Tom Turkeys in Spring

Last fall a group of wild turkeys started hanging out in our pastures. At first there were five of these tom turkeys. Later there were four.

The four grazed on grass seed. These tom turkeys stayed together with few arguments. They quickly became celebrities for people driving by.

When the grass seed was gone, so were the four turkeys. This was expected but disappointing as it was enjoyable watching them. Wild turkeys especially tom turkeys are wary birds and I rarely see them let alone get a chance to watch them.

two tom turkeys

The wild turkeys are back. These are from a group of four toms hanging out together for now. Spring is coming.

Winter, such as it was, is almost gone. Warm days keep whispering of spring. Spice bush and sassafras buds are swelling. Pawpaw flower buds are too but more slowly.

Cardinals mobbed the bird feeder when cold, snow flurries and ice ruled the area. Now cardinals come by but not seriously. Instead they are in the wild plum patch and other brushy areas singing loudly as the males establish their nesting territories.

Woodpeckers are drumming in the woods. In cold weather they feast on peanut butter at the bird feeder. Peanut butter consumption has dropped as the temperatures have risen.

And the tom turkeys are back in the pastures. They pace across the same areas. The group shows signs of breaking up.

Now the four chase each other. They stay more spread out. One was spreading his tail practicing for next month.

There are several groups of hen turkeys on the hills around and above the pastures. A dozen come out into the pasture early some mornings and flee when I come out to do chores. I catch glimpses of others fleeing up into the woods from other pastures.

tom turkey with tail spread

This tom turkey knows spring is coming. He is practicing spreading his tail and chasing the other toms.

Sometime in March the group of four will separate. Gobbling will sound over the pastures early in the mornings. The hill pasture is a favorite strutting ground for tom turkeys calling for the hens to come and visit.

My fingers are crossed these four turkeys will remember me a little. I must cross the bridge and go through the trees lining the creek to get good pictures of tom turkeys courting with their tails spread and wings fanned surrounded by adoring hen turkeys.