Turkey takeoff

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know that turkeys have starred before, but always in the spring or summer. Since they do not migrate, even when the snow is thick on the ground they are still wandering the woods foraging. You see their tracks, like the ones on the left below, with more in the background:

The other day, out of the woods they came, for all the world like a band of greatcoated marauders from the Russian steppes:

In close-up they are even more military-looking:

Those photos were taken from the desk, through the window. They rounded the corner of the house, so I crept outside to try and get a better shot, but I only succeeded in scaring them:

They ran across the back yard towards the field, and took off: here you can see their tracks going from right to left, taking an abrupt turn to face downhill and line up their takeoffs, and ending sharply as they got airborne. (The big sloppy tracks are from my snowshoes!)

One of them left faint wing marks in the snow

They are pretty good flyers, so all I got was a picture of two rear ends and pale wing feathers.

Male turkeys are heavy, ungainly birds, up to 24lbs (11Kg), and their wings are not very large to carry such a weight , up to 4ft 9in (1.5m) or so, so it is always disconcerting to see them in flight.

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