Thursday, June 14, 2012

Then there were four

The hen keeps her eye on the sky for crows

The day after I wrote about the five surviving turkey polts (June 7th post), the hen came around with them again, but this time there were only four. 

I immediately suspected crows and sure enough, as I watched the hen and her poults scratching in the dust, a crow called out and Mom tensed up. Moments later, she sent them scurrying for cover under some nearby hostas. 

Crows are brilliant and the ones nesting here have quickly figured out that this hen is a new mom, not yet wise to all their ways. Having been so successful (there were 12 poults to begin with) has emboldened them to try for more. Crow young are almost adult size now and very, very hungry, so crow parents must take advantage of every opportunity to get breakfast, lunch and dinner to them asap.

At least all five poults enjoyed a good day before the crows struck again. Of those five, one was rather independent and had a tendency to stray and another, a runt, was just the opposite: almost velcroed to his mama. Sadly, one poult called and looked around for a couple of days, clearly for its missing brother or sister. They all stick pretty close together now.

The poults are more comfortable around me and let me take more photos. Still, you'll want to click on the photos for a better view.

We had a few days of rain and no sightings, so I was relieved to see all four still alive and well again today. The hen is learning, albeit the hard way, the importance of staying on crow patrol.

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