Backyard Buddies

Fowls

Brush Turkey

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Photo credit: Ken Stepnell/OEH

Brush Turkey

In winter, a clucky visitor may be scratching around near you. In the lead-up to breeding season, male Brush Turkeys, also known as Bush Turkeys or Scrub Turkeys, are building and maintaining mounds. They scratch leaf litter, sticks and mulch from a radius of about 20 m into a massive mound that can be 4 m in diameter and 1 to 1.5 m high. In northern Queensland, Brush Turkeys move into lowland areas so that they are not so chilly ove..

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Bush stone-curlew

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Photo credit: Max Herford

Bush stone-curlew

The Bush stone-curlew lives on the ground and is mostly nocturnal. It is also called the Bush Thick-knee and is found all over Australia except in the most arid areas. It is unlikely to be mistaken for any other bird, with its long skinny legs and large yellow eyes with white eyebrows. They have a distinctive call – a long drawn-out wail heard mainly at dusk or at night. If you didn’t know what it was, it could sound quite eerie. Most cur..

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Pheasant Coucal

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Photo credit: Marj Kibby

Pheasant Coucal

The north and east of Australia has a bird that looks just like a pheasant. The Pheasant Coucal is black with reddish brown wings and a long black and orange tail, but it's really a cuckoo in disguise. Unlike cuckoos, it doesn't spirit its eggs into other birds' nests. It builds its own nest, the male sits on the eggs, and he and his mate for life will raise their own young. Not typical cuckoo behaviour at all. The Pheasant Coucal i..

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Tasmanian Native Hen

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Photo credit: JJ Harrison

Tasmanian Native Hen

'Turbo chook' is the affectionate name given to the Tasmanian Native hen. However, they have no relationship to domestic chickens but belong to a group of waterfowl known as rails. The Native hen is a flightless bird standing approximately 45 cm tall with strong sturdy legs. They live in northern and eastern Tasmania, near marshes, river flats, fresh water streams and rivers. It gets its nickname from being a very fast runner, reachi..

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