Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Signs of Spring - Going Fast

My year has started out wrong and I don’t know what to do to fix it.  I spend the winter in anticipation of spring.  There are certain signs I look for that indicate spring is not far away and I feel energized each time one occurs.  My problem is that so many of my signs of spring have already been realized.  Salamander Breeding is always the first, but that happened back in December before winter really got started.  Next comes the Woodcock mating display, which is normally a February event.  I’ve had a Woodcock displaying since November and there are currently at least two males calling and spiraling in the field behind the house.  Now the turkeys have jumped ahead of the Spring Peepers and claimed the number three slot for signs of spring 2012.

Wild Turkey displays are typically an early March event.  I heard my first turkey gobble come from the woods on New Years Day.  They’ve been heard a few times since then and now they’ve come into the yard to show me that they weren’t just letting loose with a few stray gobbles.  The Toms are displaying with full vigor.  They’re going to be some mighty tired birds by the time the breeding season ends.

This looks like the scene of a sit-com.  The gents, dressed in their finest suits with matching red bowties, are falling over each other in their attempts to impress the lady.  “Hey Baby.  Hey Baby.”  She doesn’t look at all impressed.

Between displays, the Toms forage along with the hens.

But they’re all alert to the possibility that a hen might be receptive to renewed courtship activities.  If the Peepers start calling, I’ll just have to concede that spring has truly arrived.  Maybe I should start planting my garden.


  1. We can't fight Mother Nature, huh! Perhaps turkey dinner instead of ham for Easter?

  2. STEVE, I was watching gobblers strutting , and gobbling on DEC 1, 2011 while deer hunting, im still puzzled why they do what they do. you can be in total camo in the spring and they can see ya amile away, but in winter you can be in blaze orange an the turkeys will walk up an roost in the tree above you . amazing critters

  3. Hi Lois. You're right. We just have to accept what happens.

    Hi Mike. When I read what people wrote about turkey behavior 30 or 40 years ago, it's not describing the turkeys we have today.

  4. Yep, things are changing and all we can do is go with the flow.

    I like the Turkey comparison with guys wearing their finest suits. They sure look like it :D
    I've never seen wild Turkeys, that must be quite a sight!

  5. Hi Nicole. Wild Turkeys are certainly impressive birds and are always fun to watch.