Site navigation

Australian Brush-turkey

Large, black body plumage, red head.
A large bird with mainly black body plumage, bare red head, yellow throat wattle (pale blue in northern birds), a laterally flattened tail and large feet. Size up to 75cm.
Max. Size:
75 cm.
eastern Australia
Rainforest and wet sclerophyll forests, but can also be found in drier scrubs.
It feeds on insects, seeds and fallen fruits, which are exposed by raking the leaf litter or breaking open rotten logs with its large feet.  The male usually builds a large mound of organic matter, approximately 4 m in diameter and 1 m high. Eggs are laid by several females in a single mound and are incubated by the heat given off by the rotting vegetation. The male maintains a constant temperature of 33 - 38C by digging holes in the mound and inserting his bill to check the heat, then adding or removing vegetable matter as required.  After hatching, the chicks burrow out of the mound. The hatchlings are fully feathered and are able to walk and fend for themselves immediately. Remarkably, they are able to fly just a few hours after hatching.
Other Common Names: