A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Friday, March 23, 2012

Turkey Making Time

The wild turkeys are on the move everyday. It is that time of the year for the turkeys to mate. I've been seeing large numbers moving about the fields and woods, the most in one herd was over two dozen. I couldn't get an accurate count for they wouldn't stand still.

Heads up girls, photographer approaching.

The males will have harems of five or more females to mate with during the breeding season. During this time his wattle will become more brightly colored. He'll make gobbling sounds and spread his tail feathers which is very alluring to the female.

Normally the females will roost in a tree but after mating she will make a nest on the ground in a small depression hidden among tall grasses or brush, lining the nest with grass and leaves. She will lay 6-18 eggs, that are light tan in color with brownish spots and incubate them for 27-28 days. It is at this time the eggs are vulnerable to predators such as skunk, raccoon and coyote. When the chicks hatch they will be ready to move out within a day following mom for food and protection. They soon learn to climb into trees at night like their parents.

It was overcast the day I took these photos so their feathers are not really showing their full potential of gorgeous colors. I came upon 2 toms yesterday while riding my bike. They had their tails fanned out trying to impress the group of ladies with them. My goal is to get a picture of a tom displaying, but naturally I can not do so while on a bicycle. I also would like to find a nest and get a photo of a hen laying.

13 comments:

  1. What wonderful photos! I love seeing the "herds" of turkeys...have not been able to get this close though! Looking forward to more photos of them...and I know if you get photos of the eggs you will share them, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. ou know a lot about turkeys, don't you?!
    Have a good weekend John! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. They are certainly beautiful birds when in full color. Despite the weather conditions, you have managed to pull out some of that beauty!

    How come you didn't stop and take photos of that Tom and his ladies yesterday? That was certainly a missed photo opportunity, shame on you!

    BTW, my hubby and I use to live in Oceanside and had many rides on the Harley through your neck of the woods! We moved to TN. in 2004 and haven't been back since.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing all the facts about turkeys. I didn't know much about them, only that it amazed me that the front and the back of the bird look so different. The head is rather ugly with that red hanging thing, but the back is beautiful coloured.

    ReplyDelete
  5. these are great photos! lucky you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Terrific photos! They are interesting birds. We had a little family that hung around our house last year. They always seemed to walk in single file and just moseyed along until something spooked them and then quick (!) they were in the trees. It is fun to watch a turkey fly.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never seen one and knew nothing about them before this great post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful photos... guessing you captured these using a good quality telephoto lens, because they came out great! I do get a good sense of the colorful, iridescent feathers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I saw a flock of turkeys today but they flew away before I could take a decent shot.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I especially like photo number three. I am baffled at how close you were able to get to them. Usually turkeys get all nervous. Super find.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful. I love the colors. It's turkey season now, but it has been so warm, the hunters have had to be extra cautious. I've seen several photos taken by the hunters of--not turkeys, but snakes. Huge copperheads and racers. They're on the move.

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.