Alectura lathami Gray, 1831, Sydney, Australia. Two subspecies recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Scrub turkey, bush turkey, pouched talegallus; French: Talйgalle de Latham; German: Bruschhuhn; Spanish: Talйgalo Cabecirrojo.
23.6–27.6 in (60–70 cm); female 4.4–5.5 lb (1.98–2.51 kg), male 4.6–6.4 lb (2.12–2.9 kg). Large, mainly black, grounddwelling bird with bright red head and neck, males with either yellow or light purple extendable neck sac during breeding season. Chicks, born fully feathered, have a uniform color buffbrown to sooty brown, closely resembling quail.
East Australia, from Cape York to northern New South Wales.
Rainforest and closed forest.
Loosely social, males building and defending incubation mounds. Roosts communally in trees.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Generalist ground-forager, feeding on leaf-litter invertebrates and fruits.
Mounds constructed in July and are maintained until about December. Males polygynous, maintaining mounds (often two) in which females lay several eggs before moving to another mound. Up to 18–24 eggs; white and elliptical; laid by each female although a mound may have incubated up to 50 by the end of the season. Young extremely precocial.
Abundant and locally common throughout most of range, especially in southern Queensland where it is often a nuisance in urban gardens.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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