Brush Turkey Problem

We have a brush turkey who has scratched up all the mulched vege patch and garden paths and created a huge mound for a nest. :eek: Just went to all the trouble to put newspaper and cardboard down prior to mulching. It was all looking beautiful until the uninvited turkey moved in. :mad:

Anyone know how to discourage these birds...............humanely :D
 
Get a dog ! Works for me. I used to think these birds were cute, until they killed my daffodils and more. Now the dogs get their jollies instead.

No birds get hurt, nor dogs for that matter, as the turkeys are bigger, quicker and fly better than the dogs.
 
Delicious turkey - yum :)
 

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I have a blue heeler you could borrow for a few days. Works a treat on the macadamia farm. He can't catch them, but they're scared enough to not come back.
 
I went to look up Ric Nattrass' solution for this only to find he died last month. Queenslanders in particular listened to him on the ABC for many years.

Vale Ric!

He was passionate about wildlife and how to live with the creatures without harming them.

You might get some good info for this by searching on his name because many people used to ring him with this problem.

RIC NATTRASS: This bird is the Australian brush-turkey, technically known as Alectura lathami. Interestingly, it belongs to one of the smallest families of birds in the whole of the bird world. There's about 7,000 species of birds on the planet and this family contains only 12 members of the family. They're called 'megapodes', meaning 'big foot'.

The story of the brush-turkey in South-East Queensland particularly is one of the most intriguing in natural history in this country... in European history of this country. By the 1950s, early '60s, the brush-turkey in my city... I was born in Brisbane. ..in my city, was incredibly rare. In fact, I didn't see one until I was 15 years of age because the backyard style in those days was very English - very European or very Mediterranean, you know? Everything was mown short, there was no canopy, there was no overhanging trees, there was no shade. It was really quite silly, actually. For a subtropical climate, we had the most ridiculous backyards. And so by the time we'd got to there, we had really reduced the preferred habitat of the brush-turkey down to almost nil. And then in the late '60s - mid '60s, late '60s - something strange happened. You got this group called the Society for Growing Australian Plants, and these people were advocating that we make our backyards look a lot more like subtropical rainforest, or wet sclerophyll rainforest, which was largely what Brisbane was all about. So as people changed the backyard, providing heaps of mulch, providing big shade trees - that, and also sprinklers, you know, all that - this was a huge change in the turkeys' life. The turkey was being handed back a facsimile of its preferred habitat and, of course, it responded - out of the little moist gullies where it had been hiding for 40 or 50 or 60 years into the backyards, scratching around.

I published a book a couple of years ago and devoted an entire chapter to the Australian brush-turkey and the chapter - the name of the chapter - is 'Turkish delight'. I actually love the bird because they're one of those species that aren't afraid of human beings because once they reach adulthood, once the brush-turkey has survived that chance of 1-in-200 survival in the first three or four months, once it gets there, it doesn't have any enemies. Well, any real enemies. But those that it does have, it knows it can escape easily. You ever seen them run? If they need a little bit of extra afterburn, a boost, they flap their wings a couple of times, and their tail, and they just disappear. So they can handle predation easily. They're unafraid once they're adults. If you look at it from a wildlife recovery - a species recovery - it is one of Australia's greatest success stories. This bird is now found throughout the capital of Queensland - in Brisbane. It is now found everywhere it was in pre-European Australia in 1824. It's back and we did it and we should be congratulated for doing it.
 
Thanks folks. We don't have and don't want a dog (no fence and near highway + don't want to be tied down with the responsibility) but it would be a great solution for sure - though the bird visits only in the night.
Sunny I will try Ric. Thanks :)

Prop, I said humane approach but should have also added "Legal" :D
 
I just googled " brush turkey deterrent " - heaps of suggestions in there.

