Thursday, May 7, 2009
Isn't It Romantic?
The light is low, mist is in the air, the mood is set, and the turkey's are hot to trot. The goings on outside the living room window are like a singles' bar. Three males are doing their best to get the ladies attention.Turkey males gobble and strut with plumage erect, tail fanned, head ornaments swollen, and wings drooping with quills rattling. Not being a turkey I can't say who the most attractive Jake is. Who can say if it's the over all size, the length of time he can manage to keep his tail up and fanned,the brilliant red neck and blue head, or the sexy shudder that turns the trick? From a voyeur's point of view it's all fascinating stuff. This morning the ladies ignored the displays. Eyes to the ground, they just kept on eating their buggy breakfast.
We have had numerous encounters with turkeys here. One early Spring day several years ago Ed was walking up to the field that became our garden when two golden eagles flew low over his head. The eagles climbed and made another diving pass at a group of turkeys that had found safe shelter under a scrubby bush. Ed's presence ended the eagles attempt at a turkey lunch. Last Fall a clutch of late turkey babies lost their mother soon after they hatched. That night two babies fell from the top of stone wall leading into the basement. None of this clutch had any real chance at survival. They were born too late in the year.
We suspect that the turkeys have an impact on the number of trout lily blossoms found here. The lilies attract numerous insect pollinators. It is easy to see a turkey snapping off a blossom eating both the bug and the salad. Not willing to spend my days sitting in a blind, I will never see if this actually happens.