Wild turkeys in New York State

A reader writes:

Yesterday at about noon in upstate New York, a couple of hours north of Manhattan not far from the corners of Connecticut and Massachusetts, we saw a whole flock of wild turkeys come down out of the woods to forage by the house. There must have been 75 or so of these magnificent birds just outside our picture window, slow-strutting and pecking at the ground and then raising high an iridescent wattled head to scout for danger. I’d seen them singly before but there was something thrilling in seeing so many at once, these improbably Suessian creatures with dinosaur heads on winged bodies all decked out in extravagant feathers (who thought that one up?). The flock was extremely vigilant and when a small dog jumped excitedly at the window glass they spotted the threat immediately and the entire flock turned and ran, flapping, in awesome and comical unison, back into the woods. I guess there’s lots of things in the woods that like a taste of turkey now and then, and not just man. The snow started in soon after and I think of them spending a night in the woods in a blizzard and I’m glad I’m not a turkey. How the dickens does a dumb turkey know how to survive in the winter woods without Whole Foods or Gristedes or the Plaza Hotel? Damn, but those birds must be smart!

- end of initial entry -

December 28

Ron K. writes:

About 25 years ago—whatever that is in turkey generations—I worked with a small surveying crew in the northern Catskills. One April morning in the thaw of a late snowfall, we trudged, equipment in hand, up a muddy dirt road to a property atop a small wooded mountain. As we did, the other fellows discussed the prevalence of turkeys in the area.

Well, the wise wattled ones knew we were there as well. When we descended hours later, still visible were our hardening footprints from that morning. And inside each one was a fresher footprint, that of a turkey—headed 180° in the other direction!

Clearly they were mocking us.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 27, 2010 02:31 PM | Send

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