Australian Geographic

Well scrubbed up

THE MARCH OF THE BRUSH TURKEY

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LONGTIME WILDLIFE photograph­er Esther Beaton was excited when AG asked her to cover a feature on the brush turkeys encroachin­g on inner Sydney, and she says the assignment had some rewarding moments. “I usually have to work hard to get wildlife shots in the field, particular­ly when there is strange or interestin­g behaviour – that’s when animals are at their shyest and most reclusive. But, in this instance, it was almost too easy,” Esther says. “Brush turkeys in their mating craze are oblivious to just about everything. Nothing will stop their obsession with their mound and its opening/ closing schedule. You can virtually sit on top of it and the male carries on scraping, digging, chasing, fighting, laying and building as if no-one else is there.” Esther didn’t have to resort to a hide or camouflage gear, nor remote control switches or infrared devices. Brush turkeys are brazen and this time round Esther’s photograph­y assignment was relatively easy.

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