Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)

One of the birds you are most likely to see in Australia is also one of the most beautiful.  The galah Eolophus roseicapilla, also known as the rose-breasted cockatoo, galah cockatoo, roseate cockatoo or pink and grey, is one of the most common and widespread cockatoos, and it can be found in open country in almost all parts of mainland Australia.

Notice how this first Galah’s crest (Nallan Station) is pinker than the other ones?

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IMG_0161Galahs are known for their silly, playful nature.  If an Aussie calls you a “galah”, they usually don’t mean it as a compliment!

You won’t have to try to hard to find them as they are pretty much all over Australia.  I’ve seen them around Perth, Nallan Station, Stirling Range, Tasmania, Melbourne, Brisbane, Bowra Station, Coolmunda, Karara, Girraween just to name a few.  They frequent the park a couple blocks from my house and I can usually hear them as they fly overhead in the morning to forage for breakfast.

Galah rangeLEARN MORE ABOUT GALAHS

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Birds in Backyards

The Australian Galah

VIDEOS

Wild Galahs in  action – playing and foraging.

 

 

 

Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen)

The Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea.  It’s virtually impossible to visit Australia and NOT see a magpie or “Maggie” as we call them.  They are literally everywhere, especially in the major cities.  They await you at picnic sites hoping to steal your food.  They will swoop on you in breeding season if they think you are a threat to their chicks.  They can be annoying if you are trying to photograph other birds and the maggies are scaring them off.  But they do have a beautiful melodious warbling sound, it’s one of the first sounds I hear when I wake up in the morning though it is not loud enough to actually WAKE me up!

IMG_0015 IMG_0102Don’t worry about trying to find Australian Magpies.  In most places in Australia, they will find you!

MagpiesLEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Birds in Backyards

ABC – Good info on why they swoop!

Magpie Alert – good map showing swooping hotspots!  I can see reports in a few streets near me – mostly attacking cyclists.  My husband says he was swooped once while on a walk.

State of Queensland (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection)

VIDEOS

Trust me, this is only a small bit of their song, it really is beautiful!

Amazing footage of a swoop on a cyclist from the cyclist himself!

He later appeared on the local news.

 

And here is a swoop from a spectator point of view, the guy’s Mom really freaks out!

This maggie clearly doesn’t like the postman, maybe he got too many bills that day?

Maybe it’s better to make friends with them!

I don’t approve of allowing cats outdoors where they can kill wild birds.  Magpies are extremely clever and seem well in control of this situation but other small song birds wouldn’t have been so lucky.

And I’ll leave you with this adorable clip of a juvenile maggie singing to some rainbow lorikeets!

Rottnest Island – Perfect Day Trip From Perth

Rottnest Island makes a great day-trip for eco-tourists and just about anyone!  It is easily accessible from Perth and Fremantle by ferry.  Rottnest Express departs from Perth’s Barrack St Pier, calls in at Fremantle where you may have to change boats, then docks at Rottnest Island.  It’s a very pleasant trip down the Swan River and most people sit up on deck to enjoy the views.

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Ferry to Rottnest Island

If you have the flexibility, there are often Tuesday specials for this day trip from Fremantle.

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For a day trip, if you can’t do Tuesday special it’s probably better to book a ferry package that includes whatever excursions you want on Rottnest.  The Adventure Tour is great because it includes a trip around the island on a smaller tour boat that gets you very close to fur seal colonies and other wildlife.