Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Tales II

2011 has been a good year for turkeys. I've seen quite a few. Here are the best sightings.

Winter Turkeys

January-March 2011 was very snowy in New England. We rarely saw any turkeys until February, when four big males (toms) slogged through the snow up the hill. These three top pictures are the turkeys. Click on all pictures to enlarge them.

Turkeys are just like people, so once they reached the road, they strutted down the easier-to-walk-down street. My husband and I had to wait until they decided to go back down the hill before we could drive down the road.

Spring Turkeys
This year I saw not one, but three mama turkeys and her babies (poults, but as we call them, turklets or goblets).

The first came in early June. This mama turkey worked overtime, because she had nine turklets. The first picture my husband took didn't come out very well, but we were fortunate she came back the next day. Here's a great picture (at left) of mama and eight of her nine goblets. The turklet in front of mama came out the best.

Two weeks later, another mama turkey came by. This one had three turklets. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture.

And at the end of June, along came another mama turkey with three goblets. Here's a picture at the right.

All these turklets were young and small, probably only a few days out of the egg. I've never seen a half-grown turklet. They had to eat somewhere as they grew up, but they never came to my yard.

Fall Turkeys

In October, a tom came to our yard and, for the most part, stayed all day. He ate the seed under the bird feeder, leaving only at night. I went outside and put some seed under the feeder for him. He ran away when he saw me, but not too far. And as soon as I returned inside, he came back and ate the seed. Here he is, on the left. In this picture, you can see the iridescence on his breast feathers.

For several weeks he came every day, except when it rained. The day I remember the most was a Saturday morning. I was asleep when I heard a loud squawking outside. At first, I thought a blue jay had attacked our feeder. Then I realized our turkey had arrived. I hadn't put any seed out for him and he wanted breakfast. Sometimes, these birds act true to their names.

One day as he was feeding, five of his friends showed up. After that, our turkey never came alone. He and his friends dropped by occasionally, but not every day.

But on Thanksgiving Day, the six toms celebrated the holiday by coming to our back yard, where I distributed seed for their dinner. Gobble, gobble.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thank you all,
My husband took all these pictures.


Kaye Manro said...

I really liked reading this and seeing the turkeys. Must be interesting to have them so close to your home. I think it's great that you fed them on Thanksgiving!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Kaye. And the six are out there right now, gobbling up my seed!

catslady said...

They must be such a sight. I love feeding animals. Since I feed ferals/strays I always have possum and raccoons too. I have one raccon that started coming out during the day and then one night she had two little ones with her. (I read later that they only come out in the day if they are pregnant or sick). She comes up to my back door and waits if there isn't food out there but only at night now lol.

Anonymous said...

It's great watching critters from the house. We live in the mountains so we've always got something coming through. I've set up my workspace so I can look out and see deer, and more as I write. Critters are awesome. Thanks for sharing your turkeys.

Linda Banche said...

Hi catslady. We have raccoons, too. We usually hear them thumping on the roof in the middle of the night, although once I saw one at the bird feeder in the middle of the day, like you did.

You're welcome, mystichawker. I'm with you, it's great to see all the critters.