Turkey stroll

I haven’t seen much of the wild turkeys this year — it must not be a good year for acorns in my backyard.  But two young males checked out the weed patch in my neighbor’s yard the other day, and found it far more interesting than my wildflower garden.

turkey toms

Perhaps they are finding some good insects among the tall weeds. I dislike the way the weeds come through the fence between our yards, but am happy the weed patch brings in the wildlife.

turkey tom-old

The elder Tom (long beard hanging down his front) of the pair shows no interest in the bugs in the wildflower garden — perhaps he is not fond of bees.

turkey tom-young

The younger Tom (short beard) shows equal disdain for a different patch of wildflowers.  I wonder if this guy was hatched just this year, or if he is a year old.

turkey toms

Meeting up on the other side of the backyard, the two Toms decide to move on, to better foraging grounds.

Male and female turkeys flock up in the fall, like many other bird species, but are segregated by sex, and to some extent by age.  Young males (non-breeding jakes) will often hang out together all fall and winter, while a hen and her brood, or even multiple hens and broods form a flock of their own during fall and winter.  Adult (breeding) males also form flocks outside of the breeding season, rarely including the young Toms — kind of like an “old boys’ club”.