Galah Pink-breasted Cockatoo : Bird Profile

Galah (Rose-Breasted) Cockatoo

The pink-breasted cockatoo, known as “Galah” to the Australian Aborigines, is the perfect parrot species for an owner who likes to interact with their pet frequently. This extremely intelligent and highly people-oriented bird can learn many intricate words and tricks with regular training. This hardy bird can live in some of the most extreme areas of Australia.

Species Overview

COMMON NAMES: Pink-breasted Cockatoo, Galah Cockatoo, Pink and Gray Cockatoo, Red-breasted Cockatoo, Pink Cockatoo, Galah Cockatoo.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Eolophus roseicapillus with three subspecies with slight differences in color and size from different regions of Australia: Eolophus roseicapillus albicepts (southeast), E. r. roseicapilla (west) and E. r. khuli (north).

ADULT SIZE: 12 to 15 inches long, weight 10 to 14 ounces.

LIFESPAN EXPECTATION: May live up to 70 years in captivity; normally lives to about 40 years.

Origin and history

The galah is native to Australia, where it is found in open grasslands and throughout much of the country. In Tasmania, it has settled independently. Galah cockatoos travel in large flocks, often in groups that include blue-crested cockatoos. They also mate with other cockatoo species.

Gallinules are a familiar sight in urban areas. These birds are more common in residential areas because they feed on crops and use ponds and man-made watering troughs for livestock.

The name “Galah” means “fool” or “clown” in the Australian Yuwaalaraay language. This clever bird was so named because it is a noisy nuisance. The term “galah” is a derogatory slang word in Australia, meaning “loud-mouthed idiot”.


The Galah cockatoo is affectionate and friendly and has a reputation for being an affectionate pet. Unlike umbrella cockatoos, these birds are not very cuddly.

If you are interested in a Galah, make sure you can spend a lot of time with your pet. It is a sensitive bird that requires a lot of attention and interaction from its owners. The pink cockatiel, which is a flocking bird by nature, can become depressed, angry, and destructive if its adopted human flockmate ignores it. 

Language and vocalization

Wild galahs emit loud, high-pitched sounds when flying in flocks. They may emit a resonant cry when frightened, excited, or demanding attention. This intelligent bird can imitate people’s voices and repetitive sounds, such as train whistles, car horns, or telephone tones. Some say that males are more productive than females.

For a cockatoo, which is one of the noisiest parrots, the Gala cockatoo is not especially loud in comparison. However, this bird is not recommended for an apartment or a house. It usually has two noise phases, one at sunrise and one at sunset.

Colors and markings of the Galah Cockatoo

Their striking colors and friendly nature have made Galah cockatoos increasingly popular as pets. As their name suggests, Galah cockatoos have bright pink feathers on the chest, belly, and lower half of the face. They have a pinkish-white crest and back feathers, gray wings and tail, gray legs, and a horn-colored beak. Like all cockatoos, the galah has a crest on the head that fans out when the bird is anxious or excited.

The sex of a Galah is most easily determined by its eyes. Males have a darker, almost brownish iris (the area of the eye surrounding the pupil), while females have a lighter, pinkish iris. Anecdotally, males talk more and females tend to sit on a perch with their legs wider apart.

Care for a Galah Cockatoo

Your bird will want to spend a lot of time with you and is quite a high-maintenance pet. If you have little time for interaction, this bird will be the happiest living with another Galah. 

These parrots need to sleep in a dark, quiet place that mimics the safety of the roosts they prefer in the wild. Covering the bird cage at night usually calms the birds. 

This bird is not a large parrot, but it still needs a lot of space. It needs a cage of at least 1.5 square feet.

General health problems

Cockatiels seem to be less susceptible to bird diseases than other cockatiels. Some of the most common conditions are fatty liver, lipomas (fatty tumors), beak and feather disease (PBFD), feather plucking, and other forms of self-mutilation (when they feel neglected). 

By far the most common problem in Welsh cockatoos is obesity. It is almost always caused by too little exercise combined with a diet too high in calories. With adequate exercise and a balanced diet, your Galah should maintain a healthy weight.

Diet and nutrition

In the wild, Galahs feed on grasses, leaf buds, flowers, seeds, and sometimes insects for extra protein.

If Galahs are kept as pets, care must be taken to provide a balanced diet. High-quality pellets are designed to meet all of your bird’s nutritional needs. At least 50% of your bird’s diet should be pellets. The other half of the diet should consist of fruits and vegetables. Initially, feed 1/4 cup of pellets and 1/4 cup of fresh lettuce daily. Increase the amount as needed.

The best fresh vegetables are leafy greens such as chard, kale, kohlrabi, kale, romaine lettuce, root vegetables, peppers, zucchini, green beans, and sprouts. They love most fruits and berries. Give them nuts, almonds, and pecans in moderation as training treats. Also, you should provide fresh water all time.


Galah parakeets are active birds and need plenty of exercises to maintain their physical health. Plan at least three to four hours of active time outside the cage per day for this bird.

Cockatoos have strong beaks and jaws. Therefore, it is important to provide them with plenty of safe wooden or leather toys to exercise their chewing muscles and satisfy their natural urge to chew.

Toys are important for these birds. Change out the toys regularly to keep the birds interested and encourage their independent play.  


  • They can be made to talk
  • They can learn tricks
  • Small size requires a smaller cage than other cockatiels.
  • Less susceptible to poultry diseases


  • Can be noisy and not suitable for apartments.
  • Requires at least 3-4 hours of supervised time outside the cage.

Where can I buy or adopt a Galah’s cockatoo?

Buy a Galah’s cockatoo from a reputable breeder or adoption agency. Contact the breeders to see if you can spend some time with them and their birds. Meet with someone who has experience in breeding these birds before deciding if they are right for you. You should know also that, those birds can cost anywhere from $700 to $3,000.

Here are some online sources where you can find Galah cockatiels.

  • Birds Now
  • Bird Rescue
  • Breeders in the United States.

Make sure the bird you want to take home is alive and active and has all the signs of a healthy bird, such as bright eyes, clean feathers, and a full crop.

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