In Just Sayin'

Things are getting more interesting. It’s now gobblers, plural, not gobbler, singular, entertaining us…and they put on a good show.

Four days running wild turkeys have entertained us.

Things are getting more interesting in our front lawn, on our house deck, at the bird feeder and on a secluded path leading to a crop field and another weed field west and north of our house. It’s now gobblers, plural, not gobbler, singular, entertaining us…and they put on a good show for us and one disinterested hen.

  • This morning, around 7:30, one hen showed up, pecking bugs and seeds out of the grass.
  • Twenty minutes later, a gobbler stepped out of the pine shadows to the west and began fanning and twirling and puffing up and posing motionless. When that got no response, he dropped the feather display, walked closer to the inattentive hen, and did it again.

“He’s gonna be frustrated,” we said.

“Hey, there’s a second gobbler,” we whispered excitedly. “Maybe this is a show of ‘I have more feathers on my chest than you do’ to intimidate the second gobbler and impress the hen.

“Why are we whispering?,” Judy asked. “We’re indoors. There are thick panes of glass, plus insulated walls, between the turkeys outside and us. Those birds won’t hear us even if we talk at normal tones.”

“Because we’re predators,” I say, “and we’re subconsciously hunting them.”

Maybe Gobbler #1’s efforts worked. Gobbler #2 flared its feathers briefly, then became a barely moving bystander, seemingly ignoring everything. Maybe it was trying to act invisible. Three definitely was a crowd here on our lawn.

Five or six minutes later, after continued flaring and strutting and posing, Gobbler #1 realized he did NOT have the hen’s attention … she had wandered into brush and pines, ignoring both gobblers … and ceased showing off. He and the second gobbler followed the hen out of sight.

The show was over for today.

Or so we thought.

A couple of minutes later, three birds appeared in the shadows of the patch near our north line. They stood around, moving little, looking like wallflowers at a dance.

“They can’t decide what to do,” Judy said. “Hey…those three are gobblers. Where’d the hen go?”

“Out of sight behind the pines, apparently. The real question: How long has that third gobbler been lurking in the shadows? Why did he decide to appear? Maybe gobbler misery loves company.”

All three stepped into the weed field and out of sight.

—–

We hope there will be an encore. Curious to know just how many gobblers are living in our little area of semi-urban/semi-rural habitat.

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