Scrub Turkey by girlie

Scrub Turkey

I spent some time at Grassy Head with a friend this morning. We were visited by kookaburras, magpies, black cockatoos, lorikeets and this inquisitive scrub turkey (sometimes called bush turkey or brush turkey). Despite its name, the Scrub Turkey is not related to the American turkey. It is native to the east coast of Australia. It is a mound-building bird and incubates its eggs in huge mounds of leaf litter and earth, 1 to 1.5 metres high and up to 4 metres across. The eggs are hatched by the heat of the composting material which is tended only by the males. They regulate the temperature by adding or removing material in an effort to maintain the correct temperature of the mound. They can have a fraught relationship with householders when they insist on frequenting their gardens, digging and scratching up all one's carefully tended plants.
Looks like your turkey is a natural poser! Nice capture.
December 8th, 2012  
Nice turkey! Very photogenic.
December 8th, 2012  
I think the only thing that could come close to rivalling a Scrub Turkey in the ugly stakes would be an Emu. That said, I think you definitely found his good side. Well done.
December 8th, 2012  
Might I add that the young are deserted at birth and left to fend for themselves. We had them when we lived at The Gap and while they were frustrating for Ray, one year the eggs hatched and we had hours of fun watching the little turkeys run around the yard. Good photos Robin
December 8th, 2012  
This brings back memories from years ago when I lived in SE Qld, we were having a picnic and watched scrub turkeys wandering around. Another group laid out their picnic blanket and went back to their car to get something else, and before we could stop them two scrub turkeys darted over and stole food and a baby dummy (not sure why they wanted the dummy) from the picnickers. Everyone who witnessed it fell about laughing. Fortunately the victims of this turkey had plenty of other food so didn't suffer too much (and they saw the funny side of things)
December 8th, 2012  
@david68 Oh, that's a bit harsh, David! I think that tail is fantastic; maybe the rest leaves a bit to be desired, though.
@shirleytemple @lbmcshutter Scrub turkeys always seem to be one of those Australian animals that everyone has an amusing tale about. They are so funny to watch and they don't mind mixing it with us humans. Love the detail about the baby's dummy.
December 8th, 2012  
Very interesting birds. I was so taken with the explanation of how the daddy turkey carefully tends to the mound to regulate the temperature, and then I learn that the chicks are abandoned at birth! LOL Go figure. ;-)
I'm not familiar with the term 'baby dummy'. Would that be a child's baby doll? How funny that the turkey would run off with that. We need pictures!
December 8th, 2012  
@pasadenarose Thanks, PasadenaRose. No, a baby's dummy is what you'd probably call a pacifier. Yes, it would have been good to see a shot of that!
December 8th, 2012  
Oh, a pacifier...I learned something new.
That would have been a very funny photo.
December 8th, 2012  
Your collage is marvellous,the way it shows off these beautiful birds
December 8th, 2012  
beautiful birds look very proud struting around
December 8th, 2012  
Great collage. Love the tail feathers. I love learning all about the different animals, plants, foods, etc. And the term "baby's dummy" is something I've never heard of--love it.
December 8th, 2012  
That is a gorgeous bird, Robin. The 3 captures are all beautiful and could stand on their own.
December 8th, 2012  
Beautiful photos...thanks for including all the info.
December 8th, 2012  
Great captures and collage!
December 8th, 2012  
Hello my lovely Aussie friend! I clicked on your name, and up popped these beautiful birds. They are so much prettier than American turkeys, which would probably explain why they aren't related. Our turkeys are awful! Even though we live in a large city (85,000) we are in the suburbs and have a wildlife preserve a couple blocks away. It's very common to see wild turkeys walking around. Yuck! Two days ago a coyote went walking through our back yard, maybe looking for a turkey. :) Thinking of you often Robin.
December 8th, 2012  
Nice collection of shots and fascinating info.
December 8th, 2012  
@petersonsheri So nice to hear from you again, Sheri and to know that you are popping in to 365 occasionally. I agree that the scrub turkeys are quite attractive birds but they definitely aren't as good eating as yours. I often think of you, too, and hope that things are going well for you up there in the cold. Think of us down here boiling away under a blazing hot sun this Christmas while you maybe frolic in the snow.
December 8th, 2012  
Do they have feathers on their heads or are they barren which would indicate that they also eat carrion.
December 9th, 2012  
@webfoot They have bare heads but have not been known to eat carrion. Their diet consists of insects, seeds and fallen fruits. We have quite a few birds with bare heads and many of them are honeyeaters. The bare head of this turkey is bright red the colour of which is thought to be used in courtship display. I believe there are quite a few bare-headed birds, such as the Northern Ibis, that disprove the carrion-eating theory.
December 9th, 2012  
Wow...he's quite a large adjectives bird. Very cool..and much more colorful than the American turkey..
December 9th, 2012  
Beautiful shots.
December 10th, 2012  
So fascinating - would never have known.
December 10th, 2012  
Speaking of snow, we had eleven inches yesterday! Yikes!
December 10th, 2012  
It's a beautiful bird! Wonderful pics, Robin! Fav! :0)
December 11th, 2012  
A much more compact and dapper looking bird than our rather gangly turkey. Marvelous shots!
December 13th, 2012  
@worldbiking @lbmcshutter - I was once riding my bike along a dirt track behind some houses, when in the yard to my right a Scrub Turkey was running along in the same direction as me. The bird jumped/half-flew over the fence between us and he discovered me on my bike riding along at the same speed. Well the bird landed on my helmet and with a flap of his wings he then took off and flew into the trees on my left. I was too busy laughing to ride!
December 15th, 2012  
Lin
That's a completely new one for me! Wow!
December 18th, 2012  
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