Australian Brush Turkey
It is a large bird with black feathers and a red head. It has a prominent, fan-like tail flattened sideways, and its plumage is mainly blackish, but with a bare red head, and a yellow or purple wattle. The males’ wattles become much larger during breeding season, often swinging from side to side as they run. The male’s heads and wattles also become much brighter during the breeding and nesting season. The underside of the body is sprinkled with white feathers, more pronounced in older birds. The brushturkey is a clumsy flier and cannot fly long distances, only taking to the air when threatened by predators or to roost in trees at night and during the heat of the day.
They build large nests on the ground made of leaves, other compostable material, and earth. Mound-building is done by a dominant male, and visited by a succession of local females, for mating and egg-laying. The male works tirelessly, collecting material from all around, and also diligently repelling rival males, which are keen to usurp his position. The effort involved eventually wears him down, and he will ultimately be defeated by a new king.
Brushturkeys feed upon insects. seeds, and fallen fruits, which are exposed by raking the leaf litter or breaking open rotten logs with their large feet. The majority of food is obtained from the ground, with birds occasionally observed feeding on ripening fruits among tree branches.