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7

Brolga

(Grus rubicunda)
Alternate name(s): "Native Companion", "Australian Crane"
Aboriginal name(s): "brolga", "burralga" [gamilaraay, yuwaalaraay], "burraalga" [yuwalayaay], "baralga" ("poralka")

Size: 80 cm - 1.3 m; wing span 1.7 - 2.4 m
Weight: 3.7-8.7 kg

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Brolga at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Pair of Brolgas on a paddock - the male is seen in the foreground, the female behind
[Wetlands of Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, July 2009; see credits page for details]

Pair of Brolgas on a shallow riverine wetland (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Wetlands, near Moree, NSW, October 2013]

Pair of Brolgas on the edge of a billabong (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Kakadu NP, NT, November 2014]

Pair of Brolgas in grassy downs in a riverine wetland (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Wetlands, near Moree, NSW, April 2014]

Dorsal view of a pair of Brolgas
[Wetlands of Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, July 2009; see credits page for details]

Female Brolga - for those who are not familiar with the size of Brolgas: this bird is about as tall as a man
[Wetlands of Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, July 2009; see credits page for details]

Brolgas in a shallow wetland (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Watercourse, near Moree, NSW, November 2013]

Pair of Brolgas on a cotton farm in inland NSW (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Near Harparary, 40 km south of Narrabri, NSW, February 2013]

Another example of Brolgas in a commercial crop (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Wetlands, near Moree, NSW, October 2013]

Direct comparison between an adult Brolga, left, and an adult Sarus Crane, on the right (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[100 km NW of Croydon, QLD, October 2014]

Small group of Brolgas and Sarus Cranes, with an immature Sarus Crane on the right; note the large number of birds in the background (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[100 km NW of Croydon, QLD, October 2014]

Part of a flock of about 80 Brolgas in flight (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Wetlands, near Moree, NSW, October 2013]

Brolga preparing for landing (photo courtesy of C. Charles)
[Diamantina Lakes NP, QLD, August 2013]

Brolgas preparing for landing (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Watercourse, near Moree, NSW, November 2013]

Distant view of a pair of Brolgas in flight; this is the pair whose calls were recorded on 20 August 2014 over a distance of at least 0.5 km
[Holmes Jungle NP, NT, August 2014]

Direct comparison of a Brolga with a Little Egret (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Wyndham, WA, January 2016]

Dorsal view of a Brolga taken in captivity

Dorsal view of a Brolga taken in captivity (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Behaviour

As part of their mating ritual, pairs of Brolgas dance around each other (see photo below).

Pair of dancing Brolgas (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Fogg Dam NR, NT, August 2013]

Food, Diet

Brolgas are omnivorous, feeding on plants, insects and other small animals, including crustaceans.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

brolga_20140820.mp3 (Darwin, NT) Pair Q&A (in-flight) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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