I knew it had to be something unusual. I have an assortment of birds flying from the trees to the feeders and I am sure Dave wouldn't be excited about everyday birds. Bluejays, morning doves and a variety of woodpeckers and sparrows grace my bird feeder all winter long. Before the last snowfall, when there are a few feet of grass soaking up the sun after a long winter's nap, robins hop about bending their head to the ground listening for the slithery sound of the juicy worms and grubs below the ground. Soon after the snow melts yellow and red finches, the red ones are called purple flinches, flight about. I always wonder why they called them purple finches. Perhaps the person who named them was colored blind, or red just wasn't exotic enough. I should Google that. You can find anything on Google, some true, some not. Still much better than the encyclopedias I grew up with.
The last birds to come back are the cute, flighty and aggressive hummingbirds.
I've gotten a bit sidetracked. This had to be an unusual bird. It was, but not a rare one, just unusual that it was in my back yard. It was a wild turkey strutting through my yard eating the leftover seeds the blue jays scattered during the winter.
I have a kindred liking to turkeys. They are not the most beautiful bird, they even look quite awkward with their long legs and long neck sticking out of their basketball size bodies. I love the way they walk, long legs stretching out in front of them, almost pointing their toes like graceful ballerinas, their head bobbing along in front of their body. They walk as if they don't have a care in the world. Other than the hunters in the spring they probably don't have a care in the world. Perhaps the hunters don't scare them either as I've heard they are hard to see and hunt. This is probably true. I tried to get a picture of the bird in the morning sun with last nights raindrops glistening on the trees. As soon as I opened the door his long legs scurried him off into the woods where his round body was quickly hidden or camouflaged by the dead underbrush left over from last winter.
Why do I have a kindred for turkeys? When I grew up there wasn't wild turkey to be had, not-a, not one. Apparently, when our ancestors immigrated to Canada from Europe between the 1700 and 1800's and met the locals, wild turkeys roamed this province, Ontario. By 1909 the turkeys had gone the way of unregulated hunters.
About 40 years ago our government decided we should be able to enjoy these funky birds again. I was going to say majestic, peacocks are majestic, not turkeys.
The government chose a few natural parks and brought turkeys in. One of those parks was the property behind my Dad's farm, the farm I grew up on. Dad once owned the land, until our government decided to make the back half into a natural park. They bought the back '40's' of several properties, at a good price, to create this park.
The ministry or government fed corn to the turkeys until they got established. It didn't take long for the turkeys natural needs to go into actions. Turkeys flourished.
Chicks were plentiful enough to be relocated further north. The government poured corn or grain on the ground. The chicks came out of their hiding to fill their bellies. According to my Dad, who watched this, the government workers shot a net over the chicks while they ate. Once the chicks were captured they were transported to a safe area further north in our province.
The turkeys flourished in our lush land with plenty of woods, lakes, ponds, and swamps.
Now large turkeys strut through the woods, into our yards and occasionally cross the road.
Instead of 'Why did the chicken cross the road?' Why do the turkey's cross the road? Of course, to get to the other side.