Monday, June 15, 2009

Turkeys Here Bringing Cheer

One of the wild turkey hens with all six poults.

Rock loved hanging out with turkeys (October 2008).

This is the third summer that two hens have brought their poults to my protected wooded acre. They will raise them here over the next few months. The family arrived yesterday, more than a month early, and the poults are only about three days old. Click on the photo to get a better look.

I was so happy to see them and delighted that the hens remembered me. Wild turkeys are highly intelligent creatures. They have excellent vision and hearing, remember faces, see colors and recognize voices. My intuition tells me that these are last year’s hens raising a new family. Hens stay with their poults for about 5 months, well into November, and that's another reason why they remember me and seem happy to be here again.

Hens team up to raise their young together, which boosts the poults' chances of survival. Poults mainly eat insects and enjoy foraging in the garden beds and surrounding woods, sticking close to their mothers.

Though I am thrilled to see them again, I wish Rock were here to enjoy them with me. He was so gentle with the turkeys and the hens were very comfortable around him, even with poults as tiny as these.

I miss him so.

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