There’s a story here…but we have to start at the beginning.
Suddenly just at sunset, the three hens perked up their heads, cackled to each other in turkey talk, and one by one in a burst of wing flapping, they flew off into the trees at the back of the yard. I could hear them crashing and thrashing about back there as they settled on a branch.
But that left Tom with his deflated feathers alone in the backyard. While I was photographing the hen, I heard heavy wing flapping and foot scrambling on the neighbor’s roof.
So, apparently, Tom Turkey is so heavy he has to get to his roost in stages, using the neighbor’s roof as a launching platform to get to a high enough branch.
These spots were typical turkey roosts: tall, mature trees, with at least one large horizontal branch high off the ground. The best trees for turkey roosting spots have 30-50 feet of bare trunk below the first branches to foil predators, and are on the east or northeast facing slopes so the birds can warm themselves in the early morning sunlight. There are plenty of oaks in the backyard that meet turkey criteria for roost sites.