Monogamous. Bonded for life. Couples are known by synchronous, trumpeting calls. The female initiates, standing with wings folded and beak pointed skyward. The male mirrors, but with wings flared. The performance begins.
One bird picks up some grass, tosses it into the air, and catches it in its bill. The bird then jumps into the air with outstretched wings, bows, struts, and bobs its head up and down.
First, the brolgas dance for their mate; then dance in pairs. Finally, they dance together as a whole group.
I observe them through my binoculars, amazed; thinking, “The charisma of cranes”.
By Sarah ©2018
Watch the dance here:
Find out more about brolgas here:
Author’s note: The brolga is a common, gregarious wetland bird species of tropical and south-eastern Australia and New Guinea. It is also known as the “Australian Crane”. It is a tall, upright bird with a small head, long beak, slender neck and long legs. The plumage is mainly grey, with black wing tips, and it has an orange-red band of colour on its head. Brolgas are well known for their ritualised, intricate mating dances.
Prompt: Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction – May 10, 2018. Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story defining “the charisma of cranes.” For centuries, cranes have inspired art and philosophy. You can write a crane story or create something new out of the phrase. Go where the prompt leads.