The bird emblem

The bird emblem

The brolga, featured on the Queensland Coat of Arms since 1977, was officially proclaimed the bird emblem of Queensland in January 1986.

Of 14 species that comprise a worldwide family of cranes, brolgas (Grus rubicunda) are the only species native to Australia. They can be found along the Queensland coast from Rockhampton to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Brolgas are otherwise known as the Native Companions.

Adult birds are predominantly grey and are characterised by a long thin neck, a bare head and conspicuous patch of red skin behind the eye. They stand more than a metre tall on long, slender legs and their outstretched wings can measure up to two metres across.

Brolgas are famous for their intricate dancing at mating time. A pair of adult birds will bow to each other with exaggerated dignity, then bob and pirouette and prance back and forth. Sometimes they will jump into the air in unison. Their huge wings are spread throughout the dance, adding extraordinary grace and smoothness to the movements.

Related links

Emblems of Queensland Act 2005