Friday, April 15, 2016

Big Yard Birds

This is the time of year when the size of the birds visiting my feeder suddenly increases.  For the past couple of weeks, this pair of Canada Geese has been making regular morning visits to my yard.  A lot of loud honking advertises their intent to make a splash down on the pond in front of the house.

They spend a few minutes eating some of the submerged greenery around the edge of the pond. 

I believe this pair is nesting near a neighbor’s pond.  Each morning and evening the geese fly a circuit around the area, noisily announcing the fact that this is their chosen territory and other geese should stay away.

After a few minutes in the water, the geese normally have a little foot race up to the feeder to gobble down some cracked corn.  However, on this particular morning, they have come to a halt at the top of the pond embankment.  For some reason, they are not running for the food.

Turkeys have beaten the geese to the feast.  A flock of turkeys generally has the feeding area all to itself.  The geese may be large, but they won’t try to move in on the turkeys.

Wild Turkeys typically spend the winter in the woods.  Once breeding season arrives, the turkeys suddenly show up back in the yard.  Hens, Jakes and Toms will travel in mixed flocks of 12 to 18 birds.  Sometimes two or three of these flocks will show up in the yard at the same time. It may be that food in the woods is becoming harder to secure or it could be that the turkeys are wanting to bulk up for their breeding efforts.  Whatever the reason, spring seems to signal the arrival of the big yard birds.  It also means I have to watch where I step when I go out to fill the feeders.

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