Animal Diaries Archive
Lots of Turkeys!
8 August 2008
Welcome to another week with our birds. At the moment if you are visiting the Zoo, you might notice that there are a lot of Brush Turkeys getting around. You will probably find them foraging around scratching through all of the leaf litter looking for a meal. They love to feed on insects, seeds and fallen fruit, as well as trying to steal from our birds for an easy meal.
You can find these turkeys anywhere along Australia’s eastern coast and they are not easily confused with any other bird. They have a bare red head and a yellow wattle around the base of their neck which hangs lower in breeding season to impress the girls.
The males are excellent mound builders! You can’t miss these mounds as they are huge. Most mounds are four metres wide and one-to-three metres tall and they use this mound to incubate the female’s eggs. These guys will stop at nothing to build a nest, going so far as to build their nest right over the top of our enclosure fences and making a huge mess in the process. The reason for this is because the bigger the nest is the more females will want to lay their eggs in his nest and the more females he gets to mate with.
So if you are visiting the Zoo, don’t mind these guys, they will be getting around looking busy, foraging for food and making a huge mess for us keepers to clean up.