Australian Brush-turkey

Australian Brush-turkey

Alectura lathami

The Australian Brush-turkey’s traditional habitat includes rainforest, vine scrub, and dense vegetation. Due to the destruction of much of Queensland’s rainforests, the Brush-turkey can be found in suburban backyards and in cities.

Large and stocky, Brush-turkey's have red heads, yellow necks and black-feathered bodies and tails. They are part of the megapode "big feet" bird family.

As a ground-dwelling bird, a Brush-turkey’s diet consists of insects, native fruits and seeds. Their diet can vary greatly in urban settings.

Brush-turkeys are an ancient bird, and part of a family dating back 30 million years. Male brush turkey's will build giant mounds the size of cars from leaf litter and soil to attract females, and subsequently incubate any eggs. They tend to their mounds with great care, testing its temperature to ensure it sits at 33 degrees Celsius. Females will only return to a mound to mate and lay eggs if it is kept at the right temperature. The mother leaves the protection of her egg with the father, who looks after the nest. When the chick hatches, they are left to fend for themselves.