Life seems to be pretty routine in the wooded lot. I go out and feed the eleven turkeys at sunrise when they descend from the top of the cottonwood tree. They make little clucking sounds when they see me come out of the building carrying the big black bowl of food. I've been giving them a mixture of cracked corn (I just bought two more 50-pound bags) bird seed and bread crumbs twice a day. I occasionally add some oats, raisins or chopped apple.
I thought my little flock was all the turkeys in the area. Yesterday afternoon, four older tom turkeys showed up while they were gone. The toms were earnestly displaying their tails and doing a dance as they circled each other. They would stop all at once, stretch their necks out and gobble furiously and then resume the dance.It's really funny to watch. After half an hour, they all left. They worry me because I know they can be mean.
The regular flock consists of six females and four young males plus Priscilla, the small female who joined the flock late in the fall. The young males will do some displaying off and on. They flip up their tails and spread their wings and dance in a circle. They even do it on the most bitter cold mornings! The six females just roost in the branches of the fallen tree with their backs turned toward them, conspicuously ignoring them. Priscilla always roosts by herself on a fallen tree farther away.
I wonder what will happen when Spring comes and all those randy males are looking for mates. I hope they all go off into the woods to raise their families. I sometimes think that I may have gotten myself into a real pickle if they all want to come back next fall.
But then again, I think about Priscilla and maybe by next fall she will have her own little flock and won't be the outsider anymore.
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