Bringing Home a Galah Cockatoo: Tips for new Pet Owners

Galah Cockatoo

Species Overview

Also Known As: pink and grey cockatoo or rose-breasted cockatoo

Scientific Name: Eolophus roseicapilla

Adult Size: ~12 inches

Life Expectancy: 40 years

Is The Galah Cockatoo a good pet?

  • Intelligence and Trainability
  • Playful and Affectionate nature
  • Long Lifespan
  • Beautiful Appearance
  • Social and Interactive
  • Potential talking ability
  • Lifespan and long-term commitment
  • High energy and demanding nature
  • Vocalizations and noise level
  • Destructive behavior
  • Can be Messy
  • Potential Health issues

General Information

The Galah Cockatoo, also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, is an incredibly charming parrot species. Its remarkable coloring is truly captivating, with a delightful pink hue adorning most of its body. The top of its head and back of the neck display a lovely white-pink shade, while a contrasting smoky gray embellishes its back, wings, and tail.


Distinguishing between male and female Galahs is possible by observing their eye color. The female boasts reddish eyes, while the male possesses darker eyes. Regardless of one’s affinity for the color pink, it’s hard not to be enamored by the beauty of this bird.


Originally hailing from Australia, Galahs are far from endangered. In fact, they are considered a nuisance to farmers due to their tendency to gather in large flocks and consume the seeds of various crops. Their natural behaviors include occasional destruction and noisiness. However, as farmland expands, providing more food sources, the Galah population has been on the rise. This increase in their numbers can be attributed to the availability of ample food, facilitating their survival and reproductive success.

rose breasted cockatoo on a perch

The Benefits and Challenges of Owning a Galah

Intelligence and Trainability

Galah cockatoos are known for their high level of intelligence and ability to learn. They can be trained to perform tricks, mimic human speech, and engage in interactive games. Their intelligence makes them fascinating companions that can provide mental stimulation and entertainment.

Playful and Affectionate nature

 Galah cockatoos are known for their playful and affectionate nature. They enjoy interacting with their human companions and can form strong bonds with their owners. They often seek attention and love to be included in family activities, making them great companions for those seeking an affectionate pet.

Long Lifespan

Galah cockatoos have a relatively long lifespan, with an average life expectancy of 40 to 60 years or even longer with proper care. This means that if you provide them with a loving and nurturing environment, they can be a lifelong companion, bringing joy and companionship for decades.

Beautiful Appearance

Galah birds have a striking appearance with their pink and gray plumage. They possess a unique charm that makes them visually appealing and captivating. Their beautiful feathers and vibrant personality make them a delightful addition to any household.

Social and Interactive

These incredible pink cockatoos are social birds that thrive on interaction. They enjoy being part of the family and can develop a strong bond with their owners. They require regular socialization and mental stimulation, which can encourage active engagement and create a lively and enriching environment.

Potential Talking Ability

While not all Galah cockatoos develop the ability to mimic human speech, many individuals have been known to learn and imitate words and phrases. With proper training and consistent interaction, they can surprise you with their vocal abilities and provide endless entertainment through their mimicry.

2 year old rose breasted cockatoo
Long Lifespan means a long-term commitment

These cockatoos have a long lifespan, which can often exceed 40 years. This means that owning a Galah requires a significant long-term commitment. It’s important to be prepared for the responsibility of caring for the bird throughout its lifetime, which includes providing for its physical, emotional, and social needs.

High Energy and Demanding Nature

Galah cockatoos are highly energetic birds that require regular physical exercise and mental stimulation. They need ample space to play and explore, as well as interactive toys and activities to keep them engaged. Their high energy levels and demanding nature may require a substantial time investment from the owner.

Often Loud Vocalizations can mean a High Noise Level

Galah’s are known for their vocalizations, which can be loud and disruptive at times. They can screech, squawk, and make other loud noises, particularly when they are bored or seeking attention. This can be a concern for those living in apartments or in close proximity to neighbors who may be sensitive to noise.

Destructive Behavior

Galah cockatoos have strong beaks and a natural instinct to chew and explore their environment. Without proper guidance and mental stimulation, they may engage in destructive behavior, such as chewing on furniture, electrical cords, or household items. Providing appropriate toys and enrichment activities can help redirect their chewing behavior.

Mess and Feather Dust

Cockatoos, including Galahs, produce feather dust, which is a fine powdery substance that can accumulate on surfaces in the home. This dust can be a potential allergen for some people and may require regular cleaning to maintain a tidy living environment. Additionally, their natural foraging behavior and food habits may lead to scattering of food and feathers, requiring additional cleaning efforts.

Potential Health Issues

Like all pets, Galah birds are susceptible to certain health issues. They can be prone to obesity if not provided with a balanced diet and sufficient exercise. They may also develop feather-plucking or self-mutilation behaviors if they experience stress or boredom. It’s important to provide regular veterinary care, a nutritious diet, and a stimulating environment to minimize the risk of health problems.

rose breasted cockatoo enjoying a scratch on the head from its owner

Galah Diet

Creating a balanced diet for your Galah is essential for their overall health and well-being. While a pellet diet can form the foundation of their nutrition, it should be supplemented with treats such as nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables. However, it is crucial to be mindful of the fat content in their diet, as Galahs are prone to obesity when fed fatty foods. Opting for a low-fat pellet can help regulate their fat intake. Additionally, it is important to monitor the fat content in nuts and seeds, as some varieties can be quite high in fat.


In addition to a balanced diet, Galahs also require regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related issues. Providing ample opportunities for physical activity, such as supervised flight time, interactive toys, and ample space to move around, can contribute to their overall fitness and well-being.


