Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wild Turkey

Saturday morning my dog Buddy suddenly went berserk--barking, ranting, raving, and carryin' on at something going on in the back yard. By the tone of his bark, I knew this was something unusual, out of the ordinary.

Indeed it was.

Glancing out back I saw something I've never seen in my yard before.

Sure, they're all over the place in Mathews--just never in my back yard, although CB Mother says she saw one many years ago.

Racing to get my camera, I spilled out the back door and started snapping away. Mr. Turkey worked his way along the shoreline until he came to the locust tree.  There's really nowhere else for him to go at this point, at least not with me standing in his way.

So he did what any normal bird would do under the circumstances: Realizing he was trapped he flew across the creek, very low to the water, and made it across just fine. I was surprised since they don't always have the greatest reputation when it comes to flying.

By the way, I'm calling this a he but for all I know he's a she. Turkeys don't make a habit of congregating in my back yard and flashing their IDs, so I have no frame of reference. I know the difference between a male and female cardinal; male and female mallard duck; but I'm not exactly up to speed on your run of the mill back yard turkey.  If it's a she, well OK then.  Also, I don't know where I came up with them not being the greatest fliers.  It's just something I thought for whatever reason and was pleasantly surprised to see him go so far although he was very motivated since the only other choice was a swim in Queens Creek.  

As long as we're on the topic of Buddy the dog (and I think I briefly mentioned him up there somewhere), the Canada geese go out of their way to congregate in my back yard.  Yet Buddy the Dog never, ever barks at them.  Even if I try to get him all worked up and excited enough to chase them, as soon as his feet hit the ground outdoors, he's distracted by another scent. Or a cat. Or grass. Or air. Or something shiny. Can't get him to herd geese escort geese out of my yard to save my life.

After the turkey flew off, there was nothing more to see. The dog and I resumed our normal activities, and the day went along without any other major incidents, which is more than I can say for what was going on in my back yard last night after returning from work.

But that's a story for tomorrow.


Maria_NJ said...

it has been a very busy and tiring few days for me, I went up north to help my brother and sisters go through Mom's house and get ready for the estate sale, man she acquired a lot over the 70+ years she lived in that house...

there is a flock of wild turkey that live in Galloway, they travel in this little pack, maybe about 20 of them. Very cute, sometimes you see babies...if I am walking the dogs and I get to close they will take flight, kind of weird to see them fly.

I am feeling a little down, it was sad to see some of her things...

Deltaville Jamie said...

Pretty sure it's a he since it looks like he has a beard (that thing coming out of his chest). We see wild turkeys in Deltaville from time to time... And that's a recent development- I never saw or heard anyone talk about seeing them back in the day.

Windsmurf said...

When I saw the title "Wild Turkey", I thought you were going in a whole different direction.

We have quite a few wild turkeys here in Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay, but even so you don't get to see them very often. Nice pictures.

deborah said...

Wow! Great capture...it is really hard to get good shots of a turkey around here! My first thought was to just write 'yum, dinner'...but I didn't. Aren't you proud? haha
I do think its a male cause he's sporting a dandy beard.
Waiting to hear what else happened in your yard:)

Kay L. Davies said...

Gustav has obviously trained Buddy not to chase geese. Or he has terrified Buddy, so he won't consider chasing geese.
That's my best bet.
I've never seen a wild turkey in person. Probably an east coast thing and I'm a west coast girl. Seagulls. We have seagulls on the coast of BC, but it wasn't until recently that a friend of mine got photos of baby seagulls! I was so impressed, because they usually nest on small uninhabited islands.
And bald eagles. There are eagles there, too. Most of them now live with live cameras recording their nesting. Prima donnas, those.

Dghawk said...

Gobble! Gobble! I used to see turkeys all the time at the old house, but that's about the only critter I haven't seen around here. In fact, I had a flock of 25-30 behind the house in the pasture one day.

Maybe Buddy won't chase the Canada Geese because they are a little to much like Gustav, and he knew the turkey was a bird of a different feather and therefore fair game.

Fighting Mermaid said...

Nice turkey pix! We have loads of them out in the overgrown weedy field. Also got to see a bunch of deer the other day, maybe 20+ run through my mom's farm...no camera in sight.
Noah brought back a stuffed deer from the dump yesterday when he went with my mom. seriously. I wish they would stop letting him bring other people's junk home. He was really excited about surprising me...and, well, I nearly jumped out of my skin.

Country Girl said...

I once knew of a flock of them living in the wild, close to where I lived. I saw them all twice. Very interesting sight, but I didn't have a camera. Good capture!

Mental P Mama said...

Annie has them all over her yard. I would say it's a she because we had a Tom Turkey that was HUGE and his stuff was way more pronounced dangling off of him than this one. He attacked the mailman once. And when he locked himself inside his mail truck, he attacked the tires! Don't even ask about our electric meter reader named Tiny. There was nothing tiny about him and that turkey dang near caught him and ate him. We finally had to have the police escort him to a new habitat. Now what happened in your yard the next day?