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July 8, 2018 PetGuide
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Rose Breasted Cockatoo

 
  • Size: 14 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 80 years
  • Bird Species: Cockatoo
  • Sounds: Vocal, Talkative, Mimics, Natural calls
  • Interaction: Social, Affectionate, Fun, Energetic
  • Comparable Breeds: Umbrella Cockatoo, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo

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The Rose Breasted Cockatoo is most commonly known as the Galah, and it’s one of the most unique, widespread and popular parrots in the large and diverse cockatoo family. This bird stands apart with its distinct and beautiful plumage, as well as with its fun and lovable temperament. Although very peculiar, this parrot is one of the most common sights in its natural home and has become a popular and loved choice for a pet parrot. Let’s meet the Galah!

Galahs are unique and lovely members of the cockatoo family.  There’s so much to love about them.

Galahs are native to almost the entire Australian continent, with only a few small regions as an exception. With such an impressive distribution, the populations of these parrots are steadily rising and have adapted to live in most conditions. They can be seen in the wilderness but in major Australian cities as well. In Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide, small flocks of Galah cockatoos are a loved and common sight.  

These bright and lively cockatoos are unique but still share a plenty of traits with the rest of their family. They have slender, graceful and proportionate bodies, with the distinct cockatoo crest on their head. The adults reach an average length of 14 inches (35 centimeters) and can weigh up to 12 ounces (350 grams). Although seemingly identical, the males and females have one tiny difference – the color of the irises!

The first thing you learn about cockatoos is that they simply love to be loud- they are nagging talkers with a big appetite for noisy behavior. Galahs, on the other hand, can be significantly quieter than their relatives, owing to their shyer demeanor. But they’ll still love to talk and mimic human speech in their own peculiar and endlessly funny way. These intelligent parrots never fail to surprise you with a new word or a new way of getting what they want. Due to their possible noisiness, Galahs and cockatoos, in general, are not the best choice for apartment birds.

The best feature of the Rose Breasted Cockatoo and the thing that sets them apart is their splendid and beautiful plumage. With a majority of common pet cockatiels being white, the Galah comes as a wonderful exception. The wings, back, and the rump are a silver gray, while the breast, belly, and face are a vivid bright pink. Their distinct crest is less prominent when flaccid, and is colored in a pale, light pink, with darker feathers hidden beneath. This graceful and lovely combination of simple colors sets the Galah apart as one of the prettiest cockatoos and parrots in Australia.  

One of Australia’s prettiest birds, the Rose Breasted Cockatoo is best known for its bright and lively pink plumage.

In the wild, the Rose Breasted cockatoos can be spotted both as ground foragers and on the trees. They have a varied diet of grass seeds, nuts, flower buds, and insects. As a pet, they have the option of a commercial seed based mix designed just for cockatoos. As an added source of advanced vitamins, you should introduce fresh common fruits and green vegetables. Cockatoos enjoy an occasional bath and they should be encouraged – they help prevent dangerous skin and feather diseases which can happen to most parrots.

As such a popular and common bird all over the entire Australian continent, there’s no doubt that the Galah is a durable and extremely adaptable bird. While rapid European settlement critically endangered some parrots, the Rose Breasted Cockatoo thrived and adapted, which resulted in their abundance and increased population. As pets, they are also hardy and healthy. They have a long lifespan of up to 80 years, which will have little troubles if you give them enough of good care and looking after.

Rose Breasted Cockatoo has a long lifespan of 80 years – these parrots are lifetime companions.

These affectionate and fun parrots have a strong tendency to create deep bonds with their owners. As you get to know your pet and its personality, it might just be that you meet your new and lifelong friend. A Galah is energetic and full of silly behavior like most other cockatoos, but it is also quite affectionate. It’s not unusual for a Rose Breasted Cockatoo to be quiet in their play or to cuddle up to their owner in search of some scratches. In any case, with a pet like this, you are guaranteed an endless supply of love, fun and entertaining company!

Photo credit: imagevixen/Shutterstock; Sergey Berestetsky/Shutterstock; De Jongh Photography/Shutterstock


Comparable Breeds

Go to Umbrella Cockatoo

Umbrella Cockatoo

  • Size: 18 inches
  • Lifespan: 40-60 years
  • Bird Species: Cockatoo
  • Colors: White
  • Sounds: Vocal, Noisy, Chatterer
  • Interaction: Highly Social, Affectionate, Cuddly, Playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Yellow Crowned Amazon, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo