Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

The first thing I heard was, "What the heck is that!?" Tom had spied a new visitor to the property, just as we were sitting down to dinner.
I've heard turkeys off in the distance before, but never seen one so close. Between the coyotes and the fire ants, turkeys don't have much chance in this area.
This appeared to be a young tom (aka: a jake).
How could I tell it was a jake and not a hen? Well, the posture in the (very) blurry picture below is one signal. He struck this puffed up pose when he caught sight of my chickens. While I don't know if he's ever seen a chicken, I know for certain that my chickens have never seen a turkey.
He also has a 'beard'. If it were me, I'd be more anatomically correct and call it 'chest hair'--seeing as how the clump of hair is on his chest and nowhere near his chin. The hair looks to be the same texture of a horse's tail. Biologists aren't sure what purpose it serves, other than decoration to attract a female. Females do not have this beard--which is good, because they have no access to Walgreens for razors or Nair.
Both sexes do have snoods and caruncles. Funky words for those fleshy parts they have on their heads. If you'd like to know more about the bird that Ben Franklin suggested should be our national bird, you can open this link.
I hope he comes back. Maybe I can get better pictures of him. When he had sufficiently wandered away from the back yard, I went outside with my camera. He was nowhere to be seen.

7 comments:

  1. Wow! Very cool visitor. Checkin' out the chicks in your yard, I'll bet. Fun that he came in close enough to show off so you could get a few photos.

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  2. Totally cool. Do you think he was a wild one, then? I wonder what your chickens did? Did they think he was handsome? ;)

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  3. Very nice, Carla! When we first moved here we used to see wild turkeys in the yard fairly regularly. But since we put up the fencing and got the dogs, we rarely see them, although we do hear them on occasion. I can not remember whose blog I was reading, but someone wrote that they went to tuck in their chickens one night and found a wild turkey sleeping on the coop floor! Ha! I hope your jake comes back too. I think it's really neat having wild life visitors!

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  4. Well, that figures. Why should turkeys want their pictures "took?" Most critters I know don't co-operate for picture taking either. Funny about the beard.....chest hair thing.

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  5. This is so cool! We have a few wild turkeys that come by at certain times in the summer. Last year a flock passed by and a couple stayed - I thought the female was trying to make a nest in several places in my yard, but then they, too, moved on, leaving only a few big feathers behind.

    ~Lynn

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  6. Access to razors and nair....lol! You made me giggle, CeeCee.

    Looks like ol Jake there is a c-courtin' your hens. hehe!
    Quick! Tell hubby to get the shotgun!
    You're enjoying Thanksgiving early!


    ~Lisa

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  7. Oh Cee Cee, be careful what you wish for. The turkey's have been pooping all over our decks the last couple of weeks. Nasty!

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