birding-aus Re: Brush-turkeys

To: Darryl Jones <>
Subject: birding-aus Re: Brush-turkeys
From: Laurence and Leanne Knight <>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 21:10:14 +1000
Darryl Jones wrote:
> Dear Laurie
> Someone passed your message on. You give a nice description of a very
> successful male - all that activity is associated with separate laying
> attempts by females and the interval of 2-3 days is about what we think is
> the interval between mating and egg appearence. The really strange thing
> about brush-turkeys is that the mating seems to occur immediately before
> the egg is laid, which raises some questions about sperm storage ect.
> As time goes on, the interval can increase and 5-8 days is not unusual: it
> seems possible that the amount of food available and/or the females
> physiological condition might cause this delay.
> You also described a third bird - very likely two females arriving with an
> egg to lay at the same time. There is, of course, no pair bond with this
> species - a male builds a mound and hopes to attract as many females as
> possible.
> Cheers
> Darryl
> Dr Darryl Jones
> Australian School of Environmental Studies
> Griffith University
> Nathan Queensland 4111
> Australia
> Telephone: +61 7 3875 7451
> Fax: +61 7 3875 7459
> Email: 
> Homepage:

Thanks for that Darryl,

As luck would have it, I happened to be looking out the back door when
the action was happening on the mound this morning.  The male had
carried out some minor excavations in the middle of the mound
[temperature testing I suspect] when a female rocked up and engaged in
some eratic scratching round the edges of the mound.  She then laid down
beside the male who promptly mounted - interesting to see that he
maintained an extremely firm grip on the back of the female's neck
during the process.  The female then proceeded to getting on with the
next egg laying.

On a different matter, my wife and I walked into the upper portals [Mt
Barney NP - best weekend bushwalking region in Australia] - there was a
metre long copper-bronze snake swimming around in one of the pools - it
had some substantial dark bands [faint] along its body, so I thought it
might be an off colour tiger snake [thought it seemed a bit on the
narrow side for a tiger].  The interesting thing is that it had
substantial pale lump on its snout - shaped a bit like a cowrie shell
[didn't look like a large tick or leech].  Any ideas?

Regards, Laurie.
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