As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 16 September 2019

Survival of the chickest: the unlikely battle of the urban brush turkey

Australian researchers are trying to understand how the birds, which receive no parental care, survive against all odds in big cities

Mon 9 Sep 2019 05.39 BST Last modified on Mon 9 Sep 2019 05.40 BST

The chicks are considered “hors d’oeuvres” of the bird world and now Sydney scientists need public help trying to understand how brush turkeys survive against the odds in urban environments.

Brush turkeys’ six-month breeding season kicked off in July and a team of researchers from the University of Sydney and Taronga Zoo have put out a call for community sightings of nesting mounds, breeding activities and chick hatchings across New South Wales and Queensland.

John Martin, an honorary associate at the University of Sydney, said the birds use an ancient nesting method of laying eggs in mounds and the heat of decomposing vegetation incubates them ahead of hatching.

Similar to sea turtles, the chicks receive no parental care, Martin said.

“If you think about the urban environment with cats, dogs, foxes, roads, birds of prey, snakes, not to mention kids, it seems unlikely that they would be an urban survivor,” he told Guardian Australia.

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