Meet the bird that’s driving Sydneysiders insane. What did it do wrong? 66



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One of Australia’s native birds is on the move – but it’s the type of move that’s not popular with everyone. Can you guess which bird it is, and why some people are maybe a little hesitant in welcoming it to their neighbourhood?

According to The New Daily, the brush turkey is gradually spreading its wings to take up residence in more and more areas of Australia. Once a fixture of the national parks surrounding Sydney, it has now moved into harbourside suburbs – occasionally oven the inner city!

It seems the birds are keen to repopulate the areas they used to inhabit before European settlement.

However, by human standards, they’re not exactly the nicest neighbours. The male brush turkeys will build an enormous mound to attract a potential mate. Passing females will inspect the mound; if they like it, they will dig a hole and lay their egg there. Mating with the male is the price of admission.

The problem is that a lot of scratching and digging and general mess is required to build a mound, which can be up to five metres in diameter and up to two metres high.

Not surprisingly, this makes them unpopular with some garden-proud home owners, who don’t appreciate the sudden appearance of this rather large and unwanted piece of landscape architecture.

However, some of the website’s readers have leapt to the poor brush turkey’s defence.

“We invaded their territory, not the other way around,” wrote one New Daily commenter. “Maybe people should consider making the mound a feature of their garden rather than complain about how it inconveniences them. We want to live near bushland because of its beauty then complain about every little inconvenience”.

Others said the brush turkey mounds were nothing compared to the annoying habits of birds like the Indian myna.

“They gang up on my friendly family of Maggies and drive them away…” another person said. “Now they would be ‘good riddance’ to any Australian neighbourhood”.

But in terms of pure cheekiness, this comment has to be our favourite: “No worse than two sets of rival Queenslanders invading one’s home city (Sydney) for a certain recent sporting event”.

What birds (if any) do you have an issue with? Have you had any brush turkey mounds appear in your garden? Should we just live with them, or should home owners have the right of eviction?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. We have 4 of them, 2 of them nesting under huge trees in our paddock, I came home the other day and the 4 of them were ambling up the street, they must have been having a hens party. But seriously along with the Kangaroos ,kookaburras,lorikeets,king parrots, honeyeaters, possums, bats, honey gliders..etc..they are just a small part of everyday life herein the Gold Coast hinterland

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  2. Hahaha! Good on them and for scaring off the magpies. My kids and I have had some really bad experiences with magpies.

  3. You have to learn to live with wildlife I don’t like some of the birds that wake me in the morning, but put up with them, you know Spring has sprung when the honey bird starts it’s strange noises in the morning and then you get flocks of cockatoos screeching some times, had a heap hopping about on my roof recently and I currently have a heap of doves in my yard I think they are eating the grass seed I put out as none of it has sprouted. I always love seeing the rosellas and usually have a few magpies in the yard.

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    • I agree whole heartedly. It is much easier for humans to accommodate wild life than the other way around.

  4. We have just sold our house where there were 2 wretched bush turkeys – the bain of my life! Having spent over $1, 500 on wood chip for the bushy areas the male consistently tossed this all the way down the garden to his mound & then across the drive & lawn to the mound from the other side of the driveway. Every day there was wood chip to sweep up to get the car out.Our dog used to chas them out of the garden, but when he turned his back the turkeys chased him! Comical!

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