The pelican sits on the pole adjacent to the Fish Market, his eye on the alert for fish
The Australian brush turkey or Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), also frequently called the scrub turkey or bush turkey, is a common, widespread species of mound-building bird from the family Megapodiidae found in eastern Australia from Far North Queensland to Illawarra in New South Wales. The Australian brush turkey has also been introduced to Kangaroo Island in South Australia. It is the largest extant representative of the family Megapodiidae and is one of three species to inhabit Australia. Despite its name and their superficial similarities, the bird is not closely related to American turkeys, or to the Australian bustard, which is also known as the bush turkey.
They build large nests on the ground made of leaves, other combustible material and earth, 1 to 1.5 metres high (3-4.5 ft) and up to 4 m (13 ft) across. Mound-building is done by a dominant male, and visited by a succession of local females, for mating and egg-laying. The male works tirelessly, collecting material from all around, and also diligently repelling rival males, who are keen to usurp his position. The effort involved eventually wears him down, and he will ultimately be defeated by a new king.
Brush Turkey eggs are a favourite food of goannas, snakes, and also dingoes and dogs though brush turkeys were also a staple of Aboriginal Australians. Often goannas exhibit wounds on their tails from having been pecked by brush turkeys who ferociously chase them away from their nests.
In situations where they come into contact with humans, such as picnic areas in national parks and suburban gardens, brush turkeys exhibit little fear and will often boldly attempt to steal food from tables and raid compost bins.
The common myna (Acridotheres tristis), sometimes spelled mynah, also sometimes known as “Indian myna”, is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) native to Asia. An omnivorous open woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments.
The range of the common myna is increasing at such a rapid rate that in 2000 the IUCN Species Survival Commission declared it one of the world’s most invasive species and one of only three birds in the top 100 species that pose an impact to biodiversity, agriculture and human interests. In particular, the species poses a serious threat to the ecosystems of Australia where it was named “The Most Important Pest/Problem”
Like most starlings, the common myna is omnivorous. It feeds on insects, arachnids, crustaceans, reptiles, small mammals, seeds, grain and fruits and discarded waste from human habitation. It forages on the ground among grass for insects, and especially for grasshoppers, from which it gets the generic name Acridotheres, “grasshopper hunter”. It however feeds on a wide range of insects, mostly picked from the ground. It is a cross-pollinator of flowers such as Salmalia and Erythrina. It walks on the ground with occasional hops and is an opportunistic feeder on the insects disturbed by grazing cattle as well as fired grass fields.
Often seen standing silently along inland rivers or lakeshores, or flying high overhead, with slow wingbeats, its head hunched back onto its shoulders. Highly adaptable, it thrives around all kinds of waters from subtropical mangrove swamps to desert rivers to the coastline of southern Alaska. With its variable diet it is able to spend the winter farther north than most herons, even in areas where most waters freeze.
He was in the mudflats at Russell Island….today, January 24 2017
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