Category Archives: Brush-turkey

Noisy Miner attacking a Brush-turkey

It’s a common sight in Australia, especially in spring: a small bird dive-bombing a larger one. The small bird is usually a Noisy Miner, although other types do it too. The larger bird can be a kookaburra, a raven, a cuckoo – you name it. In fact, Australian birds are likely to attack anything, including people.

On Thursday morning this week, I saw a Brush-turkey under attack from a Noisy Miner. The first couple of videos are in a fairly low resolution, because I was using my phone camera.

Late that afternoon I passed by the same spot, and the miner and turkey were still at it! Two very stubborn birds. This video shows why Australians who are fond of their gardens tend not to be so fond of the Brush-turkeys. You’ll see a cunning dive from the miner at one point too:

Eventually, the Brush-turkey decided discretion is the better part of valour and headed out into suburbia. I had my Canon camera with me this time, so you can see the turkey in full splendour:

Peace at last, although you can still hear the Noisy Miners heckling:

 The Noisy Miner:

Common name: Noisy Miner

Scientific name: Manorina melanocephala

Approximate length: 26 cm

The Brush-turkey:

Common name: Australian Brush-turkey

Scientific name: Alectura lathami

Approximate length: 60 cm


Date spotted: 27 November 2014

Season: Late spring

Location: Allambie, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: 33°46’18.0″S 151°15’42.6″E


Australian Brushturkey kicking up leaves

The Australian Brushturkey, also called a Bush Turkey or a Scrub Turkey, is a truly weird bird. This male is a lovely specimen: large, with a bright red head and long yellow dewlaps, officially called a wattle, hanging from its neck. I followed it round a corner, where it started doing what these birds are known and loved (or hated) for: kicking up the leaves and dirt with its big strong feet. They can make a real mess of your garden.

Brushturkeys do fly, though they’re a little ungainly in the air.

Common name: Australian Brushturkey

Scientific name: Alectura lathami

Approximate length: 75 cm

Date spotted: 6 November 2011

Season: Summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: -33.782572,151.255698