These pictures were taken a few years ago and you can imagine how excited we were when we first saw these wild turkeys in our yard eating the birdseed that other birds scattered to the ground from the feeders (you can see the bird feeder hanging in tree above them).
|Turkey tracks all over the yard|
|Suet feeder in red bag on tree.|
These turkeys hung around our place for several weeks that year. You can tell they were enjoying their free dinners by all the tracks on the ground under the trees. Those are all turkey tracks. We tried not to scare them away when we got close to the windows to photograph them. It was such a delight to watch them. Big majestic birds!
The wild turkey is native to North America. The adult male turkeys are called Toms or Gobblers. They have a featherless reddish head, throat, and red wattles on the throat and neck. When a male is excited its head turns blue, when it is ready to fight the head turns red. On each foot is three toes in the front and a rear-facing toe in the back. Males also have a spur behind each of their lower legs. The males are quite a bit larger than the females. Their feathers are very colorful and include areas of red, copper, purple, green, bronze, and gold iridescence. Females turkeys are called hens. Their feathers are a lot duller than the males' and are mostly brown and gray. The turkeys' wing feathers have white bars and overall they have between 5,000-6,000 feathers.
They usually live in open woodland or wooded grasslands. They prefer hardwoods or mixed conifer (cone-bearing trees) and hardwood trees with openings such as pastures, fields, and orchards. You will most likely find them in forests of beech, oak, hickory, red oak, cherry and white ash trees. They will eat seeds, nuts, acorns, berries, insects, and roots. They usually eat in the early morning and late afternoon.
Their predators (both adults and young) are coyotes, red foxes, bobcats, cougars, eagles (except the adult male), great horned owls, and domestic dogs.
|Coyote Photo by Ted Link|
Well, that spring we had a mess on our hands from those turkeys. I had some perennials under the trees and ivy. They dug up the perennials from their scratching and just about destroyed all the ivy under that tree. The ivy is finally filling in after a few years, but the perennials never came back. If you have turkeys hanging around- that's great, just try keeping them out of your flower beds and/or move your feeder!
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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