Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Running Buddies are a Bunch of Turkeys!

I have been trying to get these pictures since March!

Most weekends, I see a flock of wild turkeys when I run.

I don't run with my camera. Whenever I drove to the same place in hopes of photographing the turkeys, they wouldn't appear.

I finally caught up with them!

Wild turkeys were practically extinct in NH until the 1970's when Fish and Game re-introduced them. They're numerous now.

Oddly enough, these turkeys are usually in a big parking lot. (Seems a little weird to me since there are so many more rural parts of my small town!)

Maybe they're related to the turkeys in Boston!


Dave Daniels said...

Hey, those are my turkeys! Ours have disappeared (FINALLY!). I thought someone made some wild turkey sandwiches to go.
Great shot of them walking in a row.

Theresa said...

Good job Sue! I have yet to catch the elusive bunch around our place. They are really skittish.
I have to say though, turkeys are rather homely, even the young ones. So, does Bailey want to help hunt them?

Life Looms Large said...

Dave, I was definitely inspired by your turkey photos!! (And all the other inspiring stuff on your blog!)

Theresa, We're always amazed at how well a car works as a bird blind. It's like birds don't notice humans unless we're on foot.

Bailey did encounter wild turkeys once on a trip to North Carolina. He thought they were the best thing ever! We hiked right into a flock of about 10 birds - and he chased them and they flew. He was so excited! He does have a great hunting pedigree, but we don't hunt, so he doesn't really get to use all of his breeding!


Delighted Hands said...

What is it that is so appealing about sighting these guys? I always run for the camera when I see them in our yard, etc. They are not attractive really but I am always glad for a sighting!!! Go figure.

OzWeaver said...

Love your turkey photos! We have them too (in our rather busy part of NJ)! I love watching them fly up into the trees in our yard, and sitting on branches that don't seem sturdy enough to support them!

charlotte said...

This is amazing, I didn't even know wild turkeys existed! They are big birds, can they behave aggressively like swans and geese? Is it allowed to hunt them?

Anonymous said...

The turkeys walking in a line are great - what a fabulous photo!! We saw turkeys when we went to the Cape in June - I took a picture of them eating at the side of the road, surrounded by fog. They were fun to watch!

Life Looms Large said...

Wow - so just in these comments, we've got wild turkey sightings up and down the east coast. NH, Boston, Cape Code, NJ and Florida. Pretty big range!!

Wild turkeys are natives of North America, and apparently there are several species. Each state has its own hunting regulations. (There are some federally protected species, but for species that people can hunt, each state sets up its own rules.)

Turkey hunting is allowed in NH, but I don't really know anyone who hunts them. (Unlike deer hunting - where when it's deer season I stay out of the woods because there are so many hunters.)

The turkeys in my neighborhood are not aggressive - although sometimes when there's a large flock, the biggest males will stand up tall and kind of keep an eye on me when I run.

There were turkeys in a neighboring town who made the paper because they were chasing children who had a bus stop near the turkey nest. The town kept trying to relocate them....and they had trouble. So they can be aggressive. (Hopefully I won't meet any turkeys like that!! I have a healthy fear of big birds!)


Susan H said...

Hi Sue! We have similar turkeys up here in Maine... they wander through the back orchard eating low or fallen apples in the fall... I believe they can be hunted, but if roadkill, one is not allowed to eat them... must call the proper authorities.

Two other comments... I was told that in CT these aren't true wild turkeys, but a hybrid of wild and domesticated, and not nearly as shy as true wild turkeys.

Also, I remember I very funny story on npr a few years back about turkeys in Boston that were very aggressive yet could not be even whacked at with handbags because of their protected status in MA (are they the state bird there??)

Great photos by the way!

Life Looms Large said...

Good to know that I can't eat road kill turkeys in Maine! (Ew!!)

Interesting about potential hybrids. It's amazing what they can figure out with DNA!

I looked around to find out more about Massachusetts turkeys in particular. This state website says you can swat a turkey with a broom, spray it with a hose, or have your leashed dog chase it. So maybe they're not quite as nice to turkeys these days?

I'm also curious about turkey feathers. They're beautiful and I see them along the road sometimes when I run. But I know certain feathers are protected - hawks and eagles definitely. Not sure about turkeys.

Too bad typing that thought into a comment doesn't turn it into a google search!

Thanks for stopping by!


bspinner said...

Great turkey photos. In Pa they are hunted and we've had a couple of Thanksgivings when they were the main course. Very good too.

Life Looms Large said...

Interesting to hear from some one who has actually eaten wild turkey. I wonder how different it tastes from free-range turkey.


Jennifer said...

I absolutely love the one that looks like a ballet dancer up on it's toes! I've never thought of turkeys as graceful, but that does it - thank for persevering to get the photos!