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Friday, August 18, 2017

An Encore post from 2012

Thank you for all the comments on my last post which described this year's misadventures with the wildlife in my yard, specifically the bush/brush or scrub turkey. In 2012, we had a male turkey who had decided that the larger raised garden bed would be just a perfect place for him to build his nesting mound. When I suggested to DH that maybe we should move the bed to the front yard, he thought that that sounded like a lot of work...so he rang a company that is licenced to relocate wildlife...for a price! (It was $180 in 2012 but I suspect it might be more now)
Here is the post that I wrote 5 years ago!

Let's talk turkey...a bit of a drama in the vegie patch...

Bush or scrub turkey to be exact... Recently I wrote about having to put some trellis plastic around a garden bed to stop the bush turkey digging out the plants. Well, at that stage he was leaving the raised beds alone, but all of that changed in the last week or so. Each morning I would find at least one plant uprooted in the larger raised bed, and soil heaped up in mounds.

Then. on Tuesday morning of this week, this is the scene that greeted me when I went to water the vegetables. What a mess! This had been a garden bed with zucchini plants, thriving silverbeet plants and tomato plants. The turkey had 'raked' up leaf litter that was under the trees and shrubs on our back boundary and heaped it up in the raised bed. I tend to leave the litter under those trees as it forms a mulch for the trees but also provides cover for the lizards that live in our yard. 

The leaves were also mounded up at the end of the bed...in the photo below you can see the tradescantia plants that have been uprooted. These also grow under the trees at the back. DH and I picked up all the leaves mounded up outside the bed but it was a losing battle...when we weren't in the yard the turkey resumed mounding up leaves. He even started raking up leaves from my neighbour's macadamia tree  as well as scratching out any fallen leaves in amongst my bromeliad  bed under the jacaranda tree. DH and I decided that next morning we would buy some chicken wire to protect the garden bed.

pots, plants, twigs, fallen branches...all got raked towards the vegie garden bed
In the morning though, DH announced that he was going to contact 'Peter the Possum Man' a company that has permits to trap turkeys and relocate them to bushland. It was expensive but DH had decided that it was the way to go... So a young man came with a cage...which he placed on the 'mound' built by the turkey

He showed us how to 'set' it and explained how the trap was to be used. It had to be monitored at all times...if we went out we had to shut it. Now I wondered HOW the turkey could be enticed into the cage...what 'bait' for example??? But it was simple and ingenious how it all worked. The young man showed us how to slide a mirror in the back end of the cage...

Lol! Look there's another Maria !
The turkey sees another turkey and goes to investigate...and as he steps towards the mirror, the door slams behind him. We were shown how to take the mirror out when the turkey is trapped and turn it to the blank side and slide it back in. Then to help the bird calm down the young man left a knotted sheet to cover the cage. The young man then headed off to his next job and we went inside so the turkey would come back to his frantic raking. Within 10-12 minutes he was caught. Unbelievable!


We rang to say that the turkey was in the cage and eventually he was collected. His new home is bushland out Ipswich way...he should find plenty of leaves to scratch up there. I've lived with bush turkeys all my life but one had never chosen my yard for his mound before. It's said that that once they do that, you can never get rid of them or their mound. (The males build the mounds for the lady turkey to lay her eggs in. The heat of the mound incubates the eggs for eventual hatching, so we could have ended up with dozens of them next year !!!) 

4 comments:

margaret said...

what a good way to make a living catching thee pests! Good to read he was aught so quickly wonder how much it would be to have one removed these days

Cynthia said...

That was sure interesting. Australia has such unusual animals.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

We regularly redomicile LITTLE critters from our property to a nearby county park. Terry always jokes that someday we will see a parade of chipmunks marching back to wherever their home is in our back yard.
xx, Carol

phann son said...

How wonderful! I love the Powerhouse, and always go there when I am in Sydney. However the last time I was there was quite a few years ago.

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