Thursday, June 01, 2006

wildlife report

turkey pictureWednesday morning I was surprised to see a small turkey in the high grass not ten feet off my back deck. Turkeys in the yard aren't uncommon, since we keep bird feeders, but they're usually under the bird feeders, vacuuming up sunflower seeds, shells & all.

So I was surprised to see it up the hill, pecking away at the tips of things. Of course I carefully backed away from the window and got my camera. When I returned, it spotted me and started making its way away, but it was moving slowly and I got quite a few good shots.

If you ignore the scrawny neck and head, turkeys are really beautiful birds. Their feathers sport a shiny iridescence that's surprising to people who may have only seen them in pictures, and there are striking patterns where their wings meet their back.

Later, after it had gotten out of sight, I let Simba out to chase a squirrel. Soon I heard an alarmed turkey sounding off up the hill a bit, but it didn't sound like Simba was chasing him (much loud flapping of very large wings would have signalled that) so I didn't immediately call him to come back. But then I heard some rustling in the grass. I had never heard that exact sound before, so I looked out the window and saw ... baby turkeys! Making their way to mama. She was sounding off to say, "Come to me! Danger!"

I immediately began calling Simba loudly to come in. He's never shown much interest in birds other than to flush them out of his way en route to more interesting four-legged prey, but these little guys couldn't fly away and I wasn't sure what he would do. Fortunately, he came running out of the woods from another direction, just happy to know that coming when called gets him a special treat. Whew!
Later, when I looked at the photos, I wondered if the little birds would show up in any of them. Sure enough! Here's the same picture from above, enlarged. They're a little hard to spot, but I found two little ones! Awwww! Click the photo to see it larger. There's a better picture of a baby turkey here.

(It'll be interesting to see what sorts of hits I get from search engines, with a title like "wildlife!")


Elise said...

We live a few blocks from a river where there are many wild turkeys. Often we'll see 5 or 6 birds walking around the neighborhood, crossing the streets, pecking at the lawns. They are gorgeous, aren't they?

paz said...

Oh, my! I was excersing in the park last week and saw a really big bird, unusual for the park. Didn't know what it was and we were both scared of each other. It's not until I see your photo that I realized that it was a turkey. Beautiful feathers. I can't imagine what it was doing in the park. I think someone dumped it there. The next day as I passed by the spot I saw it, it was no longer there.


I was thinking about posting its photo on my blog (I carry my camera everywhere, nowadasy). I'll see...