Many people have commented on the colourful nature of Australian birds - and in a number of cases I have to say they were correct. I have to say that it does make me smile when such comments come from bloggers who post pictures of Northern Cardinals and Humming birds!
So, just to prove that not all Australian birds are incandescently bright, I give you the Orange-Footed Scrubfowl. It's one of the few birds I know of that have more brightly coloured feet than feathers!
This bird was feeding in a garden on Magnetic Island, Queensland, when I saw it. The adult normally have a small, stiff, crest. But even that is missing on this individual - I suspect it may be a well grown juvenile. The scientific name for this species - Megapodius reinwardt - makes reference to its large feet. ("Mega" as in large, and "pod" as in foot).
For all of this birds lack of colour, it still does have a trick or two up its feathered sleeve to keep us interested. This bird belongs to a group called the "Mound Builders" - and that is exactly what they do. They scrape together large piles of leaf litter to form natural compost piles, and into those piles they place their eggs. The heat released as decomposition occurs incubates the eggs. Some Mound Builders add or remove material during the incubation period to regulate the temperature of the eggs, but the Orange-Footed Scrubfowl seems to rely on getting the eggs buried in an appropriate location in the first place. Some of the mounds they build are huge - maybe even a big as 150m in circumference!
Just to finish off the story, this bird roosts in trees, which seem a good idea for a roast sized bird!
Now it's over to you - and I'm sure your birds will have brighter colours, but maybe smaller feet!
Don't forget to visit as many other WBWers are you can, and (as ever) feel free to invite along new bloggers.