Sunday, 22 March 2020

Australian Brushturkey


Australian Brushturkey Alectura lathami is a widespread nest mound builder, not related to North American turkeys at all. They spend most of their time on the ground, as they are not good flyers, but they generally roost in trees overnight, out of the way of terrestrial predators. 

This one was enjoying a fish carcass, probably scavenged from the nearby fish and chip shop's rubbish.

Males will build a large mound a metre high and several metres across of leaf litter for the female to lay their eggs in. The heat of the decomposing mound provides the warmth to incubate the eggs. The bird monitors the temperature by sticking its beak into the mound. It will add or remove material as required to maintain the ideal temperature. These nest mounds will be used year after year. 

These birds are bold and frequently in contact with people at picnic sites and gardens. They love compost heaps and will eat just about anything that presents itself on the ground in front of them.

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4 comments:

Unknown said...

Hi Susan. Love reading your posts. We lived in Toowoomba and had one that basically was our gardener, raking up all the leaf litter for his huge mound (2.5x1.5mhigh). Saved us from clearing undergrowth during bushfire season!

Unknown said...

Sorry dont know how to give myself a name in comments. It is Barb

Susan said...

Yes I think a lot of people have to learn how to live with them in the garden. Like monster chooks in terms of their activities :-)

Susan said...

Bonjour Barb!

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