The Brolga is a very unusual bird of Australia; the bird was originally named the “Australian Crane” back in the 1800’s by an artist John Gould. I don’t know why the name was changed. The Brolga is a wetlands bird and is very common, although in the Southern States for some reason the numbers are not so good. What makes this bird so unusual is its dancing ritual which it uses for mating as well as protecting its bit of ground, which you will see in the video below.
The Brolga is a very pretty pearl grey or silver grey, in colour and is part of the crane family, it grows up to 1.3 meters or 4.3 feet in height, it has a wing span up to 2.4 meters or 7.9 feet, their weight is around 3.7 to 8.7 kg or 8.1 to 19.2 pounds. The male weights slightly more than the female. The Brolga has a very pretty wide red band around their neck; the young birds do not have this band it is developed later as they become adults.
Another unusual aspect of this bird is its mating season. It doesn’t actually have one, mating depends solely on rainfall, so depending on which part of Australia the bird is in mating is from February to May or September to December for the Southern States. The nest is built by both male and female, and is a raised mound built with sticks, uprooted grass, mud etc. and is always located in wetlands in shallow water or occasional floating.
The famous dance begins with a bird picking up some grass and tossing it into the air, catching it in its bill, and then progresses to jumping a metre into the air with outstretched wings, then stretching, bowing, walking, calling, and bobbing its head. Sometimes just one Brolga dances for its mate; often they dance in pairs; and sometimes a whole group of about a dozen dances together, lining up roughly opposite each other before starting.
I found a great article about this bird if you would like to learn more in ABC Science.
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