Family Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)

Least Concern

Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)


French: Cacatoès rosalbin German: Rosakakadu Spanish: Cacatúa galah

Cacatua roseicapilla


, 1817,

“dans les indes” = Peron Peninsula, Western Australia


Original type locality not clearly specified, leading to confusion as to which of races was nominate form; type specimen formerly thought to be from E Australia, with W populations awarded race assimilis, but discovery that specimen belonged to W race led to necessary revision of nomenclature. Has hybridized in the wild with Cacatua leadbeateri and C. sanguinea#R. Proposed form howei (described from C Australia) regarded as representing intergrades between nominate and albiceps#R. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. r. kuhli (Mathews, 1912) – N Western Australia (Kimberley) E to N Queensland.
  • E. r. roseicapilla (Vieillot, 1817) – W & WC Australia E to S Northern Territory.
  • E. r. albiceps Schodde, 1989 – EC & E Australia W to Simpson Desert and S to Tasmania.
  • Descriptive notes

    35–36 cm; male 345 g, female 311 g. Very distinctive medium-small cockatoo; plumage quite unlike that found in any member of closely related Cacatua, although... read more


    Flight call is a short two-noted, somewhat muffled screeching “chee-chuh” or similar. When perched... read more


    Originally occurred in woodland and grasslands of semi-arid and arid Australia; however, with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Cereal grains, and sunflower and sorghum seed all eaten; when nesting, prefers green seeding Erodium. Eats a wide variety of seeds... read more


    Laying Aug–Nov throughout most of range, but earlier in N tropics. Several pairs may breed in same patch of trees within 10–80... read more


    Sociable, and usually found in large flocks of up to 1000 birds. Large flocks flying high in tight... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Common and secure; distribution has increased over the last 50 years. Regarded as pests of cereal crops by farmers, and killed under permit... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I. & Boesman, P. (2020). Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).