We have a neighborhood flock of turkeys. They not really wild, but are descended from wild turkey eggs that a neighbor raised to adulthood and set free, some decades ago. In the winter they assemble into groups, which can be quite large. This winter’s neighborhood group is about as big as we’ve seen. Any given day, fifty or sixty of these birds might appear in the yard. They clean up spilled seed from under the birdfeeders, scratch up the leaves under the trees and in the gardens, and peck away at things we can’t see, but that they obviously think are worth the trouble.
They flow around the house, and fetch up on the decks sometimes.
A couple of afternoons ago they came onto the upper deck. The room that looks out onto the deck has a sliding door, so I slowly moved into the room and from the side, out of their sight, took a set of turkeypix. Here they are.
The days are lengthening, here in the northern hemisphere. Tomorrow’s day will be one minute and fifty seconds longer than today. The increasing light is gently moving the turkey’s thoughts to springtime love. The toms’ combs are getting bigger, and dominance rituals are starting up. Round and round the toms go, chasing each other about.
Next time they visit, I’ll try to get an exact count for you.
Postscript, January 31, 2016. As we drove in the other day, we had to stop when they blocked the road. We counted fifty birds. Here’s a photo from yesterday at dawn, of their current roosting tree.