Common-uncommon – Sedentary-Nomadic. Endemic to Australia.
Stately long-legged grey crane. Pairs or parties. Soars in thermals. In flight, neck, legs, extended; shallow wing beats with upward flick. Dancing displays of leaps, bows, high step and loud trumpeting calls performed by both sexes. Eye yellow. Ear coverts grey. Head bare; pale grey skin on frons; scarlet on rear of head, nape. Black ‘haired’ dewlap under chin. Neck, back silver-grey. Back often has brown wash. ‘Bustle’ of secondary feathers falling over rump. Wings grey, black primaries. Underparts grey. Legs dark grey-brown to black. Female: Smaller. Size: Male 105-134cm, Female 77-113cm. Stands up to 140cm. Hatchling: Downy; grey, paler markings. Immature: Skin of face, nape, fleshy-pink. Voice: Whooping bugle or trumpet-like calls uttered in flight and on ground; also harsh croaks. Habitat: Ephemeral wetlands, saltmarsh, open grassland, crops.
The Brolga is not especially for its dance which is performed as part of mating displays and bonding rituals. The Brolga got its name from an Aboriginal dreamtime story which tells of a beautiful young woman (named Bralgah, or Brolga) who would dance all the time. She was taken by an evil spirit and transformed into a bird with a long neck.
Simpson & Day 7th Ed.
|Classifications:||Bird, water and shoreline|
|Information sources:||Photo taken at Gorganga by Dale Mengel|