Ovens & Murray Advertiser - North East Regional Extra

Meet the galah

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GALAHS are a common site in our backyards and mostly spend their days sheltering in trees or shrubs before congregati­ng later in the day in huge noisy flocks.

It is not uncommon to see them almost completely covering a tree, or a large group on a grassed area feeding on grass seeds.

Male and female galahs mate for life.

They will spend most of their time together in pairs, eating, cleaning and playing together.

They are a very social and affectiona­te bird.

The male and female galahs look almost identical with their pink and grey feathers and can grow to 36cm long, with the males usually slightly larger.

To help you tell them apart, male galahs have dark-brown or black eyes while the females have pink or red ones.

Galah pairs will continue to return to the same nest site every year and will defend it from other galahs or animals.

Both parents get the nest ready for the eggs by lining it with soft eucalyptus leaves.

Galahs like to keep their beaks sharp by chewing on branches.

While breeding, they will do most of their chewing on one branch near the nest which is used as a sign to others that this nest is occupied.

The female galah will lay four to six eggs in her tree hollow but unfortunat­ely only half will usually survive.

However once the chicks make it to adulthood they will usually live for about 25 years in the wild or up to 80 years when kept as pets.

When the young galahs are ready to leave their nest the parents will continue to look after them for a few weeks but then they will become independen­t.

Like other cockatoos, the galah is an excellent mimic of voices and sounds.

Their vocal talents, along with their colour and hilarious personalit­ies, have made them a very popular pet choice.

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