April 2013 — The turkeys who live around me -two females and a male- , roosting for the night in the trees right outside my house. The male is on the right.
Every year there is a flock of wild(feral really) turkeys who spend the fall,winter and early spring hanging around where I live. I think they like the easy food source at a time when there is little around. They join the chickens at the scratch feed on the ground, and visit the part of the yard where there is seed for the wild birds. Once mid-spring arrives, they usually disappear into the woods and fields around me, and are rarely seen during the late spring and summer months when the females find a nesting spot, and a place to raise young. Occasionally during that time the male turkey will wander back up here, alone or with one of the younger females who isn’t setting on eggs, to hang around a bit, and eat some seed.
Each year the flock that returns here for the winter seems to be a different one than the year before for some odd reason. I am not sure where the others go. The flock this year consists of one male turkey and two females, one of them a light golden color which is quite beautiful, and a color I have not seen before here. I have grown particularly fond of her. She is not only beautiful with her striking golden plumage with the accent of white wing and tail feathers, but is also very friendly and curious. She is always interested in anything that is going on around here.
They have spent most of the winter and early spring roosting at night in the two large trees (in the pic above) that border the pond in my yard, which are right outside an upstairs window of a room I spend time in while working on things or on the computer. One minute they are pecking around on the ground in the early evening, and then without much preparation or warning, these big heavy birds, one after another, suddenly launch themselves almost from a stand still into the air at a straight diagonal up to a branch high in a tree When I glance out the window, or step out into the yard in the fading light of dusk, I get great pleasure, and I think even comfort, seeing them up there resting for the night.
It is the third week of May now, and already they have started to wander off more, and begun to roost sometimes in other trees further away. I miss them when they are not here. The golden female disappeared about two weeks ago, so I had hoped that she was sitting on eggs, but she has now returned looking quite pale which could indicate that she had been sitting on eggs. Since she is back roosting in the tree as of two nights ago, which she wouldn’t do if she had a viable nest somewhere, I wonder if her nest might have been destroyed by raccoons or skunks since turkeys nest on the ground, and because of that are quite vulnerable to nest predation.
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