Saturday, August 28, 2021

Thanksgiving Card Mode ACTIVATED

One of our sites is home to a sizable flock of wild turkeys (I have counted as many as twenty-one of the birds at one time), to the delight of staff and visitors both.  Yesterday, a large tom Meleagris gallopavo was in full Thanksgiving card mode, with his tail feathers spread out in a fan:

The effect is somewhat diminished because this is the turkeys' moulting season, so he is missing several tailfeathers.  It's great fun for the kids visiting the grounds, because the quills make wonderful, and free souvenirs.  I might grab one myself, there are online tutorials for making quill pens.


Richard said...

Go ahead and pick up a feather or two. I know people are saying that the turkeys are getting out of control.
Not my point of view.

They are pretty cool and yes they do terrorize people sometimes. No problem.
The Invasion of the Giant Meleagris is not on my bingo card.

Richard said...

Ok, i will be the boring guy at the party. I will remind you that even Ben Franklin was a fanboy for turkeys. I will tell how awesome and strange they are.
I was so happy when they came back.

Li'l Innocent said...

I read somewhere that wild turkeys were (and maybe are) considered challenging quarry by hunters because of their keen senses and repertoire of wily escape tactics. In another world from the pathetic overbred turkey-farm birds.

Apparently the toms look after their flocks just as top-rank roosters guard theirs. Did you see the delightful YouTube video a year ago or so, of a tom standing with tail spread in the middle of a local road (woods on either side) to halt traffic while his troop of six or seven hens and youngsters filed across ? He stood there until the last straggler made it, then folded his fan and followed in a dignified manner, allowing the waiting cars to proceed.
A similar drama can be seen at

Becks said...

We had a wild turkey in our yard a few months ago. It was the coolest thing. 17 years in this neighborhood and I had never seen a single turkey. He flew over the house and dropped into the back yard after walking up the street from my neighbors house. I have some very large dogs- 2 great dane/akita mix- and they were VERY interested in that visitor. Alas- the turkey was not impressed by my giant hunters and easily evaded them even after landing in the middle of the yard while the dogs were already out doing their regular yard patrol.