Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Got turkey?

One thing we have a lot of in our yard are turkeys. They're all over the place. Just recently I counted 22 turkeys wandering around. Turkeys are fun to watch. Unlike domestic turkeys, wild turkeys can fly. It's quite a sight to see one fly by the house, or see one perched high up in a tree. Toms are interesting because they're a lot more colorful than hens and they can be huge. Their heads are reddish, but can turn a vibrant blue in minutes when they are excited. They have a wattle on their neck and that funny thing hanging over their beak is called a snood. Those fleshy looking "things" on this turkey's neck are called caruncles. When the toms are excited they become engorged with blood and swell up -- ick. One cool fact about turkeys is that they can have 20,000 to 30,000 feathers -- that's a lot of plucking! Males have a beard of feathers than hang from the chest and can be 9 inches long. Toms can be heard gobbling up to a mile away. Hens can gobble, but they mostly yelp to let the toms know where they are. Turkeys have incredible eyesight. Because of this, I have a heck of a time getting good pictures. They take off running at the first sight or sound of danger, even if it's just me with a camera. It's commonly believed that Benjamin Franklin wished the turkey to be our national bird because of it's courage. Franklin said the bald eagle was a bird of bad moral character and that it didn't earn it's living honestly. I've seen bald eagles steal food from other birds, so I can see Franklin's point. Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same with a bald eagle on a platter. What kind of stuffing would you use? Does eagle go well with cranberry sauce? Sorry Ben.


  1. Wild turkeys are fun to watch! At my inlaws vacation home, they have a corn feeder out on the bluff, and turkeys (and deer) come daily. It's cool to see them! They usually don't get too close to the cabin though.

  2. Oops! I don't know why my comment tripled! Sorry, Rena!

  3. LOL Kelly -- no biggie. Maybe it's a sign. Got a recipe you need to double or triple for tomorrow? ;)

  4. Wow what a great picture - I love it!

    I never realized turkeys were so colorful. One thing I love about your blog: I always seem to learn something. So, I guess you're good at teaching an old dog new tricks


  5. I'm sick of my concrete jungle, when I see such beautiful pictures of nature, meaning I'm jealous!

    One of my writing buddies has two "toms" for pets. He emails me pictures of them...

    Anyway, he says they act sort of like dogs and love to be pet.

    I have a story from highschool re: Wild Turkey, but that kind came in a bottle.

  6. Great pic, Rena. I did not know wild turkeys could fly!

    I can't wait for tomorrow - drumsticks are my favourite. :D


  7. 22 turkeys in your yard to watch must be fun for your kids to see! I can see franklin's point too, Rena. I agree, when I read your blog I seem to learn something new too. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Rena's School Of Knowledge! That was really interesting Rena, Thanks!


  9. Great pic! We are actually having wild turkey for Thanksgiving again this year...Once you have wild turkey the tame stuff just doesn't taste the same...

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Kelly -- I took the other 2 replies off, but that was pretty cool how your post tripled. I wish I could do that in Vegas on the slots.

    Kim -- LOL @ teaching an old dog new tricks. That goes for me too, since I'm right up there in age.

    Sam -- That's really cool about your friend's toms and how they liked to be petted. The ones around here are so skittish and take off running at any sign of movement. LOL @ the story about the Wild Turkey. Do tell!

    Gale -- I didn't know they could fly either until we moved up here. They're kind of freaky to see when they're roosting in trees. Reminds me of that big baby vulture from Looney Tunes.

    Hi Erin -- Yeah, I was surprised to see 22 recently. This spring or early summer there was 2 sets of chicks and I guess they grew up pretty quick. Right as I finished this blog this morning, a big group of them came walking by window. Maybe they heard me talking about them.

    Nancy -- LOL! Well, what can I say? ;)

    Brenda -- Enjoy your wild turkey tomorrow. It's big here too and I've heard people say they can't go back to eating commercial after they've had wild. Maybe one of these days I'll be brave enough to try it, providing someone else does the dirty work. I'd make a terrible hunter. I'm way too emotional and I get attached to everything.

    Gooble! Gooble!

  11. If the turkey was the national bird would we be known as a nation of gobblers?
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. Rena this was great to read. I read it to Jonathan too. We all got a kick out of the facts and knowing you have turkeys flying by and in trees. Kinda hard to imagine being in a beach town. :)

    Love to your family this Thanksgiving from ours.

    Sharon, Dave and Jonathan :)