Talking Turkey - the birds, not the country!

Brush turkeys are unlikely to ever be our Olympic mascot and rarely get the attention any of the cuter species of bird life do.  There are some basic things that might interest you though, especially those of you who keep having their gardens destroyed by them. 
The famous brush turkey mounds serve both to attract females and shelter eggs (heat being the prime requisite for an attractive mound rather than looks - looks being the problem most humans have with turkey mounds.  However, there are ways to deter these beautiful structures being built. 

 

  • place them away from gardens if possible Compost heaps attract turkeys so

 

  • Altering the state of the garden as rainforest gardens have an 80 to 90% chance of attracting turkeys

 

  • Use low fences to border gardens

 

  • Use garden rocks around gardens and through the garden

 

Obviously, restructuring your garden because of turkeys can be expensive and time consuming but be aware that destroying the mound will have no effect whatsoever  - the turkeys will rebuild, time and time and time again (they evidently have more time on their hands than we do).  It is illegal to remove a turkey, and even if you do, if your garden is a suitable habitat, another will take its place.  Adjust your garden to accommodate the turkey, it can be quite a novelty to have one living your yard. 

Some interesting facts about brush turkeys:

 

  • Only 1 in 200 survive to adulthood

 

  • Turkeys can fly within one hour of hatching

 

  • A hollow in the top of the mound means it is being used

 

  • Turkeys are almost as good at predicting storms as arthritis is

 

  • Turkey chicks are often mistaken for quails. 

 

  • Turkeys are self-sufficient from the time they leave the nest

 

 

By Andrew Clarke©

 

Living with Brush Turkeys

Brush Turkey chick - R. & J. Le-Bherz

Brush Turkey chick - R. & J. Le-Bherz