(Grus rubicunda)

They are also known as Native companion.

The Brolga is a large grey long legged crane. It has a featherless red head and grey crown. Yellow eyes, ear coverts grey and a black dewlap under the chin. Neck, back silver grey, back often has a brown wash. Wings and underparts are grey, legs dark grey-brown to black.  Females are shorter than males.

 It is a permanent resident in some districts, nomadic in others.

Size: Male: 105-134cm   Female: 77-113cm

Voice: Whooping bugle – trumpet like uttered on land and in flight.

Feeding Insects, small rodents, frogs, reptiles. Herbage and occasionally damages grain crops.

Habitat: Saltmarsh, open grasslands, irrigated croplands, Ephemeral wetlands.

Nests:  Mostly on the ground, sometimes rimmed with pieces of grass, reeds or plants. More often, the nest is a substantial platform of grass tussocks, reeds in a swamp.

Location: Across tropical northern Australia, southwards through North-east and east central areas, Central New South Wales to Western Victoria.

Eggs: 2 rarely 3, whitish with a few purplish-red spots.

Breeding Season: September to March.

The energetic dance performed by the Brolga is a spectacular sight, with displays of leaps, bows, high steps and loud trumpeting calls often known as a “corroborees”. This dance is performed by both sexes, as it is their courtship. The dance begins with the birds picking up grass, tossing it into the air and catching it again. Followed by the birds repeatedly leaping into the air with wings outstretched, followed by stretching their neck upwards bowing to one another, bobbing heads prancing around calling out. The dance can be done alone or in a group where the birds line up opposite one another to perform.

Acknowledgements: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Simpson and Day,  A Naturalists Guide to the Birds of Australia: Dean Ingwersen National Geographic, What Bird is that?: Neville W Cayleys, YouTube.

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