Bush turkey, chook cross

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

BIRD watch­ers are in a flap af­ter the dis­cov­ery of what ap­pears to be a cross be­tween a bush turkey and a chook.

The grey­ish speck­led fowl with the bush turkey-like tail and the head of a chicken was found ear­lier this month close to a turkey nest on the bank of a creek near the west­ern Bris­bane sub­urb of Ash­grove.

A young male turkey was found nearby and is be­lieved to be friendly with the cross-bred fowl.

But it seems they have not pro­duced any eggs in the nest­ing mound.

‘‘The soil area has not been dug for quite a while — it’s mod­er­ately com­pact,’’ or­nithol­o­gist Tim Mur­phy from bird watch­ing group Birds Queens­land said.

A cross be­tween a bush turkey and a chicken ap­peared on a Queens­land farm about 20 years ago, but Mr Mur­phy has cast doubts on the ex­is­tence of an­other one.

‘‘A hy­brid is not im­pos­si­ble but ex­tremely un­likely in my opin­ion,’’ he said.

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