For weeks, the turkey hen has been incubating her clutch of nine eggs.
It’s a hot morning. She makes a quiet “chuck” call as I approach the deck railing, from which perch I look down to see how things are going.
She’s hot. Her beak is open, and she’s panting a little.
It must be hot under those feathers.
Her posture is different.
There are broken eggshells showing under her chest.
And that call she made was a new one…
There must be at least one chick, for her to have said what she did.
I look more carefully.
Look carefully…there’s a chick in this next photograph.
I use the camera telephoto to get a closer view.
That call mom made…
She was saying, “Hide, shut up, and do not move.”.
Doing what mom says can be a matter of life or death.
The chick or chicks have obeyed instantly and automatically.
Yes…there’s a little one!
They’re all very still.
So I shall be still, too.
And I shall wait to see what happens next.