Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Turkey lurkey!

I've been watching a flock of Wild Turkeys that appear on a regular basis along I-99 coming into State College from Philipsburg, where I work. I hadn't seen them for a few weeks and was quite worried about them, but yesterday I saw them again!
The first time I saw the flock, it consisted of three adults and 17 poults. Yesterday, however, the flock numbered only 11. Whether it's the same flock, I can't be sure--but it was in the same area as other times I'd seen the birds.
Here, you can see how there was an adult to the right of the shot who was sort-of herding the rest of the flock along the side of the highway and making sure no one got too close to the road. This bird literally pushed the others away from the road while keeping them moving along the grass as they ate. You can also see the lookout, at the top of the frame, who kept constant watch of the flock and the surroundings. He would run up the hill a couple of steps, turn, and crane that skinny neck and watch for threats; then he'd do it again.

Here are some close-ups, or at least as close as I could zoom in; I didn't want to scare them into running onto the highway so I hung back:

There were some funny moments; this looks like a little one being scolded by the lookout turkey:
Get back over there with your mother, young man!

See how he's always stretching and checking out the scene?

I'm starting to think that maybe Wild Turkeys are my favorite bird; they're just so cute and it's fairly easy to see them around here. I've seen one run out onto the road, stopping traffic, and then dither back and forth, right and left, in a panic, trying to get off the road as quickly as possible! That was pretty funny; luckily, everyone was going slow and stopped, and the turkey made it safely off the road.

Lynne has her TuVus; I have my WITUs. Not that the Blackburnian Warbler has left my heart; nor have I stopped loving Indigo Buntings or Dark-eyed Juncos. But I just love Wild Turkeys!


Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

Gobble gobble.

Elizabeth said...

I love wild turkeys too. I saw some years ago near the Lucas Ranch in Marin County. Highlight of my month. They must have them in Utah, so much of this area is undeveloped.

Matty Boy said...

Can you imagine a wild turkey meeting one of those monsters that humans have created?

dguzman said...

Dr. Monkey--hee hee!

Elizabeth--I would imagine, although I don't remember seeing any forest in Utah (I crossed it on I-80).

Matty Boy--the wild one wouldn't even recognize the big-boobed domestic one.

Rabbits' Guy said...

We have a couple local flocks from people who get the eggs and hatch them for fun. A batch circled me in my garden once - they can be scary then!!

dguzman said...

Rabbits' Guy--they circled you like they were sizing you up? That IS scary!

NCmountainwoman said...

I love them too! And I am so thrilled when I get to see them take flight.