Three weeks ago I posted several photos of Brush Turkeys on nests. Three days later, I put this photo on my Facebook Page, showing the male watching his hen of the day digging hard, with both turkeys completely unfazed by the schoolchildren walking past.
But my recent focus has been on another turkey, the late starter in the Australian Catholic University. Four weeks ago he didn’t have a nest, but some rapid sweeping of the soil and leaf litter around his chosen site soon gave him a respectable mound. Not long afterwards, he began to attract a few females. The first one I saw was about 7 a.m. July 30th:
Soon she was hard at work helping enlarge the hollow for the new egg, and all seemed to go harmoniously:
A day later, again around 7:00 a.m. he was working on a second egg hollow with another hen:
However as he inspected the hollow, he didn’t seem impressed by her efforts:
He appeared to bully her back to work:
He still wasn’t satisfied:
She redoubled her efforts:
Success at last! And by the time the sun rose, the male could complacently view his nest.
August 1st – another dawn, another hen:
I didn’t check the nest on August 2nd, but that evening I saw a couple of hens topping up with seeds. Perhaps it put that extra bit of gold in their yolks!
Breakfast time on August 3rd, and there was another hen on the nest. This photo was taken just before I think she laid her egg— alas, I couldn’t see far enough over the parapet to witness the event!
No sooner was the job done than the male was shooing her off:
He then settled down to refill the egg hollow, and by 8 a.m. you wouldn’t know two turkeys had ever been digging there:
I expect the ACU turkey's nest will be visited by more females, probably keeping to their dawn timetable, but since one turkey is very like another, further photos won’t add a great deal. It would be wonderful to photograph a newly-hatched poult digging itself out, but the chances of my being present when that happens are slight. However for the curious, this is what a young poult looks like:
This turkey was also unconcerned about passers-by on the other side of the cyclone wire fence, with one exception. This was on August 3rd, just after he had chased off the hen, when a man came past with a greyhound on a leash. The turkey, perhaps puffed up by his latest reproductive success, ducked under the wire and gave chase. The dog was quite spooked and eventually the man had to shoo the turkey off. Unfortunately the tree in our front yard blocked any attempt to photograph the episode.