Sunday, March 11, 2012

Turkey in the Garden

A Tom Turkey wandered down from the woods into our garden yesterday.  I tried to get some photos of it through the window, but he was easily spooked.  I decided to just let him be for a while in hopes that he would get comfortable enough to ignore me.  Once he started eating from the table feeder, I reckoned I could sneak around outside from the front door and come toward the side garden, crouched behind the dormant plants so that the sun would be behind me.  I hoped the Tom would be blinded by the sun and not realize I was there.  The shots below were taken while I was on my knees, peering through the shrubs.


Autofocus doesn't work so well with so much clutter in the foreground.  :-(


This is a little better, but that Tom is on the alert!  It didn't take him long to get back to eating, though.  I was able to creep to a spot with less clutter in the foreground.
He is in full breeding color with that red neck and blue head.  And look at the gorgeous iridescence on his feathers!
A closer look at his legs show the formidable spurs that can do serious damage to other males in fights and can also rip your face off if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They move their heads so quickly when they eat or walk, that it is hard to get a sharp photo.  The one below is one of the better ones of his head, but the foreground clutter blurs the iridescence and the the beard.
Here is a better shot of the beard and colors of the breast feathers.  Too bad his head is behind the feeder post.
This last shot was taken through the window while he was on the patio.  You can really see the red neck.  When they display to the females in courtship, the red becomes very  engorged.  
He trotted off in hurry once he realized I was on the other side of the glass.  I hope to see more of him and maybe even see a display or two.  That would be great.


I was watching the Decorah Eagle Cam earlier this morning and for some time both adult eagles were at the nest.  That was quite a sight to see!  I looked closely but couldn't find anything to distinguish one from the other.  Their eggs should hatch around March 23rd, so be sure to check back after that to see the chicks.









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10 comments:

  1. I like your teaser pic. At first I thought, you didn't get the shots. What a fun catch! Turkeys are so interesting to see in the wild. You are so lucky to have a chance to see them in your own yard. We have them here in the canyons, but in downtown Tucson....not a chance:) Very exciting when a new bird comes to visit:) Great post!

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    1. You have some other fine birds in the southwest, too. Gamble's quail are great fun to watch. I do love to have the turkeys around. We may see merged flock of females with their combined broods a little later on if they have a good breeding season. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  2. What a fab set of images Wilma, and that Turkey looks like he could feed a mouth or ten. And those spurs blimey.

    Shaun

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    1. Thanks, Shaun. He is a big boy, alright. These are the best shots I have ever managed to get of turkeys; they move so quickly.

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  3. test from Mother

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  4. In your garden... Wow that's incredible! and you sue the opportunity very well... Beautiful pictures Wilma!

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  5. It seems so strange to have wild Turkeys and to have them visit your garden seems even stranger ;-) It is certainly an impressive looking creature....not exactly beautiful though ;-)

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  6. That's some impressive bird to have in a garden Wilma, best we can do here in England is the odd Pheasant. I like the fact that he was able to eat from the table by just stretching his neck.

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  7. Great story. It is always interesting to watch wildlife in action.

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