17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Brushturkey For Kids

There are so many fun brushturkey facts to know and learn about! How many of them did you already know?

There are so many unique animals in Australia, one of which is the brushturkey. The brushturkey is a medium-sized bird found in the forests or a bush in Australia. It is usually found living in forests or dense jungles. Still, since the Australian habitat is mostly arid and semi-arid with dry patches, it can also be seen on mounds and small hills in these regions. It is also sighted particularly around the outskirts of Sydney and other neighboring areas. There were concerns that this bird might be close to extinction, which is why the country imposed restrictions on hunting them. Since then, the population has increased a fair bit, but they continue to be protected by the state lest they fall below the needed numbers again.

Do you want to learn more about this wonderful creature? Then all you have to do is scroll on to read ahead! There are other wonderful animals around for you to know all about, such as the turkey and sea eagle.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects and rotten fruits

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

4.5-5 lb (2-2.6 kg)

How long are they?

23.5–29.5 in (60–75 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Brown-black and red

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Habitat loss by humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them








Scientific Name

Alectura lathami





Brushturkey Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a brushturkey?

The brush turkey (Alectura lathami) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a brushturkey belong to?

The Australian brush turkey, Alectura, belongs to the class of birds.

How many brushturkeys are there in the world?

The Australian brush turkey is the largest known member of the Megapodiidae family and one of three species found in Australia. This family contains 21 species. Brushturkeys birds are now rather widespread, but they were formerly thought to be on the verge of extinction. The wild population of argus pheasants (same order birds of brush turkey) can number up to 100,000 individuals.

Where does a brushturkey live?

The Australian brushturkey lives in the rainforest. The distribution of the Australian brushturkey stretches through the Cape York Peninsula in the north towards the northern city of Sydney and the Illawarra region of New South Wales in the south.

What is a brushturkey's habitat?

The Australian brushturkey owning yellow wattle prefers moist sclerophyll woods and rainforests, but it also lives in arid bush and open places. The Australian brush turkey is more frequent at higher elevations in the northern half of its range, although birds migrate to lowland habitats in the winter. Brush turkeys are now abundant in urban areas and can be found in gardens also.

Who do brushturkeys live with?

The brush turkey (Alectura lathami) birds are gregarious and build cooperative nests. A dominant male, one or maybe more adolescent males, and numerous females make up a normal group. They make enormous nests out of leaves and other combustible materials on the ground.

How long does a brushturkey live?

Australian brush turkey Alectura birds having black feathers longevity is approximately 10 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Like other megapodes, these birds construct a big nest on the ground out of leaves and other biodegradable materials. A dominant male constructs the mound building. This mound building is then visited by a succession of nearby females for mating and egg-laying. The male is a tireless worker. The eggs are huge, and young remain fully blown on hatching. Once the feathers are dried, the chick may fly within hours of hatching.

The eggs hatch due to the heat of decomposing mound, controlled by adding or subtracting material to keep the temperature constant. Mounds are typically 6.5-13.1 ft (2–4 m) in diameter and 3.2 ft (1 m) in height. These mounds are maintained by male species only. By putting its beak into the mound, the Australian brushturkey examines the temperature. The sex ratio in chicks is affected by temperature - there is temperature-dependent fetal loss in megapodes. Heavier, stronger chicks arise from warmer incubation.

From September-March, the average batch of eggs consists of 16-24 big white eggs. In certain cases, a single mound may contain about 50 eggs laid by several females. The hatching young must burrow their way out from the mound and look for themselves.

The koklass pheasant builds its nest on the earth. The nest is made of leaves and twigs and is formed under deep cover. The egg is a creamy-tan tint with brown markings. Following that, the chicks emerge and depart the nest after a few days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of brush turkeys (Alectura lathami) residing in eastern Australia is Least Concern declared by IUCN Red List. Megapodes species, collared brushturkey, and red-billed brushturkey have the same conservation status as Australian species.

Brushturkey Fun Facts

What do brushturkeys look like?

The scrub turkey is a huge bird with black feathers and a red-head. The purple-wattled brushturkey is a lesser subspecies than the more common nominate subspecies. Australian brushturkey birds have a large, fan-like tail flattened horizontally. Their plumage is mostly blackish, with yellow wattle and a bare red head (in the nominate subspecies) or purple wattle (in wattled species).

The males' wattles grow substantially larger throughout the breeding season, swaying from sideways as they run. During the nesting and breeding season, the males' wattles and heads become substantially brighter. In addition, white feathers cover the bottom of the body, which are more prominent in older birds.

The brush-turkey having yellow wattle and fan-like tail, is among three megapode subspecies found in Australia.

How cute are they?

With its fan-like tail and yellow wattles, this bird is adorable.

How do they communicate?

While normally a silent bird, the Australian brushturkey can be heard emitting mild grunts on occasion. Males have a loud three-noted call.

How big is a brushturkey?

The brushturkey length measures up to 23.5–29.5 in (59.6–75 cm). The average length of a wild turkey bird is about 30-49 in (76.2-124.4 cm). Therefore, the brushturkey is smaller than the wild turkey.

How fast can a brushturkey move?

Australian brush-turkeys may appear lethargic while scratching amid the leaves searching for food, yet brush turkeys can move quickly when startled. Brushturkeys are awkward flyers who rarely fly long distances, preferring to take to the air only when endangered from predators or perch in trees.

The spruce grouses (birds with the same order) often fly, such as from the ground to a branch or from a tree to the floor. Although their flight speed is unknown, they can claim that their trips are swift.

How much does a brushturkey weigh?

The average weight of Australian brush-turkey found in Cape York is between 4.5-5 lb (2-2.6 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females species of Australian brushturkey bird is termed male brush turkeys and female brush turkeys.

What would you call a baby brushturkey?

There is no specific title for the chicks of Australian brush turkey located in New South Wales.

What do they eat?

Birds of Australia (Eastern region), brushturkeys eat seeds, insects, and dropped fruits that they find by raking leaf litter or cracking open rotted logs with their big feet. Birds are occasionally seen feasting on ripening fruits between tree branches, but most of their food comes from the ground.

Are they dangerous?

Australian brush turkey birds are suspicious of humans in general. Therefore, brush turkeys are not suggested to be fed. However, brush turkeys (family: Megapodiidae) can devastate gardens by removing foliage, soil, and mulch to make incubation mounds. In addition, when scraping up the ground searching for food, the Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami) can damage gardens.

Would they make a good pet?

Brushturkeys, which belong to eastern Australia, are protected in most regions, and it is a crime to harm these wild birds. Therefore, it is not advised to keep this bird in captivity.

Did you know...

The Australian brushturkey is a delectable bird and one of Australia's best. Unlike most other native species, the scrub turkey bird was preferred as food by the Indigenous population. The main predators of brushturkey's eggs are goannas, snakes, and dogs.

The heat is produced by the breakdown of the plants in the mound. By digging holes and placing his bill into the mound, the male Brush-turkey monitors the temperature. He subsequently adds or removes sheets to the mound to maintain the ideal temperature of 91.4-95 F (33-35 C).

Brush turkeys in northern Queensland migrate to lowland areas during the winter months to avoid the cold.

Can you eat brushturkey eggs?

The Australian brush turkey is occasionally hunted for food, particularly by aboriginal people as part of their diet. Their eggs are occasionally consumed.

Are brush turkeys aggressive?

The Australian brushturkey can grow accustomed to people and become fearless. However, even when the public feeds them, they become hostile. Brush turkeys have been known to attack and mate brutally with domestic hens.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Nicobar pigeon facts and great grey owl facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable brushturkey coloring pages.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
No items found.