August 21, 2009

Talking Turkey

We have had some new visitors to the farm lately. Wild turkeys! Of course turkeys are no new thing on the farm and we have seen them quite often in the past, but usually we just see them from a distance. They might be crossing the road or every once in awhile out in the pastures. I even saw one being stalked by a coyote in our hay pasture one time. The lucky turkey saw the stealthy predator in time to fly away, with some help from me and the coyote went hungry that day.

These wild turkey encounters have always been from afar though. Well, except for that one really close up, from out of nowhere, in my face at 50 mph by way of the windshield of my car turkey experience. I can't really count that one, because between the flying feathers, screeching brakes and shattering glass, that turkey and I didn't exactly have time to say hello to each other. He ran away and neither one of us or the sheriff deputy that responded could find him. I left that turkey encounter feeling very sad, needing a new windshield and almost a new pair of pants.

Lately though there has been a few brave turkeys that have been hanging around quite close to the house. At first it was just one turkey. I noticed her the first time when I happened to look out the living room window and caught her strutting around the back yard, bobbing her head and eyeing our vegetable garden. The next bob of her head she happened to see the curtains move and she quickly sort of ran and flew away. Turkeys are not the most graceful fliers.

She came back a few times and pretty soon she brought a friend. Now there was two turkeys hanging around the house almost every day. They hang out in the driveway first thing in the morning and then they like to come up to the back of the house mid morning after the goats and horse are done eating to pick up any grain they have dropped. It wasn't long until they stopped running away when I opened the backdoor and now they just walk away. The picture above was taken through the window. Jeez, I need to wash the windows but they are only about 20 feet from the back door here.

Up until yesterday it had just been two turkeys hanging around the house. They were hanging out by the backyard again. Now apparently the word is out and it is a turkey party up in here and we have three turkeys at least. I suspect they are roosting on the brush pile in the horse pasture not far from the house. Until yesterday I had not heard them make a sound. Yesterday I was in the house when I heard a strange, soft "pip" sound. "What is that?" It is hard to describe, but it sounded like pip....pip..pip. It took me a minute to realize it was the turkeys making that strange sound. So we grabbed the camera to try and get some pictures of them.

If you turn up the sound on this video you can hear them. This was the turkeys early in the morning after a heavy overnight rain shower. They walk away if they know I am watching them so this was filmed by opening the backdoor a crack and sticking the camera out. It worked for awhile and then Joker the goat had to give us away. Yes, that is hay on his head. He must have been eating out of the hay rack. He gets so much hay on his head because he likes to ram the hay rack with his horns. Maybe he would stop if he knew how silly he looked with that hay on his head all the time. (The constant clicking sound in the video is the electric fence charger)

The turkeys know we are watching them so they start to walk away. They don't do the panicked, head bob and run anymore. They just sort of mosey on back out to the pasture when they realize we are watching them.

"Oh Wait! I see a kernel of grain I missed!" Can't leave that little tasty treasure behind. Apparently she is the "just one more" chick at the turkey party.

The other two girls don't wait on her and head back home, down the horse path.

She catches up though and they walk single file back out to the brush pile together, going "pip" "pip" as they go.


Jen's Farmily said...

I think wild turkeys are so neat!! It seems like I've seen a lot of them this year.

Anonymous said...

how cute! haha, I say that about any animal really. Seeing turkeys fairly up close is cool, I happened to see some at a local nature center. I like how Joker walked up while you were filming...he's looking at you like what is going on? hahaha!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

we see quite a few wild turkeys around here. I'm a big fan of all turkey's, just love 'em, especially my Bourbon Reds.

Nancy M. said...

Very cool! It's been awhile since I've saw any turkey around here. Every once in a while they come around, but not as close as yours!

Mom L said...

Joker looks like he thinks you're interested in taking his picture, not the silly turkeys!!

Nancy in Iowa

Sandy said...

Ha, they'll be back for more corn. They are running back to tell their friends they found "free food." Joker's cute, he's thinking "wait, let me find my best side for the camera." Your place sounds like fun and work!!!!

Alix said...

Turkey Party! Yay!

