Survival of the Fittest

Our population of neighborhood turkeys has dwindled. I’m sure some turkeys didn’t make it through the worst of winter weather but, also, about this time of year, late winter or early spring, the flocks divide into smaller groups… one of hens, one of young males, and older males in another group.  It’s been a tough winter for all wildlife and we’ve tried to help out our birding population as much as we can… and that includes our posse of turkeys.

Snow has drifted to just below the window in the kitchen, which has allowed us to be eye to eye with these noble creatures as they feast on seed that we scatter. They are wary of us but hunger trumps caution.

Tom TurkeyThe dominate male gobbler, above, keeps a sharp eye on us at the breakfast table and when he feels he’s had enough, he gives a silent sign and the flock slowly follows him through the shrubbery. We’re not sure how he does that. We think he watches us and the rest watch him.

We’re visited by 8 turkeys now, we think young males, from about 18 turkeys that visited us all fall. We watch this small group appear at dawn each morning, quickly devour the food we scatter the night before. They take the exact path each morning through a neighbor’s yard and across the road, then disappear up another neighbor’s driveway to their backyard.  I’m sure our small posse takes the same route because a generous soul has a laid out another breakfast course for them.

Turkey hunting season approaches in New Hampshire in May. We hope you fare well, young gobblers!

5 thoughts on “Survival of the Fittest

  1. Must share some facts about these majestic, tasty birds, which some are possibly uninformed about: spring gobbler season has perpetuated the species to above colonial levels, as biologists discovered that gobblers were eating their hen’s eggs, and killing their own young, just so the hen would go back into “season” for them again. The hunters diminish that risk, and voila, now almost too many birds! Nature is strange. Oh, game management has Never dessimated a species, rather, propagated them. ( take your choice: starve, eaten alive by another animal, or a quick bullet.) Man Is a natural predator. Frank Perdue, I mean, Buck!
    ps: Love this blog!

    Like

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