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Australian brushturkey

The Australian brushturkey (Alectura lathami), also known as the gweela, is a common, widespread species of mound-building bird in the family Megapodiidae (the incubator birds) found in eastern Australia. It is a large bird with a prominent, fan-like tail flattened sideways, and its plumage is mainly blackish, but with a bare red head, and a yellow or purple wattle. The male's wattle become much larger during breeding season, often swinging from side to side as it runs. The male's head and wattle also become much brighter during the breeding and nesting season. The brushturkey is a clumsy flyer and cannot fly long distances, only taking to the air when threatened by predators or to roost in trees at night and during the heat of the day. This Australian brushturkey was photographed in Newington, New South Wales.

Photograph credit: John Harrison

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