Is the
Is the "secretive” bush turkey our most accurate tool for predicting weather? Richard Mamando

STRANGER THINGS: Are these animals predicting something big?

IF THE scrub turkey's are anything to go by we may see a reprieve from the endless dry that has enveloped the region.

According to a Pie Creek farmer, who did not want to put his name to his theories, the turkeys are staying well clear of building their mounds near water sources, which any "old-timer” will tell you is a clear sign there might be something brewing in the skies.

And it's just one of many strange things that's been happening among our furred and feathered friends in the region, he said.

"I feel things are a bit different this year,” the seasoned avocado farmer said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if it there will be a big wet season coming.

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"The theory is if it's going to be a dry season the turkeys will build close to a creek or in a gully where there might be a bit of moisture coming- if it's going to be wet they won't go anywhere near a gully or creek.

"This year they are nowhere near the creek - they're way up the top of the mountain.

"The old-timers use the turkeys a lot and worked out they were pretty spot on. If they're starting to build now - we're only a few weeks away from storm rain.”

The flying fox have been one of many animals acting strangely in the region. This one was photographed in a tree in Gympie recently.
The flying fox have been one of many animals acting strangely in the region. This one was photographed in a tree in Gympie recently. Troy Jegers

He said August saw an influx of insects and birds on his property- with numbers peaking weeks earlier than usual.

Bats, who were desperately short of food were feeding during the day and flowers were flourishing earlier than their usual spring-triggered appearance also, he said, which last year happened before a series of storms in the Gympie region.

"I thought that was unusual. They don't usually come until it warms up and things come alive.”

University of Queensland associate professor Bob Doneley, who is an expert in avian and exotic pet medicine, believes the ability of animals to predict weather events was true, but largely unknown as to how animals did it.

"Are they picking up changes in the ozone, in atmospherics, in the earth's gravitational pull? I don't think any of us know the answer to that.

"Animals have a far more acute sense of smell, sound and sight. We've lost a lot of those sense through out own domestication - we don't need them - we just go to the shop for food.

"Tens of thousands of years ago we had many similar senses as animals do.”

He said changes in animal behaviour may be subtle and are sometimes only be noticed by observant people.

The veteran farmer said while instincts, when it came to farming and weather predicting were fading due to technology there were still things people could pick up on.

"Animals have normal patterns and then they do something different - you pick it up after a while.

"The old-timers did it better than we do - because we have too many technological things.”

He believes a wet season will return to the region given, also, the theory that there's a monsoon in Queensland at least once every five years.

"You need cyclones to come in somewhere in Queensland to stir up the atmosphere to get things going.

"We've had no cyclone come in on the coast and no monsoon up north in three years.”

"If we don't get a cyclone - we won't get the wet or a really cold winter.”

Gympie Times


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