafy twigs, leaves Height above ground: 2 - 20 m

Galahs, like most other parrots and cockatoos, nest in tree hollows.

Female Galah sitting in the entrance of its nest hollow; Galahs are early breeders and will already secure a nest site at the start of winter (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Bold Park, City Beach, Perth, WA, May 2021]

Male Galah guarding its nest hollow
[Maules Creek, NSW, September 2011]

This male designer Galah has a home with a "Map of Australia" entrance!
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, September 2012]

A similar entrance as shown above - this nesting hollow, with its entrance hole, can be used to demonstrate several optimization techniques: the dead tree is standing in a swamp, which protects the nest against predators such as goannas; the opening is just big enough for a Galah to squeeze in, thus protecting the birds against larger, more powerful competitors such as e.g. Little Corellas or Sulphur-crested Cockatoos; the hollow itself is wider than the entrance hole, permitting the birds to sit comfortably and turn around inside
[Yarrie Lake, near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2013]

Here a female Galah sitting on the "doorstep"
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2011]

Galah nest in a live eucalypt; the male was still working on it, but the view from the entrance checked out all right
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2018]

Fledgling male Galah peeking out of its nest hole
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

This pair of Galahs was observed while "sounding" a tree trunk; they did not tap the trunk with their bills, but scraped the bill sideways, listening for a hollow sound and thereby gauging the suitability of the hollow inside for nesting (i.e. judging whether it was worth to pry open an entrance)
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, April 2017]


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 36 x 26 mm Colour: White Shape: Rounded

Galah egg (by a bird in captivity)


Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/flock

Galahs have very strong bonds in their partnerships. Even in flocks one can often see pairs stay close together.

As is the case for basically all species of parrots and cockatoos known to us, male Galahs must prove their mettle in bonding rituals before a female will choose to mate with them. Females, who perform all nest duties, will be reliant on the male's food supply for 10-11 weeks.

Male Galah, left, feeding his partner, right, in a bonding ritual (photo courtesy of C. Lawrence)

Some Galah "TLC", as part of a pair's bonding rituals
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2020]

Female Galah sitting just outside the nesting hollow while her partner is giving it a final inspection
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, August 2017]

Male Galah giving the "all clear" - the hollow is ready for use
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, August 2017]

Around sunrise and sunset Galahs form organised flocks careening through the sky, at low altitude, with enormous speed and agility.

Like all seed eaters, Galahs spend a lot of time on the ground, foraging in large flocks of up to hundreds, see photo below.

Where there is good tucker, there will be lots of Galahs; in winter they tend to form flocks, seeking "safety in numbers"
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2015]

Galahs are often seen by us together with Little Corellas and/or Sulphur-crested Cockatoos in flocks of up to hundreds, especially where there is plenty of food (e.g. near commercial crops such as olive groves or grain storage facilities).

Also sometimes seen by us to hassle raptors. They don't swoop on the larger birds, but annoy them by accompanying them in a flock, attracting everybody's attention in the process (see photo below).

Flock of Galahs pestering a Whistling Kite
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2010]

Like other parrots and cockatoos, Galahs can be playful at times.

Here an example why Australian English has the expression "Silly Galah" (I); this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 27 June 2014
[Near Bellata, NSW, June 2014]

Here an example why Australian English has the expression "Silly Galah" (II); this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 27 June 2014
[Near Bellata, NSW, June 2014]

Food, Diet

Adults: Seeds Dependents: Regurgitated seeds Water intake: Daily

Like basically all cockatoos, Galahs are seed-eaters, where seeds include those in cones and nut-like fruit, for example those of Acacia salicina (see below). We have also observed Galahs nibbling on the buds of eucalypt flowers and also on lawns.

Galahs like the fruit of Acacia salicina
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2007]

Male Galah feeding on seeds
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2011]

Lateral view of a female Galah feeding on a lawn
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Dorsal view of a Galah feeding on a lawn
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Grass from a lawn is hard to digest - here a flock of Galahs taking in grit first from a tennis clay court...
[Narrabri, NSW, July 2013]

... before moving on to the local cricket/football pitch
[Narrabri, NSW, July 2013]

This photo shows that Galahs, although mainly seed-eaters, do also feed on foliage if there are no seeds to be found in wintertime
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2010]

In fact, a small group of Galahs was observed by us in wintertime to rip into Buffalo grass
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2012]

A grain spill in a farm yard provides an easy meal for many hungry Galahs
[Near Bellata, NSW, December 2016]

Mixed flock of Galahs and Cockatiels rising in alarm caused by the observer's car; they were disturbed while cleaning up a roadside grain spill
[Burren Junction, NSW, May 2018]

Flock of Galahs at a waterhole (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Bowra Station, near Cunnamulla, QLD, August 2018]

(Young?) Male Galah drinking water from a bird bath
[Coonabarabran, NSW, October 2015]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

galah_jg_20160806.mp3 roseicapillus
(central WA)
Contact calls © JG
galah_20140109.mp3 albiceps
Contact call © MD
galah_20140311.mp3 albiceps
Contact calls (in-flight) © MD
galah_art_20131115.mp3 albiceps
Antics (in-flight) © ART
galah_20140411.mp3 albiceps
Flock passing over © MD
galah_20180923.m4a albiceps
Pair depature © MD
galah_20210129.m4a albiceps
Begging calls & parents' response © MD
galah_20140703.mp3 albiceps
Squabbling © MD
galah_20140627_4.mp3 albiceps
Idle chatter © MD
galah_20180120.m4a albiceps
Various © MD
Click here for more recordings

We have also recorded the wing beat of a Galah.

galah_20140627_2.mp3 albiceps
Arrival at perch © MD
galah_20140423.mp3 albiceps
Careening © MD

More Galah sound recordings are available at .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.