bush turkey male in love with my black chook

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pmnorman
pmnorman's picture
bush turkey male in love with my black chook

I live on a small property backing a natural resereve I have a wayward bush turkey who has taken up home at my place I have seen another male turkey but no females in the area. This has caused a problem for my wayward male bush turkey he is courting my chooks and domestic turkeys. I have had to lock all my pets up because he chases them madly and they fly into the forrest and get lost I recently retrieved my female turkey from a neighbours place. But back to the bush turkey he has built his massive nest in my front yard and tries to coax my chooks to go their but they havent got any idea what hes up to so he discovered that it was easier to compromise with my black chooks ( who by the way would not let me lock them up) and they lay their eggs in a bird avairy I have open and spare well the bush turkey goes in and covers the eggs and has now built a mound over their eggs I have to dig them out. I find it very funny because he is so determined he rakes my yard of leaves and they all end up in this avairy now..Sadly their must be a girlfriend out their for him but he is content with my hens even when I have locked them up he paces out side their pen all day...Any ideas on how to encourage him to find a girl of his own kind...

Michelle from Mackay

Woko
Woko's picture

Hi Michelle. I think you're facing the classic problem that occurs when we humans try to run our stock/pets/birds in or adjacent to natural environments. The interaction between the two is often detrimental to both & it can be very tricky devising a strategy that allows both to prosper while avoiding harm to the natural environment. Often the solution to the problems caused by this interaction are long term & require a lot of patience. It takes minutes to badly affect a natural environment but years to restore it, if we ever can.  

I'm wondering if the brush turkey is protecting its territory as well as looking for a mate. If the natural reserve is small it may be the only territory available to this bird, hence its high motivation to defend it.

For the bird to find a mate it'll need to have an natural environment that's big enough to support a number of brush turkeys. Do you think the natural reserve is big enough to do this? If not, & this is where the solutions to these problems are long term, is it possible to engage local authorities in making it big enough to support several brush turkeys? This approach won't solve your problem for many years but that is often the cost that needs to be borne when we try to live in harmony with nature.

I like your idea of locking your pets up. This will ensure that they don't interact with the natural environment in the natural reserve thereby negatively affecting populations of native birds & other wildlife.

These are just some thoughts & other posters may have different ideas. You might want to seek out someone in the Queensland Department of Environment or whatever it's called up your way to discuss this problem. There may also be an environmental officer in the local council who could help. And these websites might give you clues as to what approach you could take: www.wildlife.org.au/wildlife/speciesprofile/birds/brushturkey.html, www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Alectura-lathami, www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/AustralianBrushTurkey.htm. The second  & third urls are via Birds in Backyards.

Good luck, Michelle, & it may well be helpful to other folk facing a similar problem if you were to post here the approach you took & the results you achieved.

pmnorman
pmnorman's picture

Hi,

Thanks for some info on what to do Ill follow thru with it . The reserve behind me is quite large Im surprised I havents seen any female bush turkeys so far just a couple of males. I have had a wedge tail eagle visit and have dinner on my ducks and we constantly get large lace monitors passing thru and pinching eggs they can get a hold of. I believe the reserve is larger enough to sustain alot of bush turkeys and we also have the orange footed scrub fowls living out their and passing thru my place too i recently saved a new born chick of the scrub fowls from a green ant attack they had him pinned down and I rescued him and after a couple of days his injuries were fine and he was back to normal and released.  I guess after I find some more answers Ill let you know how I went.

Thanks Michelle

Woko
Woko's picture

Michelle, another thought I've had is that there might be a group such as Friends of the Nature Reserve Adjacent to Michelle's Place (FONRAMP) which has monitored bird, including brush turkey, numbers. You might be able to get an idea about gender numbers of the species from this group.

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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