Family Cranes (Gruidae)

Least Concern

Brolga (Antigone rubicunda)


French: Grue brolga German: Brolgakranich Spanish: Grulla brolga

Ardea rubicunda


, 1810,

Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia


N and S populations formerly accorded separate races, with argentea for N birds; subspecific division no longer widely accepted, although the two populations are probably independent. Monotypic.


N & E Australia; small populations in New Guinea (in basin of Sepik R and in Trans-Fly).

Descriptive notes

c. 160 cm; male 4761–8729 g, female 3628–7255 g; wingspan 200–230 cm; male slightly larger than female. Iris orange. Distinguished from similar A.... read more


Calls lower, more guttural than in other crane species, except A. canadensis.


Varies by season, and between N and S Australia. S birds prefer shallow freshwater marshes, with... read more

Food and feeding

Widely varied diet. Major food item is sedge tubers, which are excavated from mud of drying marshes. Bulkuru sedge (Eleocharis dulcis... read more


In Australia, breeding coincides with wet season in N, peaking in Feb–Mar; season less distinct in S, Jul–Nov. Nest is large... read more


Non-migratory. Local movements in response to seasonal conditions. In Queensland and Northern... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. No range-wide surveys, but current population estimated at 20,000–100,000 birds, although early 1980s surveys in... read more

Recommended citation

Archibald, G.W., Meine, C.D., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Brolga (Antigone rubicunda). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 January 2020).