Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Return of the Turkey Trots!


The turkeys have returned!
Not the ugly turkey vultures from last year, 
 but the wild turkeys!

A large flock have been trotting around our yard this summer.
You may remember our first encounter with the wild turkeys and hubby's trying to be sneaky and snap some photos, other wise you can find the story here.


Our population has definitely increased. We were really unaware until hubby saw some thrashing and movement in our front wooded area gazing out the window one day. Those first hurried photos did not turn out so well but he managed to capture them continuing on their wandering through the yard through the bedroom window that faces the back yard. Not as clear as he would like them, but not to bad through double panes of glass and a screen (and dirt!)

slowly trotting along the edge of the woods
click on any photos to enlarge, please ask to copy

Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) live in woods in parts of North America (pretty much in all of the lower 48 states) and are the largest native game birds found in this part of the world. They spend their days foraging for food like acorns, seeds, small insects, wild berries, salamanders and other small reptiles and snakes. They spend their nights in low branches of trees (yes, wild turkeys can fly!).

I'm right behind you mom!

The male Wild Turkey (gobblers, tom or jake [juvenile]) provides no parental care. After the female turkey mates (hen or jenny [juvenile]), she prepares a nest usually under a bush in the woods and lays her tan and speckled brown eggs. She incubates as many as 18 eggs at a time.  It takes about a month for the chicks to hatch.  When the eggs hatch, the chicks or poults will follow the female. Mom will stay on the ground with the poults until they can jump up into a tree. She feeds them for a few days, but they quickly learn to feed themselves. Several hens and their broods may join up into bands of more than 30 birds. Winter groups have been seen to exceed 200! I have seen large flocks in open fields, so far this band of 3 hens and 14 chicks are the biggest flock we have noticed in our yard.

It is fun and amusing to watch them trot around the yard either as a disarranged group or in single file. Hubby has often caught them by surprise when opening the door for his morning walk, as they are marching in front of the wild flower garden I replanted this spring ( that is doing horribly). He told me how funny it is to see them walk off and all the sudden a poult will pop out from under some flowers or large patch of grass and scurry to catch up to the group.


my photos are clickable to enlarge, 
please ask if you would like a copy

 Hubby has been keeping an eager eye for our large feathered friends to keep snapping pictures. These above were all taken on the same day. I will share more later as he captures them.

Be sure to link up to share your photos this week, and leave a comment or two and I will be sure to visit yours and comment as well.

 until next time ...

  Faythe

Did you know that like cats and dogs, turkeys are intelligent and sensitive animals who form strong social bonds and show great affection to others. Some wild turkeys that have gotten used to humans and even like having their feathers petted. I wouldn't doubt that hubby will see if he can lure them close enough to feed and try to pet one.
 

41 comments:

Texas Type A Mom said...

I wonder if turkeys will be the next domesticated house animal.

Uyen said...

we get these too...but we mostly get more of the turkey vultures.

Sandee said...

What a great history lesson about wild turkeys. I didn't know most of this either. Thank you.

Have a terrific day. :)

Diana - Teacher Mom said...

How neat!

Tricia said...

Interesting!

alissa4illustration said...

That's a cool site to see! My oldest Mica had a thing for birds. He loved peacocks the most it seemed.

Tammi @ My Organized Chaos said...

Ha!! Very cool!

Tammi
My Organized Chaos

alwaysbackroads said...

Nice shots of the chicks. And great information too! Thanks!
Donna

Amanda said...

I saw some chicks last week...first time actually, I usually only see the adults.

Candace said...

Those are so cool! We usually have more turkeys and wildlife but coyotes moved into the back woods so we have to get them out before we see our turkeys again

Christine said...

Wow, I love seeing wild birds! Are they really purple like that?

The Paper Princess said...

Wild turkeys are so cool! This is the first time I have seen purple ones. Thanks for sharing - fabulous post!

Ramona
http://create-with-joy.com

Dominique @ Dominique's Desk said...

That's so cool..turkey broods.. I only see the adult too and haven't seen them out in the wild before.

Bobbie said...

Oh wow! They are pretty!

kewkew said...

Wow, thanks for all that information

Indrani said...

Very informative post. Great captures with details mentioned.

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes said...

Thanks for teaching us about wild turkeys.

Aleksandra Nearing said...

Ahh! I do not like wild roving turkeys. Our neighbor raised some every year and released them and they ran around the neighborhood, jumping on top of cars, once they chased me and pecked at my legs. We live in suburbs of Atlanta, definitely not a place for turkeys!

Carrie said...

My husband would be thrilled. He keeps talking about wanting goats or chickens someday. Just think of the fun he could have with turkeys!

dogsmom said...

I learned a lot here today. I have heard the word Poult but never knew how to spell it or exactly to what it refers. Sounds French.
Wow- 18 eggs! No wonder they have to learn quickly to feed themselves. Domestic turkeys are not as intelligent. That is why many are lost during times of extreme temperatures. Leave it to humans to breed the smarts out of them and then complain.

Good luck with your new "pet" venture. (or rather hubby's.)

blueviolet said...

They're pretty, but yet ugly too!

Green Mama said...

That's cool that they are so close to you! I've never seen a wild turkey, but I have seen farm raised turkeys in trees. They look funny, huge birds hanging out all over the branches.

Brian said...

Gee, I didn't know any of that about turkeys, how very interesting!

Lorie Shewbridge said...

We haven't seen any wild turkeys in our area yet, I guess it is still too hot down here. I love seeing them in our back yard, too.
I love your photos, especially of the baby ones, they are just to precious. Thanks for sharing, I'll be searching your blog in the future for more. =)

Dee said...

We have wild turkeys here too. And AWWW at the babies!!

The Rheinlander's said...

I love the little one... how cute!! And I learned something today in regards to their socializing : )

Good Girl Gone Green said...

Oh the little guy is so cute!

Katie said...

I've seen them in both CA and MN!

Binky said...

Interesting turkey facts! And I thought they only came from the supermarket!

Marianna said...

We love watching the wild turkeys cross though our yard!

Brandy said...

Love Turkeys, but they make a mess. I like watching the little babies following the Mama or wandering off sometimes :-)

Xmas Dolly said...

Thanks for stopping by, Love. Hope you're having a great day!

Lorri said...

We've always had turkeys here since moving into the new house. They usually go walking around in the early morning or sometimes in the afternoon. They are fun to watch.

Au and Target said...

hey nice! I didn't know turkeys were purple. They look like big Borneo pheasants.

~*~ Melissa ~*~ said...

Great shots, thanks for sharing :)

Jacqueline said...

This is a great post on wild turkeys. I love to teach, so I recognize a teacher when I see one :)
Thanks for sharing the lesson! This is the first time I've linked up. Should this be a wordless post?

Grammy Mouse said...

Just an update... the turkeys are nor purple... I think the hue from the natural light & the photo edit makes it appear that way :) the hens are more in the brownish hues with a touch of glimmer in the feathers... so they blend into the woods & grassy areas they frequent. thanks for all the lovely comments! ~Faythe

Tony McGurk said...

Whoever would've thought Turkeys would eat snakes. Interesting Turkey info. I thought they were kinda purpley looking till I read your above comment.

Cassy said...

I love the color of the turkey's feather.

Cassy from Guitar Made Easy

Amanda said...

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Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This is such a great post! We get them in our yard sometimes but not very many. A few roads over though their yard is so full of them. I think they like it there because they have a creek.