Friday, April 15, 2011

Was It Good For You?

You never know what you will see when you get up in the morning and look out the window to see if anything is going on in the garden. Even though it's a bit frigid this morning with frost on the grass, hot stuff is happening out there. Spring is here and the wild turkeys are turned on to it. A male wild turkey puts on quite a display. His tail is fanned out as erect as he can manage similar to a peacock's display. His wings are rigid and thrust out to the side with wing tips dragging on the ground. A rhythmic cluck, cluck,cluck serenade complete with total body shudder enhances the mood. All this and he struts around at the same time. We watched all this for several minutes from a discreet distance of course. For a brief moment it looked good for Mr. turkey as a female walked coyly in his direction. Food in the grass distracted her and after eating she veered off into the bushes. He did not pursue. Apparently she must present herself to him.

I have to say I don't know what these hens are waiting for. I know I was impressed! But they are still giving him the cold shoulder eating grass, pretending not to look and walking away into the bushes. More than the morning temperature is frigid!

With the girls gone he deflated and headed up the path toward the back, but you can't keep a good Tom down. Before he made it to the top of the hill his tail feathers were coming up again and again. Why not, there's more than one hen in the bushes. Wild turkey mating goes on for days. Looks like he's up to it!

This male display reminded Ed of his years teaching eighth graders. It was not unlike the bravado constantly on display wherever the eighth grade boys gathered. In the halls between classes, at the lockers before homeroom, in the lunch line and most troubling in the locker room for gym class, the boys were displaying like turkeys. Aren't hormones great?

It was another beautiful day . Ed planted two beds of peas.


Donna said...

So funny how male animals strut their stuff...recently saw 2 males with a group of females in the fields off the NYS Thruway...awesome display

Owen said...

Females of much any animal species have lower reproductive potential than males. It is in a female's best reproductive interest to be picky when it's time to find a mate. A male can continue to reproduce even while he has unborn offspring.

Anyway, that's pretty cool. I've seen plenty of turkeys around here, but never a male showing off like that.