Australian Brush-turkey

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Australian brush-turkeyGenus: Alectura
Species: Alectura lathami
Common names: Brush-turkey, Scrub-turkey
ALA reference

Rather surprisingly, over the last few years, these birds have shunned the Reserve in favour of suburban back yards for the location of their nesting/incubation mounds. There is plenty of evidence that they did use the reserve in the past but may have been driven away by the thick carpet of cat’s claw runners covering the ground. However this male has decided to start a new mound just inside the reserve on the edge of Eddystone Road. He has scraped leaves, grass and sticks from up to 20 metres away to form the mound that is now over a metre high. By carefully churning the material in the mound he can maintain the temperature of the eggs that are laid in the mound at about 35 degrees Celsius. When the chicks hatch from the eggs they are on their own and must first struggle up to escape from the mound and then find their own food. Even at that early stage they can fly!

(July 2011)