The Waigeo Brushturkey (Aepypodius bruijnii) is a ground-dwelling bird that is native to the island of Waigeo in Indonesia. Also known as the Biak Brushturkey, this large black bird is a member of the megapode family, which is known for their unique breeding behavior.
The Waigeo Brushturkey typically grows to around 48-50cm in length and weighs between 800-1000 grams. Their feathers are entirely black, except for their naked, red heads and a small patch of white on their lower backs. Males are generally larger than females.
These birds are famed for their breeding habits, which are highly unusual. Unlike most birds, which use their body heat to incubate their eggs, megapodes use the heat generated by natural sources such as decaying vegetation or volcanic vents. The Waigeo Brushturkey builds mounds of decaying vegetation or sand, which it then uses as a nesting site. The heat that is created by the decomposition process is used to incubate the eggs, which are laid directly into the mound.
The Waigeo Brushturkey is typically found in forested areas and often feeds on the ground, using its strong legs and powerful bill to dig for food. Their diet primarily consists of seeds, fruits, insects, and small invertebrates.
Despite being a relatively common bird on the Island of Waigeo, the Waigeo Brushturkey is considered to be a vulnerable species. Habitat destruction, hunting, and the collection of eggs for consumption are all significant threats to the species. Conservation efforts are currently underway to protect this unique bird and ensure its survival for generations to come.