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Orange-footed Scrubfowl

(Megapodius reinwardt)
Alternate name(s): "Jungle Fowl", "Sooty Scrub Fowl"
Aboriginal name(s): "koogerri"

Size: 40-50 cm
Weight: 0.55-1.2 kg

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Orange-footed Scrubfowl at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "tumulus"


Sex unknown

Frontal view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Frontal view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl issuing its call (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, December 2017]

Lateral view of Orange-footed Scrubfowl foraging in leaf litter (photo courtesy of S. Kirkby)
[Near Darwin, NT, August 2011]

Dorsal view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Near-frontal view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl on its roost
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl on its roost
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]


This appears to be a headless immature Orange-footed Scrubfowl; the hapless bird had fallen prey to a Grey Goshawk
(photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Botanical Gardens, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Race "castanotus"


Near-frontal view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Julatten, QLD, July 2018]

Near-lateral view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Kingfisher Park, Julatten, QLD, November 2018]

Near-lateral view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Carmila, QLD, September 2019]

Lateral view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Cairns, QLD, March 2015]

Lateral & dorsal views of Orange-footed Scrubfowl (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cattana Wetlands, Cairns, QLD, November 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Feb Eggs: up to 15 Incubation period: ca. 50 days Fledging age: N/A

Nest building: Male (& female) Incubation: N/A Dependent care: N/A


"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Mound Material: Leaves, debris, soil Height above ground: N/A

Orange-footed Scrubfowl have the largest nesting mounds of all Australian birds, up to 3 m high and up to 10 m in diameter, although usually about half as high and about 7 m across. Mostly the male maintains the nesting mound all year round. Once hatched, the chicks dig their way up through the debris of the mound and are independent and on their own right from the start.

Orange-footed Scrubfowl nesting mound at the start of the breeding season
[Fogg Dam NR, NT, August 2014]


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 90 x 50 mm Colour: Light-brown Shape: Long elliptical


Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair

Like Australian Brush-turkeys, male Orange-footed Scrubfowl are "obsessive-compulsive scratchers".

Orange-footed Scrubfowl are usually out and about at the crack of dawn, when one can best hear their strong calls
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Orange-footed Scrubfowl pairs defend their territory vigorously...
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

... which can at times lead to minor air crashes
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Food, Diet

Orange-footed Scrubfowl feed on seeds and fallen fruit, but also on invertebrates they find in and on the ground.

Frontal view of an Orange-footed Scrubfowl searching for food in loose soil under a tree
[Darwin, NT, August 2014]


For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

ofsfowl_20140820.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
Contact call(?) © MD
ofsfowl_20140820_2.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
Pair Q&A © MD
ofsfowl_20140820_3.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
Pair Q&A © MD
ofsfowl_20140816.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
Territorial call? (crack of dawn) © MD
ofsfowl_20140818.m4a tumulus
(Pine Creek, NT)
Territorial dispute? © MD
ofsfowl_20140816_2.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
Pair Q&A (crack of dawn) © MD
ofsfowl_pb_20180524.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
? © PB
ofsfowl_pb_20191023.m4a tumulus
(Darwin, NT)
? © PB
ofsfowl_mm_20190915_2.m4a castanotus
(Carmila Beach, QLD)
Territorial calls? © MM
ofsfowl_mm_20190915.m4a castanotus
(Carmila Beach, QLD)
? © MM
wonga_mm_20190915_bkgd.m4a castanotus
(Carmila Beach, QLD)
? (with Wonga Pigeon) © MM

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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