Completely unaware of being watched, a pair of Malleefowl have been practising courtship displays on their new mound. We're very excited that they've made their home in 6-year-old revegetation on our Monjebup North property in south-west Western Australia.
The circular pile of dirt appeared for the first time six months ago, and since then a perfect nesting mound has taken shape. From a mound of sand it's been transformed using large amounts of leaf litter, which the birds scratch in backwards using their strong feet – they're not called megapodes (big foot) for nothing!
These wonderful pictures were taken recently and show both birds displaying early each morning before going about their business of tending the mound.
Over the breeding season (August to March) they may move up to 300 tons of soils as they work to keep the mound temperature as close to 33 degrees as possible.
The camera will be left in place and hopefully around November we'll see perfectly formed baby Malleefowl emerge from the leaf litter before they scuttle off to dry their wings in the safety of the undergrowth.