Happy Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day, I embraced the cold air and warm sunshine, and tried to commune with nature by taking a long walk in the woods.  I saw Brown Creepers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Black-capped Chickadees, none of which I photographed because I have lost my quick trigger finger for fast-moving birds.  So I took photos of these slower-moving turkeys instead.

pair of tom turkeys

the bachelors, happy to hang out together while looking for good things to eat — and perhaps a female or two…

pair of tom turkeys

Unlike most wild turkeys that run from me when I see them in my backyard, these big Toms nonchalantly strolled through the woods foraging.

wild turkey male-

And they were happy to pose and to gobble every now and then.  They really are very beautiful birds in the sunlight — if you just ignore the teeny weeny bare head and those red lumps of flesh dangling from the neck.

wild turkey male displaying-

Same male as above — he’s just making sure I noticed him.

wild turkey male

They are more uncomfortable out in the open in the grassland, and both made a beeline for the woods on the other side of this field.

No wonder Benjamin Franklin wanted to make them our national bird.

Gobble, gobble, part 2

I heard them gobbling this morning, and hurried out to the way back yard to see if I could get photos of the display. I found a male who was gobbling as he followed two females into the woods.

I circled around behind them and tried to come at him front view, and amazingly, all three birds completely ignored me and proceeded to preen, gobble, display, and forage while I watched.

But despite all his grandeur both hens kind of ignored him, regardless of which view of himself he showed them.

Maybe he isn’t all that attractive…yet.  I noticed that his tail feathers are incomplete on the right side, and his display is somewhat assymetrical.

Remember the “snood”.  Well check his out.  It’s so long, it drapes way down below his beak and rests on his wattles.

Red wattles, blue face, and white forehead.  He’s an All-American bird.