You know, Joanna, at our river place there are wild turkeys all over the place. Funniest moment was when we were driving down the road and a whole herd (flock?) of turkeys were in the road scavenging. As soon as they saw our SUV coming, they took off running... down the center of the road. We sped up, they sped up. Wouldn't it have been simpler to just veer to the side? Anyway, turkeys rule. And that reminds me.... how is my dear Franklin?

I'm really sorry about your windshield/turkey encounter. Do you think he actually survived that trauma?

Great post. So much fun to read, I think I'll do it again!

Pricilla said...

How cool. I love wild turkeys. They are really funny to watch.

Carolyn said...

What fun visitors to have. It seems you are destined to have Turkeys in your life one way or another :)

Flartus said...

Too cool! I wonder if wild turkeys are increasing; I hear much more about them these days. Maybe it's all the farm blogs I'm reading. They sounded a bit like chickens to me.

When I saw Joker, I thought he was saying, "Hey, what the heck are you doing in there? If you're not busy, why aren't you out here doing some scratching!?"

And then: "Huh? Birds? Oh, them."

(Yes, I often have strange little voices in my head, lol!!)

KathyB. said...

I like seeing your handsome buck checking you out.

Aren't the turkeys interesting. I think most people would be surprised to find that turkeys are nowhere near as dumb as the reputation they have. Hunters find them very wily!Nice wild life viewing from your back door.

Moonshadow said...

Nice to see a new post from you! I've been seeing more turkeys around here than usual. Speaking of wild critters, last night I had gone out back for something I heard the most goshawful howling and yipping coming from over around the airport. I'm sure it was a pack of coyotes but I had never heard so many before. I ran in to get my camcorder but by the time I had slapped on the battery, rewound the used tape and got back outside they had quit. I chased a mocking bird around the backyard with a voice recorder last summer and every time I set it down and pushed record he'd fly to the phone pole at the other side of the house. :( LOL

Magaly Guerrero said...

Hahahaha! I was laughing so hard my dad came to see what was going on, then I showed him and he said "That's the coolest thing, play it again." We both laughed this time around.

I love everything you share with us about the curious animals around the goat's garden. I missed you posts so much, I'm glad you are back!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Cute post!
Shame on joker for stealing the show.
I wonder what the turkeys were saying as they moseyed back down the horse path?

Jennifer said...

Thank you all for the nice comments and welcome backs! The turkeys were back again today.

Alix - I don't know if that turkey survived the windshield or not. He was OK enough to run off afterward but it is hard to tell. It sure made me sad though. He must have flew up from the tall grass next to the highway as he seemed to come out of nowhere. Seeing one that quickly and close up with just a windshield between us I realized turkeys are huge! At least that one sure seemed big that day!

Yes, Joker the goat is the funny part of that video. He is quite curious about what we were doing. I guess he couldn't quite figure out why we would open the door just a crack and stick that shiny, silver box out of it. LOL

Alix said...

OMG Jennifer! I'm seriously considering removing my wine IV... I thought I was commenting on Joanna's blog, Boondocks Wilcox!! I'm SOOO sorry. I guess the turkey stories got me confused because she's alway posting photos of that precious Franklin - who I adore.

{Sure, blame it on the bird}

Anyway - forgive me. I'll pay closer attention next time before commenting, or at the very least try to sober up first.

Jennifer said...

That is OK Alix! Actually Joanna made a comment before yours about her bourbon red turkeys so I actually thought you were commenting to her here about her comment! No worries at all. Hey, I am a Franklin Fan too! Joanna has the coolest animals, especially Franklin and Sweet Pea!

DayPhoto said...

That is so cool! We don't have turkeys here, although they are in Paonia.


Statch said...

How cool! We've only seen wild turkeys crossing the road. (A flock of 10 crossed in front of me the other day.) Funny that someone else mentioned coyotes. We just heard them for the first time two nights ago, and then saw a large one in a field down the road the next day. I really didn't know there were coyotes in the Southeast until we moved out here.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to try to 'tame' them a bit? Wouldn't that be nice to have wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner! When we lived in New Zealand, we had a wild flock that ranged on our land. We never did catch one for dinner but I often thought about it (was vegetarian at the time).