I would think it’s a dangerous time of year for wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) to be wandering around in the open. Most of us have plans for their domestic cousins to be the Thanksgiving feast… but there are many who prefer wild turkey on the menu.

We’ve watched our little flock of 30+ turkeys for weeks as the juveniles have fattened up with several families banding together in the protected wooded areas surrounding our neighborhood. They slowly strut in single file down driveways, across lawns, along the edge of roads and back into the cover of the woods. They will saunter to the berm for cars but hardly move for people unless you approach too close. I’ve heard of Toms attacking joggers or mail trucks during the breeding season but our turkeys seem to be very well-behaved…. so far.

This morning they were foraging for acorns on the roadside near us.  I walked out but not close enough for a good photo. Only a male raised his head and seemed to pay me any attention. The iridescence of their feathers was beautiful in the sunlight but, when they entered the woods, I was amazed at how quickly they disappeared into the camouflage of leaf litter. Fare well, feathered friends.

Wild Turkeys

6 thoughts on “Gobblers

  1. Mark Trail spoke of this bird today, and gave much credit to the NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) through wildlife management, bringing them from 30,000 in 1930, to approximately 7 million wild birds today. Some inhabit every continental state but Alaska.
    Would that all creatures could “live free or die.”


    • It is an amazing comeback for these birds. I recently read that flocks have taken over Staten Island in NYC, stopping traffic and ruining gardens, roosting in their yards… real turkey tension!


  2. Remember they eat more than acorns. They are omnivorous like man, and eat everything in their path: quail eggs, baby quail, baby turtles, etc; and I’m sure just about everyone knows that the toms break up their own nests, and kill their own bitties, just so the female will go into heat again ( for their pleasure.) Once biologists discovered this, the introduction of “spring gobbler season” is one of the main reasons for the proliferation of this magnificent bird. Nature can be stranger than fiction.
    Need to mention also that I have personally experienced that these fowl have a twenty times better chance of survival in front of most gunners, (who are the best environmentalists,) myself included, than those birds who eat the ‘rose petals’ of Frank Perdue!
    Live free or die.


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