Australia is known, among other names, as the Land of the Parrot. There is a tremendous range of parrot species here, including rosells, corellas, cockatoos, galahs, and budgerigars (many of which have been described in previous posts). But the thing that really surprised me is that they are everywhere. Perhaps I had this idea because of all those National Geographic specials I saw growing up, where parrots always seemed to exist in tropical rainforests, but parrots, at least in Australia, know no such limits. Yes, I did see plenty of parrots in Australia’s rainforests, but I also saw them in the cool, green, mountainous reaches of Tasmania, in the chilly, snow-capped Victorian Alps, and in surprising numbers in the arid Outback regions.
Of course, by the time I was heading north for a second visit to the Northern Territory, I was no longer surprised by parrots, but I have never ceased to be delighted by them. At one spot we stopped, amid the desert oaks (which are in reality casuarinas, not oaks), we startled a large flock of pink and gray galahs, who swirled into the air at our approach. You’ll need to click on the image below, to enlarge it, in order to see the galahs at all, and even then they aren’t all that clear, as they were in motion—but it makes the point that Australian parrots happily make their homes in places other than rainforests.