Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wild Turkeys and a Steam Shovel...Why?

Count 'em, 10 birds of the species, Meleagris gallopavo. I'm way the heck on the far, far side of the grain field but you'll note that I just got here and I'm already busted. Note number 2 from the left.

He must have called "Pit" or "Put put", the turkey alarm calls because all those heads have popped up and the legs of the bird on the left are going into action. Their species name doesn't include "gallop" for nothing.
Interestingly it seems to be a hen that is leading the group off to the left. On the right there seem to be several birds thinking about heading directly for the woods.

Still ten in sight. One on the right, wings slightly extended just did several wing flaps. I've begun to wonder if that may be a signal of some kind as well. And another over there almost looks like he is going into a display which is used to repulse other males (and attract females) but as he looks young, a jake with a beard but no red wattle, perhaps he's getting his strategies confused?

The only reddish wattle I see is the bird standing on the far right watching the others follow after the hen.

The other two birds who were on the right have gone directly into the trees beyond the steam shovel.
The Tom is still standing there as the others head across the field toward the thicker woods, far left, N. Behind the steam shovel and the turkeys, E., is only a thin strip of trees and some open area before it goes into another thin strip of trees and then houses.

The hen is still leading off and interestingly there are five now following her. The Tom, out of frame, is still watching as they go.

The hen who had been hotfooting it has now disappeared into the N. woods. She did not take the opening that you can see to the east.

The other five are now beginning to trot at an angle which will take them more speedily to the opening the hen took. The Tom who was watching has disappeared into the woods further south on the east side of the field.
And there they go.
I do wonder if the hen and the following five turkeys are the hen and five poults that I photographed in the summer crossing the road?
Donegal Browne

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