A Case of Mistaken Identity

On occasion a member of the public will mis-identify a wild bird, but we were surprised to find a renowned ornithologist also made this mistake!

During a nesting survey on the Sunshine Coast, he found a young bird being harassed by a hawk. The ornithologist arranged for the bird, which he identified as a young blue grouse, to be brought to us for care. We had never raised a young grouse before and, after a few weeks, were surprised to see the hint of red appear around his neck area. The young bird continued to grow…. and grow ….. and grow! He changed colours from greyish to speckled brown (was he a ruffed grouse?) to black.

What was he? Soon it became apparent, our young blue grouse was in fact a male TURKEY! Now weighing in at 40 lbs. “Ricky” has become the mascot of the Centre. He follows everyone around in our large aviary and loves a hug! He has even persuaded some people to stop eating turkey – a 40lb turkey can be pretty persuasive!