Setting Turkey. A Long Wait.

More years than not, a hen turkey will choose a place in our yard, or right next to the house, for a place to start her year’s family. The nest ain’t much, not more than what a turkeybody can do to foliage by squatting, sitting, and wiggling around a bit.

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She sits and sits, keeping her clutch at a temperature of just above one hundred degrees fahrenheit. She sits in all weathers, day and night. When the sun shines, her day will start in shade. Shadows will form, will travel travel across her feathers, and in the evening she will once again be held in shadow.

Day after day, and week after week pass. 

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Her nest is against a retaining wall near the house foundation. We don’t want Coquina to harass her, so I erect a chicken wire “exclosure” fence to keep her away from the hen. I visit her from time to time, take a photo or two, and leave. She will look at me, but keeps still and does not move.

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Sunlight picks out the details of her feathers.

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No time to preen.

Just to sit.

Her tailfeathers get ragged from the rains she sits through.

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One of these days the chicks will hatch.

Life will be different.


4 responses to “Setting Turkey. A Long Wait.

  1. Turkeys are getting to be a problem for us. They are not native here. I don’t particular like turkey, although my former neighbor knew how to select good ones. We are hoping that their population gets to an equilibrium that works for the rest of the ecosystem. If mountain lions eat them, they will not eat so many deer. That could be a problem too.

    • She doesn’t leave the nest for anything. Not to eat, not for nothing. She might get a nibble or two if a bug crawls by, or if she wants a bite of a plant that’s within reach. I had thought about leaving her a bowl of water, but didn’t want to spook her, and besides it’s been so rainy all she’d have to do for liquid would be to hold her mouth up and open, or drink from a leaf-held puddle. The first time she got off, she made the biggest bird-dump I’ve ever seen. Baseball sized. What discipline and dedication to propagation, eh?

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