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Brush Turkey – Wildlife Spotlight

It’s that time of year again when the Brush Turkeys are out and about. They seem to have only one thing in their minds, and that is to destroy your garden! But wait…. Before you are too hard on this quirky looking bird, here’s some facts that may help you understand them better.

  • IT’S A COMPLIMENT – Brush Turkeys choose the finest gardens with the best mulch to build their nests, so nice work if they are nesting away in your garden!
  • SIZE DOES MATTER – The males are desperately working away to build the best and largest mound in order to impress the female. These girls are picky and want the best nest to lay their eggs.
  • DAD DOES NEARLY ALL THE WORK – He works hard building the biggest and the best mound to impress the female, she comes along, lays her eggs, and off she goes! These boys are left to care for the eggs solo until they hatch! This is no easy task; these dads are endlessly adjusting the mounds to keep the temperature perfect for their eggs. They scratch and kick leaf litter everywhere. They remove some when the nest warms too much and add some if it gets too cold, they want it just right for their little ones.
  • OFF THEY GO – After all their hard work building, attracting the female, caring for the eggs solo, the babies finally hatch! They must be grateful for dad, right? Nope! Brush Turkey chicks are Precocial, this means they are independent from hatching so poor old dad is an instant empty nester!

There are some things you can do to make Brush Turkey breeding season a little easier on your garden:

  • Encourage the Brush Turkey’s to start building a nest away from your garden by making a pile of grass clippings and mulch in a spot you can tolerate them making a nest
  • Peg wire over the part of your garden that you would prefer to keep Brush turkey free

At the end of the day Brush Turkeys are forced to build their mounds in our backyards due to their shrinking natural habitat. We are so lucky to have such an amazing variety of native animals in our Gold Coast and Northern NSW Regions. It’s important we share our backyards because so many of these animals have nowhere else to go.


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