Bushranger Birdman of the Coorong

Princes Highway, Meningie, 5264 SA (Map)

In the history of South Australia it is thought that there was only ever one genuine bushranger. John Francis Peggotty, known as the “Birdman of the Coorong” was one like no other, pursuing his profession on the back of an ostrich!

Before the end of his career in 1899 Peggotty was credited with more than a dozen hold-ups and murder of several travelers in the area. On one such occasion a local fisherman was less than impressed being held-up by the ostrich and its rider and being a great shot with a long rifle, wounded the rider and killed the ostrich.

When inspecting his work the fisherman found only the corpse of the ostrich as the wounded Peggotty had scampered off leaving a trail of blood in the sand – to this day his remains have not been found in the dunes of the Coorong.

On the shore of Lake Albert at Meningie you will find a statue of an ostrich in memory of this adventurous man.

Princes Highway, Meningie, 5264 SA