Baby Brush Turkeys are not often seen. In fact, I had to show this to several well known “twitchers” before I could be certain that this was a newly hatched Brush Turkey. They are seldom seen because their peculiar biology is not conducive to their survival for long. In fact, it is estimated that only one in two hundred chicks makes it to adulthood. Reasons for this are simple. There is no parental care after the eggs hatch. The chicks are on their own. They can fly and run quickly but they are no match for snakes, lizards and predatory birds. Some must starve during dry periods. This one was perching about 50 cm from the ground on an exposed perch. One thing in their favour is that if they successfully attain adulthood, they will live for years. We have the same birds here that were here when we moved in about seven years ago. They learn to become tough and aggressive. They seem to hate everything and spend most of their time chasing one another or attacking goannas and the like. The ultimate challenge came one day when the “Major Domo” ( our #1 male) started kicking sand and leaves into the male cassowary’s face as he fed. That was too much and a chase ensued, but the turkey was not to be denied and was soon back trying to steal a morsel.
David and family moved to Kuranda, Queensland in 2002, following retirement from CSIRO Canberra, Australia. David, Barbara and an assortment of wildlife live in a rainforest setting. It is their first experience living in the tropics.
David's major interest is Entomology. He continues research in the Orthopteroid insects and is keenly interested in the biology of the rainforest.
This blog is a narrative of observations made in and around Kuranda.
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