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Also called Native Companion, Grey Crane, the Brolga is Australia's (and one of the world's) largest crane. Growing to between 1 and 1.5 metres high, males and females similar, soft blue grey body feathers, red coloured skin on head, long legs, long beak. Feeds on insects, grain, vegetation and some tubers. Call is a series of loud trumpeting calls, croaks and gutteral sounds. Known for the graceful dancing displays during courtship and social interaction, and well represented in Aboriginal culture and legend.
Found throughout much of Australia, usually near water but as these birds can fly long distances this is not always the case. Many of these birds are migratory, while some stay within their region.
Spotted on Jun 18, 2014
Submitted on Jun 18, 2014
and 2 other people favorited this spotting
Thanks Hema Shah. Yes it did walk slowly across the tracks, but also the tracks are unused nowadays, so the birds are pretty relaxed about it all. Another similar bird here in Australia is the Sarus Crane also found in Asia. Not many found in Australia amongst the Brolgas but the few that exist here are found in isolated spots in the very far north and north west. More red on the head and neck than Brolgas, darker wing tips.
Our Sandhill Cranes look similar. We have turkeys that are big in size. I would often see them on the roads with fast moving traffic. Always thought that could could fly away before a car hit them . until I saw a turkey roadkill on the other day.
Like Mark said,hope it moves off the track fast!!
My pleasure to bring these images to you Mark. You need to travel the country of western Queensland and north west NSW at present, there are many Brolgas parading along roadsides and in bushland. Most are unafraid if you pull up alongside for a photo shoot, but they remain wary of course. Most I saw were in pairs on this trip into the desert. I have more photos to post.
I still have never seen a Brolga in the wild yet. Thanks KD. I hope it doesn't spend too long on the rail tracks.