Monday, 22 November 2010

Hooray for the brush turkeys!

That's something you don't hear very often. If ever.

This male brush turkey (Alectura lathami) has taken over the scrubfowl mound. This is A Good Thing. When it comes to construction, turkeys know when to stop. Those scrubfowl were going to keep on building until they had blocked the drive with a leafy, muddy mountain.

The preferred temperature range for incubation is 32 – 36⁰C. Pa Turkey attends every day to ensure that the eggs inside the mound are doing all right. When I took these photos, he was scraping off some of the leaves to cool it down.

Sorry! I forgot to resize this image

The sex ratio of turkey chicks depends on incubation temperature. At lower temperatures, more males hatch; at higher temperatures, the number of female hatchlings increases. This is a result of embryo mortality rather than temperature-dependent sex determination.

I'm sure the spotted tree monitors (Varanus timorensis) will have already sussed out the mound. I hope that at least some the eggs make it through to hatching. The brush turkeys here are reasonably well behaved.


forestwalk/laura k said...

that turkey looks as if he's ready to do a hoola dance with the hawaiian 'lei' around his neck!!

Snail said...

I hadn't even thought of that! It's a much more attractive description that the one I had in mind --- a deflated balloon.

forestwalk/laura k said...

hahahaaa!!!! a deflated balloon is right on too!!!!! they could use a little 'face-lift'...a little botox in that 'neck wrap'??!! no, nevermind....i take that back! i would never do that, so why would i wish it on another??
"GO NATURAL!! be who you are turkeys!!"
long live the brush turkeys!!