Alectura lathami

Large black turkey-like bird with red head and yellow neck wattle.  With their almost bare head, they have a vulture like appearance.  During the day they are seen scratching about on the rainforest floor, but will fly clumsily if startled.  They roost at night in the trees.

The brush turkey is a member of the Megapode family, which incubates eggs in large mound of leaves and decaying vegetation.  Megapode literally means large foot, and the turkey uses its large feet to scratch a large area of vegetation into the mounds which can be about one metre high.

The male brush turkey builds and tends to the mound, checking the temperature with his bill, and adding and taking off vegetation as needs be.  The female lays eggs in the mound.  After they hatch, the chicks are left to fend for themselves.

Around areas like Lake Eacham, they have become accustomed to people who they see as providing an easy meal and will be very bold.

Images of the Australian Brush Turkey

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