General Description

Body grey with red-orange patch on face and behind head. Eyes yellow, legs dark grey-black. Bill grey. Up to 1.4 m tall.


Brolgas are known for their intricate mating dances where pairs display for each other, individually or together. These dances include leaping, stepping and bowing. Usually a male and female Brolga will pair for life. Nests are built out of sticks and grasses on islands, usually in marshlands. The breeding season starts after the rainy season so varies in timing across the species' range. In the south of Australia breeding is usually between September and December. One brood is produced each year consisting usually of two eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the young for up to eleven months after they hatch. Outside of the breeding season Brolgas form large family groups, sometimes including hundreds of individuals. Brolgas largely eat plant material, digging for roots in particular, but will also eat insects and small vertebrates such as frogs. Populations of Brolgas appear to be declining, especially in the south of Australia, largely due to destruction of habitat such as the draining of wetlands.


Northern and eastern mainland Australia.


Freshwater wetlands and swamps.

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