Remember, consulting with an avian veterinarian or an avian nutritionist can provide valuable guidance in tailoring a diet plan that meets the specific nutritional needs of your Galah, ensuring their optimal health and longevity.

two galah cockatoos on a perch

Rose Breasted Cockatoo Price

When it comes to acquiring a Galah, there are various options available, including rescue, adoption, and purchasing from verified organizations or adoption websites like Petfinder. The price range for Galahs from breeders typically falls between $700 to $3000.


If you decide to go with a breeder, it is crucial to ensure their reputation and credibility. You can inquire about their experience in breeding and working with Cockatoos to gauge their expertise. Additionally, requesting a tour of their facilities is a common practice, although don’t be alarmed if they are unable to grant access to the bird areas. Many reputable breeders operate under closed aviaries to minimize the risk of diseases spreading among their flock.


It’s important to note that the cost of acquiring a Galah is just one aspect to consider. There are additional expenses associated with owning a Galah, such as providing a suitable cage, toys, proper diet, veterinary care, and ongoing maintenance costs. Taking into account these factors and conducting thorough research can help you make an informed decision and ensure the well-being of your future Galah companion.

close up of a galah cockatoo

Galah Cockatoo Size

The Galah bird typically weighs around half a pound and reaches an average length of approximately 12 inches. When considering a cage for your Galah, we recommend a minimum size of 32 x 23 inches, but larger enclosures are even better, as is the case with most bird species. It’s important to provide ample space for your Galah to move around comfortably.


Due to their susceptibility to obesity, Galahs require plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Providing a spacious cage with a variety of toys and objects to climb on is highly beneficial. This enables them to engage in physical activities and mental stimulation while inside the cage. However, it’s equally important to let your Galah out of the cage frequently under supervised conditions to explore and exercise in a safe environment. This supervised time outside the cage allows for further physical exercise and mental enrichment, contributing to their overall well-being.


Remember, the cage should be designed with appropriate bar spacing to prevent any potential injuries or escapes. Regular interactions, exercise, and a stimulating living environment are key elements in ensuring the happiness and health of your Galah companion.

Picture of a galah cockatoo in South Australia

Galah Behaviour

This beautiful pink cockatoo is renowned for its affectionate and friendly nature, making it a beloved pet choice. While they may not be as inclined to cuddle like umbrella cockatoos, galah cockatoos are accustomed to being handled and enjoy interaction with their owners.


If you’re considering adding a galah cockatoo to your family, it’s important to be aware of the time commitment involved. These birds thrive on attention and require significant interaction from their owners. Being naturally flock-dwelling creatures, galah cockatoos can become distressed, irritable, and even exhibit destructive behavior if they feel ignored by their adopted human flock. Thus, providing ample time and attention to your galah cockatoo is essential for its emotional well-being.


Alongside regular handling and socialization, it’s crucial to provide a stimulating environment for your Galah. Engaging toys, opportunities for mental stimulation, and supervised time outside the cage can help keep their active minds engaged and prevent boredom.

rose breasted cockatoo

Common Health Problems of the Galah Cockatoo

Galah cockatoos, like any other pet bird, can be susceptible to certain health issues. It is essential for owners to be aware of these common health problems to ensure the well-being of their galah. Feather-plucking is a significant concern in galahs, which involves the bird excessively chewing or pulling out its own feathers. This behavior can arise due to stress, boredom, or underlying medical conditions. It is crucial to provide a stimulating and enriching environment for galahs to minimize the risk of feather-plucking. Regular veterinary check-ups can help identify and address any underlying health issues that may contribute to this behavior.


Respiratory infections are another common health problem seen in pink cockatoos. These infections can be caused by various factors, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, and reduced activity levels. It is important to ensure a clean and well-ventilated living environment for galahs, as poor air quality can contribute to respiratory issues. If any respiratory symptoms are observed, it is crucial to seek veterinary care promptly to diagnose and treat the infection to prevent further complications.


Regular observation, proper nutrition, and providing a stress-free environment are key aspects of maintaining the health and well-being of galah cockatoos. Consulting with an avian veterinarian for routine check-ups and promptly addressing any health concerns can help ensure a long and healthy life for your feathered companion.

rose breasted cockatoo on a perch

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Galah cockatoo, or also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, can make a wonderful and engaging pet for the right owner. With their striking appearance, intelligence, and affectionate nature, they have captured the hearts of many bird enthusiasts. However, it is important to understand the responsibilities and considerations that come with owning a Galah.


Providing a stimulating environment, regular socialization, and a balanced diet are crucial for the well-being of these birds. They require plenty of attention, interaction, and exercise to thrive both physically and mentally. Additionally, being aware of common health problems such as feather-plucking and respiratory infections can help you provide timely care and intervention, ensuring the overall health of your Galah.


By committing to the needs of a Galah cockatoo, you can enjoy a rewarding and enriching companionship. Their intelligence, playfulness, and ability to mimic human speech make them fascinating and entertaining pets. Remember to educate yourself about their specific requirements, seek professional advice when needed, and be prepared to provide a loving and dedicated home for your Galah. With proper care and attention, your Galah cockatoo can become a cherished member of your family for many years to come.

Alan Winters

Alan Winters

Alan is a dedicated bird enthusiast and experienced writer who has been sharing insights on bird care and behavior for several years. With a passion for parrots in particular, Alan has a deep understanding of their unique needs and behavior patterns.

As a trusted authority in the field of bird care, Alan takes pride in sharing accurate and up-to-date information with his readers. Through his writing, he aims to educate and inspire bird owners of all experience levels to provide the best possible care for their feathered friends.

When not writing about birds, Alan can be found volunteering at local bird sanctuaries and rescues, where he enjoys putting his knowledge and experience to use helping birds in need.

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