Have you seen Bruce the Brolga?

Standing at up to a 1.3 metres tall, with a wingspan of up to 2.4 metres, brolgas have featured on the Queensland coat of arms since 1977 and were formally declared as the state emblem of Queensland in 1986.

Despite its emblematic status in Queensland, this beautiful bird can be easy to overlook as it spends much of its time quietly searching for food in long grass, and is even sometimes occasionally mistaken for a giant bin chicken.

Deception Bay resident Jamie Hudson was surprised to see this beautiful brolga lining up on the platform at Rothwell Station over the Christmas period and was quick to snap a few photos. But according to Queensland Rail, Bruce the Brolga is a frequent visitor to the station and has recently been getting some attention via social media.

Image credit: Jamie Hudson

You can usually find brolgas in open wetlands, coastal mudflats and irrigated croplands, particularly in north-east Queensland, although they can be found as far south as Victoria.

Brolgas mate for life and are known for their ritualised mating dance, which can be quite intricate and they are known to dance year round.

Australia has only two species of crane and the brolga is one of them. Its scientific name is Grus rubicunda.

Image credit: Jamie Hudson

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