I thought I'd go with a rather more conventional looking bird this week.
This is an Australian Brush-Turkey (Alectura lathami
). It can be found on the east coast of Australia basically from southern NewSouth Wales north. This bird seemed rather stressed at the time I saw it - it was early July and it was clear that some of the other people watching the bird were American, and they may have been thinking about traditional feasts.
They make a strange set of grunting noises as calls - I could hear them behind our accommodation and for a while I had not idea what was making the noise.
Possibly the most remarkable thing about this bird is the way that it incubates its eggs. Instead of building a nest and sitting on the eggs this bird (and a few other in Australia) builds a huge mound of leaves, twigs and forest floor litter and lays the eggs in that. As the plant material rots away, heat is released and the whole heap warms up. (Think about how warm your compost heap gets if you have one). The bird adds or removes dirt from the mound to regulate the temperature. All in all this is a bit of a performance! Some of the mounds are huge and seemed to be used over generations of birds.
What is also remarakable is that the chicks hatch from the eggs while buried in the mound and had to dig their way out unaided. Then they have to survive with no help from the parents - I can only assume the Brush-Turkey chicks are tough little individuals!
Now its your turn to join in with WBW! Please remember to create a link back to WBW so that others can join in the community. You can use this badge if you wish.
PS: Replies and visits may be a bit thin on the ground this week - we have migrants from the Northern Hemisphere visiting!