Saturday, 12 December 2015

Brush Turkeys

A Brush Turkey has built his mound in the back yard.

The Brush Turkey - 25th Nov 2015

The last time this happened was when Attila the Turkey built his mound in 2008.

The new turkey has put his mound in exactly the same place as Attila, but I'm thinking the new turkey isn't Attila himself, because seven years is surely a long time for a turkey to survive in what must be a fairly difficult environment (supposedly their maximum life-span is 12.5 years). Also, the new turkey doesn't have quite the same attitude that Attila had.

Here are a couple of photos of his mound. There's more to it than the photos show, because it's built over the edge of a patio where the ground slopes away steeply. The mound might easily be 1 m deep in the middle.

Brush Turkey Mound - 11th Dec 2015

Brush Turkey Mound - 11th Dec 2015

A female Brush Turkey was filmed digging a hole in the mound to lay her eggs in. The male was looking on critically and pecking at her during this process, as if to say "No, no, you're doing it wrong! You're making a mess of my lovely mound!". She in turn "accidentally" managed to kick dirt into his face a couple of times.

Male and female Brush Turkeys on mound - 15th Nov 2015  [Filmed by Xesce]

Already one turkey chick has been seen. Brush Turkey chicks are completely independent as soon as they hatch (they're referred to as superprecocial) and they're pretty good at hiding, so it's likely there have been more of them about.

Brush Turkey chick foraging - 19th Nov 2015

The male turkey is still assiduously maintaining his mound, so there should be more chicks to come.

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