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Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey, Redwood Regional Park 

As you can tell from the photo above (taken in Redwood Regional Park [12]), this blog entry is not about the beverage. I decided to write about wild turkeys today because they are an American success story, AND because one crossed an *urban* street in front of my vehicle today as I was headed to lunch! What was s/he (young female or young male) doing crossing an urban street? Why was s/he leaving the restaurant? I was about to ask the manager if he served turkeys, but I thought better of it! :-) A thought just crossed my mind (I know. I know. One a day is plenty! :-) ) (That was more self-deprecating humor. Someone out there may have to explain it to at least one director who used to work at one of my former companies.) It actually *is* spring turkey season in California, which might explain why the birds are not out in the rural areas, where the hunters are! Don’t misunderstand me. I have nothing against licensed hunters who abide by the laws. I am a biologist by training and know what happens to natural populations without predators. I also know that taxes paid by hunters since the 1930s are a major source of the funds for much of the conservation effort in the United States.

Wild turkeys are very smart birds. They hunt in packs and communicate with each other by a complex set of vocalizations. They have a social structure. Turkeys have also been reported to have “better” (whatever THAT means) color vision than humans. Benjamin Franklin viewed the wild turkey as a “more respectable” bird than the Bald Eagle, after the Bald Eagle was chosen as the national bird of the United States. Ben Franklin was a very smart human. I realized late in life that most of the wisdom that my parents imparted by aphorisms came from Poor Richard’s Almanack.

There are currently 5 subspecies of wild turkey, and the bird has made a very successful comeback in much of the U.S….so much so in fact that you find them crossing streets in urban settings in California.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.     

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