Watching Wild Turkeys In Town

I live in a small Ozark town. To my surprise the other day I found myself watching wild turkeys at the outskirts of town.

A creek goes through parts of town. The town limit toward my home is a bridge crossing this creek. The creek area is still thick woods and is kept this way due to flooding.

Wild turkeys do live along this creek. I’d seen them out toward ShawneeMac Conservation Area. They go across the road into the pastures along there.

watching wild turkeys
As the street leaves town, it curves sharply to the left leaving a field directly ahead. The wild turkey flock was busy checking for anything edible. The creek growth behind them is where they live.

Just inside the town limit there was a small pasture. A pony lived there for a time. Across the road are some fields cut and round baled every year.

Late one afternoon as I drove home from town, I noticed a flock of wild turkeys in the small pasture. Watching wild turkeys in the fields around home I learned to do fast counts and estimated a dozen birds.

It was late. I needed to get home to let the herd in for the night. I didn’t stop.

The next time I came home I looked in the field. There were no turkeys. It must have been a fluke. Or the neighborhood dogs had made the turkeys decide to go back to their usual pastures.

wild turkey flock across the street
The small field had limited fodder. The larger hay field across the street was occupied by more wild turkeys foraging. Although wary, the turkeys weren’t frightened off by vehicles or people on the road. Most of the turkeys didn’t look up leaving that to a few guards.

After another long day in town with a list of errands much longer than the time available, I headed home. Winter days are frustrating as they get dark so early and the goats need to come in before dark.

I rolled down the hill toward the Spring Creek Bridge. There was the flock of turkeys. This time I stopped to take a couple of pictures. Watching wild turkeys is fine. Having pictures to savor later is better.

watching wild turkeys watching me
A few wild turkeys stretched up tall checking me out. If one of them ran, the entire flock would run for cover. These few guards decided my camera and I were no threat.

This was the dozen birds. I turned toward my truck. Across the road in the other fields was another dozen or more.

These are definitely town birds. Watching wild turkeys out my way takes stealth as they take off as soon as they spot you. These town birds looked me over and went back to eating.

Wild turkeys are one of the topics in “Exploring the Ozark Hills“.