Saturday, December 29, 2012

Turkey Tracks

Last night's light snowfall was just enough to record the animals passing through the neighborhood long after everyone had gone to bed.  This morning I came across turkey   (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) tracks which are always in the same part of the street, just beyond the forest trail that runs behind neighborhood homes.  Turkey tracks are a special favorite of the kids.  They remind us of dinosaur tracks.  In this photo you can see tiny tracks from another bird crossing over the top of the turkey track.

We hardly ever see turkeys in our current neighborhood during the day.  The one time I did, a group of 3-4 flew through our back yard (quite a spectacle), landing next door.  They were there to feed on the seeds under the bird feeders.


When we lived further south, turkeys were commonplace during the daytime.  One summer a female visited our yard with 13 little ones in tow.  Another time, we arrived home to find a tom, tail spread out, accompanied by three hens on our front lawn.  Toms can weigh as much as 24 pounds while hens top out around 12 pounds.

At this time of year, turkeys are scratching around looking for acorns, nuts and berries. Mating begins around March and the poults hatch in June.

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