August 29, 2010

little moments

Holy shit, living in the country is never dull! The dogs spotted this flock out the window this afternoon. Click on the image for a closer look...

  • A native of North America, the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is one of only two domesticated birds originating in the New World. The Muscovy Duck is the other.
  • European explorers took Wild Turkeys to Europe from Mexico in the early 1500s. They were so successfully domesticated in Europe that English colonists brought them back with them when they settled on the Atlantic Coast. The domestic form has retained the white tail tip of the original Mexican subspecies, and that character can be used to distinguish wandering barnyard birds from wild turkeys which have chestnut-brown tail tips.
  • The male Wild Turkey provides no parental care. When the eggs hatch, the chicks follow the female. She feeds them for a few days, but they quickly learn to feed themselves. Several hens and their broods may join up into bands of more than 30 birds. Winter groups have been seen to exceed 200.


  • Wild Turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating hard mast such asacorns, nuts, and various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys also occasionally consume amphibians and small reptiles such as newts and snakes. Poults have been observed eating insects, berries, and seeds. Wild Turkeys often feed in cow pastures. They sometimes visit backyard bird feeders to search for seed on the ground or in rare cases croplands after harvest to pick at the detritus left over from a threshing machine on farms. Turkeys are also known to eat a wide variety of grasses.

    • Turkey populations can reach large numbers in small areas because of their ability to forage for different types of food. Early morning and late afternoon are the desired times for eating.

The little things? The little moments? 
They aren't little.
-  John Zabat-Zinn
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1 comment: said...

Nice! How long did they stay?
Oddly enough, Saturday evening we were just finishing up dinner when I saw something odd on the trunk of the huge oak tree right outside the window. It was a big ol' possum climbing down, head first. Probably not that odd to you, but I live in the city. That's the first possum I've ever seen in my yard. Unfortunately, we usually only see them in the street, dead. Karin


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