Friday, August 27, 2010

Turn Out Day

We were awakened this morning by the unmistakable "clicky" sound of turkeys.  In an odd way, their sound reminds one of water dripping....kind of a Chinese torture when you're not quite awake and not quite asleep....Choik, choik, choik, whistle, whistle, peep,peep,peep, choik, choik...right outside the bedroom window.  Muzzying into wakefulness, I mumbled to MM that there were turkeys on the porch.  He muzzyed back and said that was O.K.  I mumbled, "I think not."  So, I continued to muzzy (is this a verb?)  forth, finally got up and looked out the window and saw the  source.  Remember these little guys we got back in June? they look a lot different.  Of the 17 we initially had, we have successfully raised 14, and now that we have them, we are contemplating simply letting them continue on bug patrol for us.  They consume hoards of grasshoppers! 

And this year....we have HOARDS of grasshoppers!  The turkeys don't seem to harm anything, (the grasshoppers do) and we can always put them into the finished garden later this fall, (or the freezer) and in the meantime, they simply continue on endless circuits of our four-acre enclosed yard, flushing up bugs, and munching buckwheat and millet. At least this is the theory.  I'll let you know how or if this pans out!  

They're fun to watch!  And fun, too, to hear.  They click and alert their fellows to any change in individuals' direction or process or danger from overhead.  We had several buzzards in the vicinity the other day, and the turkeys hunkered down in the tall buckwheat, and were completely hidden.  Amazing how they disappear in the mottled foliage.  Even their white feathers pass as light dappling on weeds.  (Not that the buzzards would bother them, but rather, it's a turkey's reasoning that tells them there's a possible threat coming from overhead--a raptor of some kind and to take cover.) 
 They are in constant communication with one another, and as they march forward, clouds of grasshoppers take to the air--and their gullets!  They're not really what one could call "tame," but they are cautiously gentle birds and not the least bit flighty.  They come for feed, but are mainly making their living from natural food right now, and it's a joy to see. 

Rememember the movie Jurassic Park?  I believe the producers used turkeys as their models for those Velociraptors!   

Thanks very much for coming to visit this past week.  I've so enjoyed your company!  It's going to be a wonderful weekend!  The temperatures have moderated (for those of you in "damper" circumstances, I wish you sun! ) and Old Sol simply doesn't have the fierceness it had two weeks ago. 

See you Monday!


  1. Elora -- I could use a few of those turkeys to rid my yard of biting bugs. Don't know what the bugs are called but they are nasty biters. I imagine your turkeys would take care of them in a flash. Have a good weekend and isn't it grand to finally have a break from that long, long heat wave. -- barbara

  2. The turkeys did really well today. Except for one foray onto our porch and one into the garage, Barbara, they ate grasshoppers all day long (see upcoming post on Monday!) Guess you'll have to resort to Cutter or Off!

    They (bugs) sound predatory!

    Happy Weekend to you!


  3. You have turkeys, my apartment complex has Canadian geese -- I was about to sit down with my morning cup of coffee when I heard their landing announcements, looked out the patio slider and saw a phalanx topping the nearest trees, beginning landing maneuvers. About four feet from the ground the winged bodies reared back, landing gear [feet] spread, down came twenty-one, neatly balanced, wings folded although some respread, shook like a wet dog, tail feathers waggled suggestively, long necks stretched as they surveyed the empty lawn. Then they set to eating -- grass, bugs, I don't know what. Also defecating. They're rather grandly dignified. I would welcome turkeys too. On the other side of town I saw a dozen white turkeys marching across someone's lawn -- maybe long lost cousins of yours.

  4. I too see velociraptors when I look at our gang of visiting turkeys. Fortunately, the temperament is different.

  5. Hey, June! Great to hear from you! What a wonderful description of the geese landing! I can picture every moment of descent! We have some on the river here that stay all year long...or, perhaps they "migrate" from one side of town to the other. Generally speaking, they are not among the favorite avian visitors. We tried eating one when we were in Alaska, and unlike turkeys, they are not a good menu item. Kind of a cross between store string (used to have!) and an inner tube (used to have), and the more you chew, the more you get! Gravy's good, though! :-))