To: "Denis Wilson" <>, <>
Subject: Galahs
From: "Peter Ormay" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 21:23:43 +1000
Hi Denis, Julian, Geoffrey et al,
I remember seeing a Galah in the fork of a Red Spotted gum and chewing the bark in the park one door away from my place when I was building my house around 1970. The exposed wood was fresh and there was no hole there. I wondered if a hole might develop there and looked at it from time to time over the next few years.  The Galah(s) kept on chewing the regenerating edge of the bark within reach of the fork. Today there is a hole in that fork and I have seen a Galah go in.  I have no idea if it was the same Galah and doubt whether it/they did it with the aim of creating a hollow.  More likely they do it out of boredom while resting or to sharpen/wear their beak and in some cases a hole will develop there after a few decades if the bark is prevented from growing over the scar.
I suspect that Galah numbers have increased in the ACT area since settlement if there were any here to start with and they do a lot more damage to trees than they used to. Have they? Does anyone know?  I remember seeing the first Galahs in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve after I worked there for about 5 years ca 1981 and think they had just arrived there. i e there were none in the Tidbinbilla area before.
Peter Ormay
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