Once hunted for food and sport, the Brush-turkey disappeared from around major Australian cities and towns during the Great Depression (1930s). Over the recent decades the Brush-turkey has made a dramatic comeback, appearing even in the most urbanised suburbs of Sydney and Brisbane. How this forest bird has not only spread into suburbia but thrived in these highly altered environments is a complete mystery.
As populations increase, Brush-turkeys are raising the ire of many suburban homeowners as they forage and construct nest mounds in their gardens. The returned Brush-turkey populations in urban areas need to be better understood, especially as calls for their management increase.
This citizen science project aims to engage keen bird watchers and the general public to report sightings of Brush-turkeys. Their whereabouts, behaviours, communal roosts, and nest mounds are all of interest to researchers at The University of Sydney, Taronga Conservation Society, and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. The data collected will help scientists understand Brush-turkey distribution, behaviour, movements, reproduction, and habitat use in suburban areas and how these differ compared birds in their natural habitat.