From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The brolga (Grus rubicunda), formerly known as the native companion, is a bird in the crane family. It has also been given the name Australian crane, a term coined in 1865 by well-known ornithological artist John Gould in his Birds of Australia.

The brolga is a common, gregarious wetland bird species of tropical and south-eastern Australia and New Guinea, It is a tall, upright bird with a small head, long beak, slender neck and long legs. The plumage is mainly grey, with black wing tips, and it has an orange-red band of colour on its head. It is well known for its intricate mating dance. The nest is built of sticks on an island in marshland and usually two eggs are laid. Incubation takes 32 days and the newly hatched young are precocial. The adult diet is mostly plant matter, but invertebrates and small vertebrates are also eaten.

The brolga is a tall bird with a large beak, long slender neck and stilt-like legs. The sexes are indistinguishable in appearance though the females are usually a little smaller. The adult has a grey-green, skin-covered crown, and the face, cheeks and throat pouch are also featherless and are coral red. Other parts of the head are olive green and clothed in dark bristles. The gular pouch, which is particularly pendulous in adult males, is covered with such dense bristles as to make it appear black. The beak is greyish-green, long and slender, and the iris is yellowish-orange.


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