Thursday, January 13, 2011

Turkeys at Hastings
Today a flock of 66 adult turkeys were wandering in Long Field at marker 14. This is a good sized flock for around here. They often move in a line across fields, pecking and tearing up anything they can eat, leaving precious little untouched in passing. Like Sherman's march to the sea. Although we have had one very good study done on their social organization and breeding behavior (Krakauer, A. H. 2008. Sexual selection and the genetic mating system of Wild Turkeys. Condor 110:1-12.) we still don't know what these introduced, non-native vagrants are doing to the grasslands and forest understory. But they are entertaining, and often a traffic-stopper around here. Here are a couple of photos. The group of 66 (or so) birds included adults, all wandering the wet fields in a mist that slipped in from the south under dark skies.

Earlier in the summer, groups of many young and a few adults watching over them were far more typical.