A young galah poking its head out of a nest hollow.
A young galah poking its head out of a nest hollow.

Briggsy’s Birds: Vibrant galah renowned as a playful bird

One of our most common and beautiful birds, the galah, can be easily identified by its rose-pink head, neck and underparts, with paler pink crown, and grey back, wings and undertail.

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.

They feed mostly on the ground eating the seeds of grasses and sometimes cultivated crops. It is quite a sight to see a hundred or more of these birds walking along the ground creating a pink and grey carpet as they feed on seeds.

Galahs form permanent pair bonds, although a bird will take a new partner if the other one dies.

They are renowned for their playful behaviour and when a pair of young birds get together they will often hang upside down on a power line while fencing with their beaks. This is why people are called a “galah” if they do something silly or foolish.

The word galah is taken from “gilaa” which comes from the Yuwaalaraay indigenous language.

abriggs@irock.com.au



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