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Hooded Mergansers

Monday, March 21, 2016

Let's Talk Turkey....

It's been cold here...  only 28 degrees when we got up this morning.  It takes a while to warm up so I spend most of the morning inside.  That's not all bad...  in fact...  I have a ringside seat for the early morning critters.

 The two Toms (Gobblers) bring their harem right in front of our motorhome.  They've found the seeds that the birds cast out of the feeders that are hanging from the crossbar between those posts.
And...  look closely...
In the background...  way in the back...
 There are 3 deer at the deer feeder.
Our daughter and son-in-law have quite a few acres here where no hunting is allowed.  While probably not exactly a wildlife sanctuary, they keep the habitat intact as well as maintaining deer, bird and squirrel feeders.
Notice the frost on the ground in the photo above.... 
Bill had to take the Scion into Granbury for a brake job this morning...  had to scrape ice off the windshield before leaving!

You probably know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the National Bird instead of the Bald Eagle.  (Okay..  this may not be true..  but he admired the turkey)  If that had happened, I wonder what we'd all have for Thanksgiving dinner?
 It's breeding season now, so this male turkey is strutting his finery.
Can you see his beak kind of tucked in below his eye?  Well, above it is the "snood".  This Tom has some years on him...  his snood is quite developed.  Below his beak is his "wattle".   Right now it's engorged with blood so is quite red.  Maybe this makes him more attractive to the ladies...  but it's probably a hormonal thing.  

 Not a great shot...  but this Tom is younger.  His snood looks more like a small horn growing on his nose.  His wattles aren't as red and pronounced as the older tom.  Also, notice his "beard".  That's the sheaf of black bristles growing out of his chest.
This also helps indicate the age of a gobbler.

 A "Jake" is a young tom.  Neither of these are a jake...  one indication of a jake is the size of the tail feathers.  These guys both have a full set of fully developed tail feathers.
While these two toms seem to get along well enough now, as breeding season goes on there'll probably be some sparring to establish who's boss.   They both may hang out with the hens, but only one will get to breed them. The tom on the right is definitely the dominate one of these two.

A little later this morning they were joined by a few others.  There was a young jake among these and while he seemed to be traveling with a few hens, these two toms quickly ran him off.

You can see the two big toms on the right...  that's the jake on the left, heading off with his two hens.

The drooping wings is part of the posturing...  and of course, the fanned tail.

He's quite the bird, isn't he?
I never get tired of watching them.

That's All For Today!



6 comments:

  1. Well now, I know more about our "not-the" National Bird than ever. They are a beauty, that is, if you don't look them directly in the eye....lol

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  2. The difference between wild and domesticated turkeys are huge. The tame turkey is not so smart but the wild turkey is quite the opposite and fly up in trees to roost. I know they are smart, because way back when, I used to hunt them with no success.

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  3. Thanks for the Turkey lesson, think I will make a pot of Turkey chili now and Gobble it up on the road.

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  4. Given those temperatures, I think you should hit the road. We're in above-average temperatures in Phoenix, with a high in the low 90s. I'd rather that than 28 though.

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  5. Great turkey shots! (as opposed to turkey shoots)

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