Aug 03 2008

Talking Turkey

Published by at 7:16 am under Bird Behavior,Doves & Chickens

Wild Turkey baby (photo by Tim Vechter)

Wild Turkey chick (photo by Tim Vechter)

More baby pictures!

Tim Vechter sent me this photo of a wild turkey chick he found with mother and siblings in a field near Latrobe.

As you can see, this baby bird is well camouflaged.  Wild turkeys lay 10-14 eggs in a nest on the ground.  As soon as the chicks hatch they're ready to go.  Their mother calls and they walk off the nest and disappear in the tall grass.

The last time I saw wild turkey chicks I literally stumbled on them.  I was at Ohiopyle State Park when I saw the weeds move and a baby turkey darted across the trail.  Then another.  Mom called and they all ran back.  If I hadn't had my wits about me I would have stepped on one.

Fortunately I knew not to mess with baby turkeys.  They may look cute and defenseless but their mother is formidable, willing to march right up to danger and attack it.

Dad, on the other hand, has a hands-off attitude toward family life.  Turkeys are polygamous so he has a territory and up to five hens to maintain.  He spends breeding season cruising around making sure he's in charge.  To him, everything takes care of itself.  His wives raise the kids and the kids find food on their own.

What more could he want?

(photo by Tim Vechter)

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