Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wild Turkey Nest

The Wild Turkey nesting season is underway and I’ve stumbled upon a nest with egg number one of what should turn out to be a clutch of about 15. This nest was found too late to be included in my bird nest roundup.

I found the nest in this brushy corner of the field. While spraying some flags in the mowed part of the field and I got side-tracked by a passing butterfly that led me into the brush. As I was sneaking along, a hen turkey squawked, jumped out of the bushes and flew across the field. The only reason she would have let me get so close, was because she was on a nest. I found it in short order.

The older literature tells us that turkeys nest in mature woods, typically beside a fallen tree or stump. This site is in some trees, but it’s nowhere close to mature woods. About 40 feet up the hill is the township road, so this isn’t going to be a very quiet place to sit on a nest. Most of the turkey nests I’ve found have been out in the fields hidden among clumps of Indian Grass.

The dead leaves and overhanging shrubs do a good job of camouflaging the nest. If she had stayed still, I probably never would have seen the hen.

The nest is nothing more than a bowl produced by pushing leaves out to the side. A hen leaving in a more relaxed manner would move a leaf of two over the egg to provide more security. Hens that are scared from the nest normally don’t abandon the nest site. I’ll leave this area alone for a while to give her a chance to get her family started.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! what a find . It looks like they aren't much of what I would think as nest builder's, but on the other hand with the economy the way it is maybe some nice fine grass and a few feathers where no in the budget.:)