It's time for a Thanksgiving contest... Observant readers will notice that despite a superficial resemblance, these two birds are NOT turkeys, and are altogether likely to survive the day without ending up surrounded by cranberry relish. At least I hope so. However, they were the closest thing to a turkey that I could find in my collection.
So, here's the deal. The first person that can comment here with the correct common and Latin name for this bird species will receive a free, signed copy of my book, Living Light.
1. this bird does not live in the US
2. It lives on a really weird island
3. It is critically endangered
Happy Thanksgiving everyone....!
POSTSCRIPT : We have a winner! Paul correctly identified these birds as Maleos (Macrocephalon maleo), endemic to the island of Sulawesi (a REALLY weird island - look at your atlas). Maleos are megapodes, which means "big feet" which they use for digging in the sand. What makes them unique is that rather than building a nest, they bury their eggs and let the heat of the tropical sand and sun do the incubating (in some cases they use geothermal heat). When the chicks hatch, they climb out of the sand (!) and immediately fly off, their wings fully formed - never even seeing, or being fed by, their parents. An amazing story.