Monday, July 14, 2014

Almost missed it

This post has been updated. See below.

Saturday morning as I went out to feed the cats, I noticed this hen turkey clucking around by the lilac bushes. 

As I got closer to her, she seemed to get very wary, and suddenly I heard a little "cheep" from in the bushes. With one eye on the hen, I started searching the bushes, but they're so thick, I doubted I'd be able to see any little ones. To my surprise, a little turkey flew up into the higher branches of the lilacs!

I ran back to the house for the camera, hoping the baby would stay put. When I got back, I couldn't find where it was, but then it flew to a more distant part of the lilacs. I tried to find it, hoping for a photo. Rainbow (the cat) had followed me, and mama turkey got very upset and chased her off. Wish I'd gotten a photo of that. :) Or a photo of her coming at me after that, but I was too busy sticking out my foot and shooing her off! Thank goodness that worked!

I finally gave up. The lilac row was too long and too thick to be able to see any babies, and mama turkey was getting very distraught and I didn't want to upset her more or have her come at me again!

I proceeded into the machine shed to feed the cats, but as I got in there, another little baby turkey flew from the rafters and out the door! I guess they weren't such 'babies' as I'd thought! Then I wondered if there could be any more in there.....

Lo and behold, I was in luck! I spotted another one still sitting in the rafters! It allowed me 3 shots before it flew to the back of the shed and into the wall (ouch!) and disappeared under some machinery.

Unfortunately, in my haste to get a photo, I forgot to check the exposure reading on the camera, and the pics I did get were waaay too dark. Bummer. But here's the best one, enhanced as well as I could, just to prove there really was a baby turkey there (center of photo):

I cropped it for a closer look, but of course the quality is terrible:

So the mama had at least 3 winged-and-able-to-fly babies. I then left her to her clucking trying gather them back together. I hope she found them all. At least I haven't seen any evidence that any cats made a meal of them.

Here's a photo I took a few years ago of a turkey baby that happened to be right outside our garage. They're easier to photograph when they're this little. :)

Update: I no more than got my comment below posted (from my iPad, while still in the comfort of my bed), when I heard a strange thumping sound coming from.... somewhere! It would thump a bit, stop, then thump some more. Grandpa had already left, so I knew it wasn't him. The cats were supposed to be still locked in the entry, but I thought they might've escaped to the basement while Grandpa was down there, as it's happened before. But the sound continued too long for a cat. I hopped out of bed to investigate, but still couldn't figure it out. Then I looked out one more window, and voilà!

I grabbed the camera and rushed to my sewing room, and this is what I saw out that window:

This crazy gobbler was pecking at my window!

It's not the first time a turkey has done this. If you want to see one in action, there's a kind of fun video here.

Take another look at that pic above. Down in the right-hand corner.

Yep, she wasn't alone! And here's a much better shot than I got Saturday:

There were two hens and another baby in the background. Soon they were on their way. Thank goodness! I wondered if the window would hold up!

When I got back upstairs and finally looked out the window, they were already out past the garden. I couldn't see too well with stuff in the way, but there were at least six babies! Ugh. At least they were beyond the garden and not in it destroying my crops. I guess the distress of Saturday morning didn't deter the hen from coming back. Darn it.


annie dee said...

Do you think they were trying to raid the cat food? Or do they usually hang out in there? I think mama turkeys could get nasty - careful!

Grandma G said...

They do like the cat food. I've seen them eating it a few times. But they're not here very often... just an occasional visit, as far as I've seen. I haven't seen (or heard) them at all since Sat. morning. I wonder if they'd come for cat food that morning and the cats chased the young ones into the rafters - otherwise seems kinda weird that they'd be up there. It was like mid-morning, not like first thing and they were still roosting from overnight. And then the one in the bushes.......

annie dee said...

LOVE the update! Thanks. She's certainly a bigun! Glad the window was not broken. Wonder what the cats would do if they saw that happening!? HA!

Grace said...

Oh my goodness it has been a long time since I checked into your blog. Just too many irons in the fire. I just loved the recall video from 2010. So enjoyed hearing Courtney's little voice expressing her thoughts on that crazy turkey. I'm washing windows and curtains today trying to get ready for the big Picnic on the Farm and entertaining Cadyn and Carson for a few days. I vow to sneek in a few peeks at past blogs that I have missed. May take me a while to catch up. Keep your eye on one of those birds for your thanksgiving dinner. (;-)

Grandma G said...

Welcome back, Grace! :) Yeah, I love that little voice, too! Sounds like you have your hands full for the next couple of weeks!