A close brush for a Brush-Turkey

Australian Brush-Turkey

Australian Brush-Turkey

Australian Brush-turkeys are a very common bird in the eastern states of Australia. Despite being very common, I had only seen this species on one occasion before – and that was in 1981. On this current trip to Sydney I was very keen to not only see this bird but also get some good photos. I scored on both counts.

My 5 year old grandson has recently started gym sessions, learning a variety of gymnastics skills. He is a very physical boy keen to emulate the Circolombia gymnastics/circus troupe one day. He was born in Colombia, so they are something special to him.

Being the keen grandfather I went along to see him go through his paces. On our return journey his mother was driving past the Artarmon Public School oval – the school he will start at next year – when a Brush-turkey crossed the road right in front of us. It nearly came to grief under the wheels of an oncoming truck, but the driver managed to avoid receiving a free turkey for Christmas. Actually I have no idea what they taste like, and it would be an offence to kill and eat one because they are protected by law.

In the previous few days I had been keeping a close eye on roadside verges, parks and gardens because I thought I had seen one a few days earlier while taking the grandchildren to child-care. This was a only a few streets away. My son used to regularly see one scratching around in the small patch of vegetation lining the Artarmon Railway Station, but that was several years ago. Good to see they are still in the district. Readers not familiar with the Artarmon area of Sydney should note that this is about a kilometre south of Chatswood, a very thickly populated and busy part of north Sydney, and a mere 15 minutes train ride from the CBD of Sydney itself.

In case you were wondering, today’s photos were not of the bird crossing the road. I took these photos three days later in a national park a little further north – but that’s a story for another day.

Australian Brush-Turkey

Australian Brush-Turkey


4 Responses to “A close brush for a Brush-Turkey”

  1. Trish says:

    We have these everywhere on our 5 acre block & they love to steal the dogs food lol very funny to watch

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Trish,

      I’ve heard many tales about these birds. They seem to take over a garden or property as if they own the place – well, in one sense they do. Apart from their liking for dog food – poor dogs – are they the pests some people claim them to be?

  2. Trish says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Yes they can be a bit of a pest at times, like when you wake up to find you no longer have a vegetable garden! but to be honest I don’t mind, I can buy my food, but I can’t buy the delight I feel when I watch the brush turkeys, even if they are stealing the dogs food & driving the poor fella to distraction! They stay just out of reach, it’s hilarious.

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