25 August 2019


When Galahs fly the sky turns pink, then grey, then back again as the birds wheel around.

They drink a lot in the mornings and  evenings, screeching their hearts out every time they get together. 

Gliding to or from overnight roosts, Galahs are big on communal good mornings and good nights. Social birds, they enjoy a bit of a chit-chat first and last thing in the day.

In flocks from 30 to 1000, they perform strange acrobatics.
I’ve seen Galahs act like clowns lots of times, but they are at their best in a rainstorm. 

Swimming in the town baths once, thunder and lightning meant everyone had to get out of the swimming pool. 

An oval next door had big lights, scoreboards, and poles. Sheltering, I saw the Galahs gathering.
There were at least 50 birds. The closer the storm, the louder their rough screeches became; as if the birds couldn’t wait for the rain to pelt down on them.

A few started hanging off wires by one leg, dangling and swinging in the wind. Others joined in, hanging upside down like bats. 

Fanning wings, giggling and gurgling, they were pelted by the big, warm raindrops that come with any summer storm.

Fluffed up, they squawked and took play-bites of each other’s feet. 
They couldnt resist baiting each other, especially if one was preening. Acrobats, the Galahs tried to knock their friends off the perches. 

When the rain fell down in sheets, the birds became even wilder. Showering upside down, the birds got really wet in all the hard to reach places beneath their wings. The Galahs were singing dancing and partying in the rain.  After the storm, the rain crazy Galahs flew off again.
In Australia, we call someone acting silly a Galah. Sometimes when a group of kids laugh, it becomes infectious. When I saw the Galahs dangling by a claw, swaying off a wire, it made me laugh too.

After work last Thursday, I saw what looked like blossoms on a dead tree. There would have been 30 Galahs decorating the branches with their hot pink plumes. 

Most flew off when I stopped the car. Six birds stayed for the photo session, leaning down and watching me as a strong breeze ruffled their feathers.
The pale red eyed birds are females; the brown eyed ones are juveniles or males. They looked cute cuddling up to each other. 

The rainstorm flapping-on-a-wire was twenty years ago, back before I even owned a decent camera.
I get caught up in their excitement whenever I watch Galahs at play. 
These irrepressible party animals have a better time than other birds. 
Pink and grey Galahs are so gregarious, they dont even mind sharing a tree or a newly planted field with some Sulphur-crested Cockatoos.

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