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Brolga (Grus rubicunda) With dirt ball in mouth. Kakadu National Park. NT, Australia


(Grus rubicunda)

When I first spotted this Brolga crane in Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory, Australia) I thought, “that’s weird, he’s carrying a ball of dirt!” I’ve since learned that one of the favorite foods of the Brolga is roots, tubers and bulbs. They use their strong beaks to dig them up out of the mud! In northern populations like this one, their favorite is Chinese Water Chestnut!

Photographed in Kakadu National Park. Northern Territory, Australia

See Brolga range map on IUCN Redlist

Where the Brolga fits on the OneZoom interactive tree of life: