Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mating Season

Woke up this morning to find two dozen turkeys in my driveway. The scene looked like a funky singles bar—the male turkeys were all strutting around, fanning their tails and doing the “Look at me, Turkey Girl” routine, and the female turkeys were ignoring them. The flock strolled slowly down the driveway as they did their mating dance.

It made me laugh, and then I remembered the turkeys that hung around my backyard most of last summer. There was a female turkey and 12 babies. She was an patient, vigilant mother; she kept a close eye on her brood as they wandered around the property, nibbling on bugs they found in the grass. Sometimes she would settle herself on the lawn and rest, with all of the chicks hidden under her wings.

As the weeks went by, there were fewer and fewer chicks; the coyotes had moved in. First there were 12, then 10, then 9, then 6, then 5, then 4, and finally, the last time I saw them, there were just three young turkeys left, wandering in the grass under their mother’s watchful eye.

No comments: