Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 4439 IREC Farmers' Newsletter No. 197 — Autumn 2017 Unlike the Australasian bittern, whiskered tern, glossy ibis, Baillon’s crake golden-headed cisticola and various other wetland birds, brolgas are not strongly associated with rice fields and irrigation areas. So why don’t brolgas use rice crops more often? It’s likely that by the time there’s sufficient material to build a nest (December), it is too late in their season. The lack of native water plants with the tubers that they love to eat might also be important. However, there are still many things that rice growers and other irrigators can do to encourage brolgas on their farms. The most important is to maintain any natural, treeless, shallow swamps, like those with canegrass (Eragrostis australasica) and spike rushes (Eleocharis spp.), as well as creating similar habitat in constructed wetlands that is available in winter and spring. They also love feeding on the grain in corn stubble and will use it extensively during the flocking season, providing they have a large, shallow wetland nearby to roost on at night. Long live the iconic southern brolga! Further information Matt Herring E: M: 0428 236 563 W: In 2013, a rare breeding event near rice fields occurred at Deniliquin. The young bird is in front of the adult bird, as indicated by the arrow.