Australian Brush-Turkeys

While naturally shy in the bush, Brush-Turkeys in residential areas have become used to people and are regularly seen in groups. With proper precaution and a few adjustments, Brush-Turkeys can live in harmony with people.

Brush-Turkeys are generally accepted as a part of our backyard birdlife.

As gardening styles have moved away from having large areas of lawn, many people have created a backyard environment similar to the Brush-Turkey’s preferred natural habitat — dense trees and plants, mulched garden beds, and plenty of moisture. However, Brush-Turkeys can be fairly destructive to a garden and a landscaped garden can be stripped of small plants and mulch by a male Brush-Turkey in less than a day!

To make your garden Brush-Turkey-proof:

  • plan new gardens with Brush-Turkeys in mind
  • avoid doing any planting near an existing mound
  • put new plants in the ground in late summer after the main mound-building period (August–December)
  • use tree guards on newly planted, valuable and vulnerable plants
  • lay chicken wire over mulched beds and secure it with stakes and rocks.
  • try to encourage a mound site away from valued gardens by providing mulch in an area of heavy shade where there is one or more large trees nearby.
  • use heavy coverings such as rocks and large gravel over standard garden mulch
  • don’t try to destroy a mound or feed Brush-Turkeys.

Licensed bird relocators can capture and relocate male Brush-Turkeys where it can be shown that the mound is a threat to human health and wellbeing, or is causing financial loss. A fee will usually be charged, and the welfare of eggs in the mound will need to be considered by the relocator. If a male is removed, the resulting ‘vacancy’ may be quickly filled by another male.

The Queensland Government has more information.