Lane Cove Council Takes The Lead on Brush Turkey Education

This week Hornsby Local Council refused to fund a programme to educate their residents on Brush Turkeys and how to live with them.  It looks like Hornsby Local Council is burying its head in the sand.

In 2016 Australian Geographic published an article on the March of the Brush Turkey and how the turkeys are taking over the east coast of Australia.  Brush Turkeys are now a common site in Lane Cove and to the credit of the Lane Cove Council, they have decided to educate residents on how to live with the birds.

What is a brush turkey?  According to the NSW Office of Heritage and environment:

The brush turkey is easily recognised by its:

  • deep blue-black plumage
  • bright head colours
  • broad, flat tail
  • general turkey-like appearance.

The bird’s wattle (a fleshy lobe hanging down from the base of its neck) varies in colour with its age, gender and location. In the southern parts of its range, the male brush turkey has a bright yellow wattle, while on Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland its wattle is light blue. Females and younger birds have dull yellow wattles.


Brush turkey chicks look much like quails, with plain rich brown feathers over their entire bodies. As they mature they lose the feathers on their heads and necks, where the bare skin turns a deep pink colour.

Last year the Lane Cove Council held a seminar on Brush Turkeys and it was a full house.  One of ITC’s friends went to the seminar and loved it. The seminar was called Living with Brush Turkeys and provided tips on how to live harmoniously with the Brush Turkey.  The speaker was expert Ann Goeth, author of “Mound Builders”.

Here are some tips for you to live harmoniously with the bird that is either loved or loathed. (Source:  ABC Five Reasons to Love Brush Turkeys)

  • To discourage brush turkeys in places you don’t want them, dismantle any sign of a nest before it gets established.
  • Don’t feed the birds.
  • Build fences around your garden beds.
  • Brush turkeys are encouraged by thick rainforest vegetation and leaf litter – they also need a lot of space for their enormous mounds.


The Lane Cove Council has produced a two-page pamphlet on how to live with Brush Turkeys and you can download it here.

So what is your view do you love them or hate them?  Was Hornsby Local Council correct in ignoring them?


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