All this talk of turkey is making me hungry. I'm off to get lunch :)
 
The only humane answer is catch and remove. You can but traps suitable for these birds and bait with various seeds, poultry food etc. Try to catch the pair as they tend to mate for life I believe. Relocate a good distance away as they do try to return. You may need a permit fron your state wildlife body to catch nuisance birds. Methinks you are in for a very frustrating time as these birds are programmed for one thing - that is digging, and they just love mulch! :D
 
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Spose this is not the thread to complain about the starlings scratching 3 inch wide holes into my nicely mulched backyard, is it :p
 
I went to look up Ric Nattrass' solution for this only to find he died last month. Queenslanders in particular listened to him on the ABC for many years.

Vale Ric!

He was passionate about wildlife and how to live with the creatures without harming them.
Yes, he was terrific, I frequently listened to him on 612 ABC on - I think - Tuesday afternoons.
 
Methinks you are in for a very frustrating time as these birds are programmed for one thing - that is digging, and they just love mulch! :D

Tell me about it! :D

The problem with having a vege garden in a dry spell is that your patch becomes the most desirable attraction for all sorts of life since it has been watered and fertilised regularly. The moist and fertile soil attracts worms and insects which attract bandicoots and now turkeys. Last dry spell the bandicoots dug little holes all over the place - and they're not trained to avoid new seedlings. :mad:

When the wet conditions return they seem to spread out again as the surrounding bush springs to life once more and our patch is not the only place where the wildlife can burrow or scratch for a meal.

The weather forcasters have predicted heavy rain for the past 2 days. We have had about 5mm and the sun is now shining. :(
 

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I went to look up Ric Nattrass' solution for this only to find he died last month. Queenslanders in particular listened to him on the ABC for many years.

Vale Ric!

He was passionate about wildlife and how to live with the creatures without harming them.

You might get some good info for this by searching on his name because many people used to ring him with this problem.

Wow, I had no idea he had died. I loved listening to him on the radio.What a sad loss. Hopefully his passion for wildlife will be passed on to a new generation of wildlife advocates. My condolences to his family.

Mike.
 
The Turkey is back!!

Well nearly 1 year on and the bugger is back.:eek:

Nested very quickly and conveniently while we were away for 10 days a few weeks ago. Alll the mulch is again been scratched up off the garden and paths and deposited under the same jackfruit tree. Haven't got the heart to stop him now as there may be a youngun or two buried deep in that mound. Will just wait again for a month or two until the eggs hatch before retrieving all our mulch back. It will be nicely composted by then so it can feed our spring vege crop. :D

At least there's plenty of moisture around at the moment so the soil is remaining moist without needing any mulch. :)
 

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good to hear you've decided to just let them become part of your backyard. imagine if everyone turfed them out of their yards - there'd be no more brush turkey's. must be exciting watching for the chicks.
 
I'm a bit of a softie when it comes to animals, Lizzie. Being a dad myself, I understand the stresses of looking after younguns. ;)
This turkey doesn't need any additional challenge against its coming baby. My life is blessed compared with his.
So what if I can't have mulch on my veges for a couple of months. :)
 
Be prepared for carpet pythons, black and brown snakes, and very large goannas to start hanging around. They love the eggs and chicks.

As someone said earlier, the best solution is to trap and translocate.
Their numbers have exploded in metro Brisbane in the last 5 years, and there's just too many for the carrying capacity. It isn't in-humane to recognize that.

A neighbor who used live next door in Taringa, Brisbane was hospitalized several times due to the dust clouds stirred up by the turkey working its mound 7 metres from her bedroom.

BTW, are you sure it only visited at night? They aren't a nocturnal bird. They feed and work the mound during the day and sleep in trees at night. I've seen them scratch to work a mound for 5 hours pretty well non stop.
 
WW,
Last year I didn't see it around during the day so I assumed it came at night. This bird is very active during the day. We haven't got a lot of the birds around here so I am not too concerned. I could always put up some chicken (or turkey) wire fence around the main vege patch if it became a major issue. :)

Too right about the snake. I spotted one big python around my waterfall today - which is about 50m from the turkey mound. One of my resident water dragons was keeping a very close eye on it from a higher rock. A bit unusual to see the big fella around in the wet and cold.
 
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