COLUMN: Swarm of wild turkeys was a ‘grape’ adventure

A bumper crop of wild grapes, hanging thick in clusters, put more than 50 turkeys in the midst of outdoor columnist’s new travels

The good detail about wild turkeys is that they are so huge you can not miss them. Seeing them that is.

Whether they’re swarming your bird feeder or trudging across an open up corn subject, turkeys get observed. For the birdwatcher skilled to constantly peer into thick piles of brush to detect modest feathered life sorts, tripping over a flock of turkeys feels pretty much ‘other-worldly.’

This kind of was my experience on a not long ago drive together the local backroads in lookup of photographic scenes. I was seeking for architectural scenes such as old barns and crimson brick farmhouses, or perhaps a rusting hay-rake half-buried in snow. But the birdwatching part of my mind was also seeking for flocks of snow buntings or, if I ought to be so lucky as see a single, a northern shrike.

Someway, amongst trying to find photos big and modest, I skipped the medium sized subjects, individuals becoming turkeys. At the very least I skipped them right until I was on best of them.

One particular flew earlier my windshield, pretty shut (good issue I was driving so slowly but surely) and two additional jumped out of the ditch almost in front of me. As the automobile arrived to a halt, a turkey trio skulked together the roadside fence and a further team of them crossed the road at the rear of me (seen in the rearview mirror as I checked for any pickup vehicles that could possibly be bearing down upon me).

A couple of eye blinks and quite full head rotation uncovered that I was surrounded by turkeys, almost 50 of them. What I had failed to discover a couple of times before was that they have been all feeding within just the tangled shrub-lined ditch.

It was with obvious reluctance that they had been leaving right here and remaining compelled to go on to the future feeding place. Trudging to the distant woodlot they strung out in single information throughout the corn subject, their hunched profiles hunting for all the entire world like pack-laden Klondike gold miners.

A pair of birds continued to continue to be in the shrubs, eating on no matter what it was they observed so interesting. With home windows down and 4-way flashers flashing, I eased the car ahead until abreast of the feathered diners. The telephoto lens furnished a apparent view of what they had been feeding on, which ended up the berries of wild grape.

Hunting up and down the roadsides, the tangle of vegetation was famous to be vine soon after vine of wild grape which threaded up and through the hawthorns and choke cherries, draping itself like a garland for about a kilometre together the roadside.

This has been a yr that noticed wild grapes producing ‘a bumper crop’, and the fruits hung thick in numerous clusters. The turkeys experienced discovered this and were rejoicing with their luck at locating this food items bonanza, at minimum until finally I happened alongside.

Looking at these stragglers pick ‘just a couple more’ just before they too remaining, was pretty intriguing. Some fruits had been gleaned by only extending the neck way up and nabbing the grape. Other occasions a hop, a leap and a wing flap had been expected to get the good top.

And then one lastly flew up and landed on the best of the grape vines, achieving down into the woven vines to discover the juicy fruits. Wobbly balancing atop the grape vines it seemed as normal as an elephant walking a tightrope. Descriptive terms like awkward, large seeking and just plain ‘that’s not right’ arrived to mind. Yet there this big turkey remained, tipping again and forth as it well balanced itself, plucking grapes from the vine.

Ultimately they all remaining, and I experienced some fascinating photographs. I know turkeys are scavengers, and below they have demonstrated that they can locate food in to some degree unlikely locations.

Our winters are generally a test of the turkey’s resilience to adverse weather conditions considering that their reintroduction to this region in the 1980s they have appreciated quite mild winters, which intended that sufficient foodstuff could be located to maintain quite a few huge flocks.

As the seed-laden weed stalks start to disappear beneath the floor of the white blanket a single miracles, will the turkeys all endure? Will they locate ample foodstuff to consistently fulfill the day by day cravings of these types of a significant flock? Time will tell. 

Now as I drive the rural streets, I check out to choose in additional of the huge image. A picturesque barn you are unable to miss, nor a hungry turkey it seems. As I get to know exactly where the grape vines grow in abundance, you can expect to uncover my auto slowing down in anticipation of additional sightings of these unusual wanting nevertheless intriguing birds.

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