Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wild Turkeys

Prince Edward County is usually good for wild turkey sightings, but this visit I saw nary a one. Then Saturday morning, before the snow started and the cold returned, I discovered that a couple of these lovely birds had come down the laneway at least a little way and crossed into the fields below the house.

The first sign, enormous green bird scat. I don't associate green scat with turkeys, and at first wondered if this was Canada goose spoor, though it didn't look quite right. We had a long enough period of warm weather that a bunch of greenery sprang up on the forest floors; might be adding some variety to everyone's usual winter diet.

Wandering around off the beaten track a little I found another scat, this time associated with some nice clear turkey tracks--fresh, because still relatively crisp in the last little bit of snow remaining after the long period of the melt.

Lovely tracks in soft, wet snow.

My guess is that the turkeys passed just a few hours before, and I could have seen them if I'd just glanced out a window at the right moment.

Troutgrrrl of Science and Sarcasm writes of a turkey roost near her home--the turkeys go to bed at 5:00. It's been my experience too that turkeys are early to bed, and not all that early to rise, so it probably would have been full daylight when they passed.


TroutGrrrl said...

Cool post Pamela. I wonder if all this green poop and red pee is related to the fact that there is so much green plant material still around - it's not been frozen as hard or as many times as it normally is by mid January. I bet there's not been as much degradation to brownish, damaged plant tissue. Just a thought.
Our turkeys are slowly sneaking their bedtime a bit later as the day lengthens, but only to 5:20 or so.

Pamela Martin said...

Hi Troutgrrrl--I think that's the answer for the green scat. There was lots of new growth around when I saw it. And the grass uncovered by the melt was still green too. I also saw a deer scat that was a mass of not quite formed pellets--something you usually see in spring, a reaction to their first meals of green stuff. Strange year--after dropping very low for a couple of days, temperatures here are rising to above freezing again, with rain expected tomorrow!