Saturday, October 10, 2009

Young Turkeys

Despite poor parenting skills exhibited by the Wild Turkey hens earlier in the year, plenty of youngsters survived to increase the population. This flock totals 18 birds and comes through the yard daily to eat some corn and sunflower seed.

The squirrel zipping behind the turkey flock has caused the birds to temporarily stop eating as they assess a possible threat. Some of the squirrels launch themselves from the apple tree to scare the turkeys away from the food. The squirrels then have a couple of seconds to grab something to eat before the turkeys regain their composure and close back in.

A heads up posture is displayed when the birds react to an out of place sight or sound. That straight line shadow in the foreground is from our house. The turkeys no longer respond to the typical domestic activities going on inside.

The flock to which these birds belong contains 5 adults and 13 young birds. Judging by the disparity in sizes seen earlier in the year, I’m guessing there are young birds from at least three different clutches. Two hens and three second year males have been with the group all summer. I’ve seen some other similar sized flocks in the area and I’m wondering how many of these flocks will combine for the winter.

My record count for Wild Turkeys in the yard is 39. A few days after making that count, ODNR Division of Wildlife captured 17 turkeys as part of their relocation program. The following weekend I counted 37 turkeys in the yard. 39 – 17 = 37 just proves that turkeys don’t understand basic arithmetic.

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