WE’VE seen a lot of weird and dangerous things on the Fernleigh Track.
From scores of bearded dragons and lizards sunning themselves on the tar on the hottest days of summer, giant sticks, snakes, wedding parties posing for pictures, cyclists riding three abreast, that strong smell south of Redhead and a host of people with no awareness and/or no idea.
But this is a new one.
An Australian brush turkey (also known as a bush turkey or scrub turkey) was spotted recently taking over a section of the famous 15 kilometre stretch from Adamstown to Belmont, flicking a huge amount of leaves and dirt across the path.
Sam, from Redhead, who sent us in this picture, wanted to know what the turkey was up to.
“Just when you thought the roads couldn't get more dangerous for cyclists, now even the bush turkeys have it in for them,” Sam wrote.
“This one, on the Fernleigh Track just south of the tunnel, was busy making a speed bump of mulch this morning, much to the amusement of cyclists and walkers.
Just when you thought the roads couldn't get more dangerous for cyclists, now even the bush turkeys have it in for them.- Sam, from Redhead, wrote after encountering the busy turkey.
“Many Strava records missed this morning.
“Any bird watchers want to speculate as to the creature's motivation?”
It would appear that the brush turkey Sam spotted was a male and was making the compost in the name of love.
According to ABC Science, brush turkey nests or 'mounds' are the size of a car and are made up of soil and plant material.
Built by the males to attract a mate, they're essentially large compost heaps.
So large, in fact, that they take the hard working male about a month to create.
Just like a good compost heap, these mounds generate a huge amount of heat and that's what incubates the eggs — which is lucky because once the eggs are laid the mother is off, and the father only sticks around to defend the mound.
When the chicks have left the nest the leftover mound is a perfect bit of compost for humans to spread out over the garden.
The mounds are generally in use between August and February and you can be sure it's abandoned once you see seedlings growing on top.
So there you go, it looks like our brush turkey picked Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s most popular cycling thoroughfare to build a nest and woo a mate.
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