Monday, November 23, 2009

lurking turkeys

we have been enjoying the cautious company of two wild turkeys, all summer long. They seem to be two males (which is doubtful) or two females with beards (some females do have them), or a friendly couple, one male, one female (one seems to be a bit larger than the other), who take long walks in the morning, afternoon, and early evening, foraging in the garden for whatever seeds and seed pods may have been left behind.

When startled they would launch into what I think of as synchronized running, much like swimmers indulge in, in the Olympics, but so perfectly in sync you have to realize at last how locked into the larger Brain these birds really are. Like starlings, all wheeling at once, turkeys follow each other in perfect step. Fascinating to watch.

But now that turkey season is upon us, I no longer see them. Now and then you will hear something that sounds a lot like a howitzer going off, here and there along the road below us, or deep in the woods. Ive not seen either of them for about two days, and this after a steady stream of visits for five months. Yes, they were just turkeys, but they were familiar. I miss them.


  1. "Like starlings, all wheeling at once, turkeys follow each other in perfect step. Fascinating to watch."

    Not so fascinating to watch when they're about 30 and they run after you with their threatening gobble-gobble...

    Well, have you seen them again?

  2. no, Laguna, not again, either singly or together. I understand the reality of wild turkeys; between coyotes and hunters a turkey's life is often very short.

    However, the hen turkeys now have begun to flock up for winter, and yesterday we saw ten of them on the front lawn, gleaning whatever it is they glean, for about an hour. Whether my two were among them, I have no idea. I like to think they might be.

    The wild turkeys we have here are truly wild, and have learned to be wily, cautious, and quick to run if they see humans. Barnyard turkeys are a bit different, bred for food, not for survival.