Beauty in the Morning, the other side.

Trish Meyer

Denhams Beach, Australia

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Off to feed the neighbour’s cat I found this beauty enjoying a feed from a New South Wales Christmas Bush at my home at Denhams Beach on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Galah : Cacatua roseicapilla
Family: Cacatuidae
Order: Psittaciformes

The Galah has recently become widely known as the Rose-breasted Cockatoo and can be easily identified by its rose-pink head, neck and underparts, with paler pink crown, and grey 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. The Galah is one of the most abundant and familiar of the Australian parrots, occurring over most of Australia, including some offshore islands and is found in large flocks in a variety of timbered habitats, usually near water.

Beauty in the Morning

Galahs form huge, noisy flocks which feed on seeds, mostly from the ground. Seeds of grasses and cultivated crops are eaten, making these birds agricultural pests in some areas. Birds may travel large distances in search of favourable feeding grounds. They are becoming more abundant around areas of human habitation, with the growth in population largely a result of increasing availability of food and water. Escaped aviary birds have also contributed to these numbers.

Galahs form permanent pair bonds, although a bird will take a new partner if the other one dies. The nest is a tree hollow or similar location, lined with leaves. Both sexes incubate the eggs and care for the young. There is high chick mortality in Galahs, with up to 50 % of chicks dying in the first six months. Galahs have been recorded breeding with other members of the cockatoo family, both in the wild and captivity. These include the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, C. galerita.

Edited from Australian Museum’s “Birds in Backyards” website.

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