Posted by: debrakolkka | July 23, 2011

Don’t let the turkeys get you down

We live in a suburb very close to the centre of Brisbane, so it always surprises and delights me to see bush turkeys strutting about on their daily forages for food. They are very unpopular with some residents because they scratch up gardens in their food searches and really scratch up gardens when they build their nest mounds.

a turkey in a nearby driveway

We don’t have much of a garden and I am quiet happy to see them building their mounds at the side of our apartment, as they do on occasion.  They are not particularly timid, I suppose they are used to sharing their world with us, but they don’t let you get too close. They are usually in pairs for their wanderings and are quite comfortable with steps and verandahs.

checking out the steps

one goes up

and the other follows

at the top

practising some rail walking

I’m sorry the photos are a bit fuzzy, I was creeping around in someone’s front yard. I’ll never make a wildlife photographer.

I love to walk to the bus stop beside a local bush turkey. Long may they live in West End.



  1. Nobody catches them for making dinner? That would be the case in Italy…

    • Most people are happy to live with them. I think they might not be very tasty anyway – a bit tough.

  2. Unfortunately, I think they’re protected, so you’re not allowed to eat them. Nice photos Deb, but I have a few friends who’ve found them to be a right pest…

    • I think you might be right about them being protected and I can imagine they could be a real pest. I still think it is great they manage to live so close to the city. I’m surprised they don’t get run over by cars.

  3. I heard a very funny story about a man catching the nuisance turkey and taking it across the Brisbane river in his dingy, only to see another man doing the same thing in the opposite direction. Gotta laugh!

    • I wish I had seen that.

  4. I always find it a thrill to see scrub turkeys. When we lived by the river we would occasionally hear a curlew calling at night time – I loved that sound. I also love Liz’s story of the travelling turkeys!

    • I know they can be pesky little critters, but I like them. I also like the possums we have living here, except when they eat all my parsley.

  5. I can imagine how they’d be a nuisance, but I think this is actually one of the aspects of Australia that is so beguiling and enchanting to those of us who don’t live there and who have never even been there…the idea that there is all sorts of wildlife just there, right under your nose, reminding you that YOU are living where they live and not the other way around. I love it.

    • We also have possums living in the trees around our place and bats visit as well. Occasionally we get kookaburras, but not as often as I would like.

  6. Here in central California wild non-native turkeys are to be found everywhere, if not in wooded areas then in the suburbs; once in a suburban location they are known to chase bicyclists, motorcycles, cars, or anything they might deem as the enemy invading their territory… Since they aren’t protected quite often these critters end up as the guest of honor at the dinner table, not the most tender of meat.

    • These turkeys don’t seem to be particularly aggressive, but I’m sure they would protect their nests. They have adapted well to living in the suburbs.

  7. Turkeys!! Call me crazy, but looking at these photos made me hungry! Great photos.

    Check out my new photographs at the link below. Thanks!

    • I had a look at your photos – they are great.

  8. I must admit they “look cute” and I would be happy if they all lived at West End, especially when I see the damage they do in my 85 year old mother in law’s garden. She takes so much pride in her garden, and at that age its not easy. The destruction they have caused is heartbreaking for her and as they are protected can’t do too much about it. Last year she spent $300 to have someone who was certified to removed and relocated them finally take one away only to get a 3/4 move in!

    • Oh dear! What a pity they do so much damage. I can imagine how upsetting it would be to have your garden destroyed. I guess it is easy for me to say I like them as our garden is enclosed . I do get a bit upset when the hungry possoms eat my parsley.

  9. I remember being frightened by turkeys when I was little. I think they were almost my size when I saw them! Massive beasts 😛

    • I can see that they would be a bit scary for a little girl.

  10. Seeing these brush turkeys made me laugh……and made me homesick.
    The brush turkeys we had in our garden were not shy and it would be funny to see a couple here when it is snowing. They wouldn’t last long in the cold weather.

    • They are pretty tough, but I don’t think they would like the snow in Germany.

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