Evening Turkeys.

A group of turkeys decided to visit, and I did my generally bad job of shooting wild turkeys. They move very fast, and aren’t overly fond of two-leggeds of the people type. They are magnificent, and I love seeing them. And yes, they can fly. Click for full size!





© C. Ford, all rights reserved.


  1. dakotagreasemonkey says

    This is just a small family group. There are hundreds of them in this valley, plus many more all across North America. There are 42 US states that have enough Wild Turkey to have a hunting season. I was surprised to learn that New Jersey has Turkey seasons.
    This is nearly the end of corn harvest, wheat was done weeks ago, and Pulse harvest is 1/4 done (edible peas, field dried). Sunflowers are next, they need a hard freeze before they can dry enough to harvest. They have been driven out of the fields by the corn harvest. Combines cutting or stripping the stalks makes them explore other cover/food sources. They will go back to the fields when harvest is over.

  2. blf says

    According to Ye Pfffft! of All knowledge there almost weren’t: “Game managers estimate that the entire population of wild turkeys in the United States was as low as 30,000 in the early 20th century. […] In 1973, the total U.S. population was estimated to be 1.3 million, and current estimates place the entire wild turkey population at 7 million individuals.”

  3. stellatree says

    Handsome birds! I love the way their squared off feathers look like shingles. I often see wild turkeys when camping in NorCal, I think they’re pretty common.

  4. dakotagreasemonkey says

    3. blf
    There has been a lot of work done by conservationists to grow the Wild Turkey population. It has worked. I believe the 7 million number.
    About 5 years ago, we had a very snowy winter, and passed a farm/ranch about 2 miles from town, that had at least 500 turkeys on it. They had corralled the cattle to protect them from the storm, and busted numerous round bales of hay to feed the cattle. Heat from the cattle and the hay, plus plenty of feed drew them from everywhere. It’s been the largest flock of Turkey I’ve ever seen.

  5. says


    About 5 years ago, we had a very snowy winter, and passed a farm/ranch about 2 miles from town, that had at least 500 turkeys on it.

    I remember that! Got lots of bad turkey shots then, too. :D I think 500 is a light estimate, we were boggled, couldn’t watch them all at one time. Whole groups would flush and then fly, remember? Amazing sight, that. Don’t see them in the trees anymore, but they don’t roost until almost dark.

  6. says

    I have some funny footage of turkeys doing dominance displays right under my bedroom window. I let that continue for a while until I opened the window and yelled “KNOCK IT OFF!” at them. Turkey consternation!

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    Strange-looking but handsome indeed. The fact that you can see their bird ears and the caruncles make them look so strange. The vestige of a feather crest on the head is something noticeable from the pictures.

  8. blf says

    dakotagreasemonkey@6, Yes I omitted from my quote all the work done by conservationists and others to raise the numbers. That link (@3) also confirms that wild turkeys are (now) quite common in some parts of northern California, apparently that has only happened in the last c.20 years.

  9. says

    @rq #10

    They’re much prettier than their domesticated counterparts.

    Indeed the are.

    I remember reading somewhere that turkeys were primarily domesticated by Indians for their feathers and not for the meat. The meat and eggs were allegedly a mere byproduct that only afterward became a main product.

    However I cannot find that reference now so it might be a fun fact or a complete bovine excrement.

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