Orange-footed Scrubfowl

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Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Megapodius reinwardt

Size: 40-50cm. Ground bird about the size of a domestic fowl.

Dark chestnut back, underparts and back of neck dark grey. Can appear black in dimly lit rainforest. Short pointed crest on head and short, thick orange legs with large, strong feet.

Will fly (clumsily) when disturbed and to roost at night.

Call: Loud, deep gurgles, chuckles and screams both day and night. Loud territorial calls and often several birds calling.

Breeds: July-March.

Eggs: 6-12 cream/white to pink or brown.

Nest: large mound built up of plant matter from the rainforest floor. May be several metres wide and used by more than one pair. Nest is worked on all year. Both sexes share building and maintaining of the nesting mound.

Eggs laid singly in individual tunnels to 2m deep in the mound when temperature of mound reaches 33 ºC. Incubation is approximately 45 days. Chicks hatch after cracking shell with their strong feet and make their way to the surface over a two or three day period.  They emerge as fully formed independent beings, able to fly very short distances. They are ignored by the parents, and in fact, actively chased away from the area.

Habitat: Mostly rainforest and mangroves. Found throughout coastal districts of northern Australia in rainforest, mangroves, monsoon forest and other heavy vegetation.


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