Bird's Eye View

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Bird’s Eye View

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  • Laytonville Rock
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23 comments

  • A different sound than I had in mind! Ol’ Tom sure has big eyes!

  • Kym, I have a funny turkey story.

    My parents, who are retirees and practice amateur farming in Texas, bought a couple of young turkeys last fall. For the usual reason.

    But my sister, who is a badass and not usually a bleeding heart, “rescued” Sue-Ann and Charlotte from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Now she has these two full grown turkeys in a pen in her back yard.

    She loves them as pets, and I hear developments, updates and accomplishments in emails. For example, not too long ago, Sue Ann turned out to be a tom.

    Then most recently, my sister woke up in the early morning and a huge flock of wild turkeys were gathered outside the turkey pen. Just hanging out, occasionally flashing a fanned tail and flirting or whatever. They stayed there all day, and returned the next day.

  • I recognize the trees in the background are local, the turkey is a newcomer, but that sound track has me baffled. I recognized a tom and a hen turkey, but some of the other sounds ain’t from around here!

  • A post I can comment on! (I haven’t felt like I could comment on the previous ones.) Now what to say…so ugly it’s cute? It is a very nice capture, Kym. The turkey is sharply focused and the dof is fantastic. Well done!

  • my oh my Mr Turkey – what big eyes you have!

  • Great picture! I love it. And the sound track really makes you feel like you are right there.

  • a turkey! zippy (my little yorkie) has a funny turkey story and one that makes me laugh every time i think of it 🙂

  • Kinda ugly critters aren’t they? Great capture though Kym – the eye is right where it should be in the photo and draws attention immediatly. The last time I saw wild turkeys was in December. Several of them were strutting around in a vacant lot accross a busy street from a Walmart! Go figure…

  • Those of you who picked up on the sound difference are correct (Ernie, I’m not surprised. Bluelaker, awesome!). The recording is from one of the Carolina states. I tried to find a local recording but ran out of time. I wanted to be outside gardening!

    Indie, The wild turkeys were trying to lure the captives into the wild. I wonder whether they would survive?

    Michael, Thank you. They are really ugly with beautiful coppery feathers though.

  • Great picture – wild turkeys are gorgeous, and always a thrill to see! Thanks Kym, wonderful job.

  • as ernie noted…he is a young male, a jake. his snood and wattle are undeveloped and his caruncles are small. as far as we can see, no “beard”…that dangling frontal feather “dread” that is on mostly males (yes there are bearded hens!).

  • Kym… A great soundtrack… I have the impression the recorder was using a turkey call of some kind. I’m always amused when I see magazine accounts of the great skill and difficulty of wild turkey hunting.

  • Ben, I wonder whether our “wild” turkeys having been introduced into a countryside partially denuded of predators aren’t as wily as real wild turkeys. But the ones around here don’t seem particularly hard to hunt, for sure. I wondered about that soundtrack, too but they didn’t proclaim it as such so I decided maybe the difference I was hearing was a southern accent!

    omr, thankyou. I couldn’t figure out what that Unicorn thing was on so many of the birds. Now I know.

  • you are so welcome. this is the site for more than you wanted to know about turkey beards. i am always looking for a blond bearded turkey!
    did you know what hens prefer long snooded toms? (i don’t make this stuff up, i merely report it) : “During the breeding season, male wild turkeys gobble, strut, and preen their iridescent feathers, all to attract the attention of eligible mates. But apparently thesingle most attractive feature to females is not a male’s power suit or macho strut but his snood–a fleshy appendage above his beak that can stretch to twice its ordinary length during courtship. And not only do females prefer long snoods, but, according to Northeast Louisiana University behavioral ecologist Richard Buchholz, males assess the snood lengths of other males before engaging in battle. Buchholz placed two male turkey decoys three feet apart in asmall arena, each with a pile of birdseed in front of it. The decoys were identical in every respect–except that one’s snood was twice as long as the other’s. Buchholz then put 28 young male turkeys, one at a time, into the arena. Of the 21 duped by the models, 17 risked taking food only from the model with the small snood. Just 4 fed from the better-endowed decoy’s pile of seed. What’s more, in fights between live males, Buchholz found that only snood length–which may in part be determined by a bird’s testosterone level–was a good predictor of victory, more reliable even than weight.’ http://ecology.botany.ufl.edu/ecologyf02/turkeysex.html

    and of course, a bigger redder brighter wattle is a chick magnet.

    boy does this give me some ideas….

  • ‘this is the site’ is the link for beards as your cursor will tell you.

  • You know what they say, “Big Snood, big feet…

  • Ernie, I’m shocked!

    Omr, Thank you double. I’ve learned even more. I just flaunted it to my husband who always knows more than I do about wildlife–but this was new to him.

  • Elsewhere, that same scientist informs us that “….. the brightly colored, bare head of the male wild turkey (which is crucial for maintaining sublethal body temperatures under warm ambient conditions and during physical exertion),..” extrapolating interspecially is often specious but… do you suppose that us fellas losin’ our hair have an evolutionary compensation that demonstrates our life of hard work,… and gettin’ in hot water frequently?

  • Interspecially speaking, I suspect that a long snood would work exponentially backwards to that of a turkey unless, of course, wearing a snood, could possibly be construed as manly…nah, I’d stick to the hair loss. Kojak was sexy.

  • “Ernie, I’m shocked!”

    Big snood, big feet… big wattle. I apolagize Kym I should have been more specific.

  • Nice photo Kym. Is that a captive or wild turkey?

  • Wild but not native. They were introduced here about twenty years ago.

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