Turkeys: Wildlife Wednesday

I guess Wednesdays are the days when weird things happen with animals now?

It was a typical morning, (don’t they all start that way?) and I had gotten the kids situated with schoolwork before going to take a shower.

After I turned off the water, I heard what sounded like incessant turkey noise outside. I thought, “Wow, Fredrika is being really loud, and that’s unusual…”

Fredrika turkey returns

Point of fact interruption here. Fredrika had gone missing for six weeks. Six. Weeks. I thought she was done for, or done with us, and I had come to terms with the fact that our homestead was now turkey-free.

One night at kiddo bed time, Hubs hollered from the hallway, “Everyone, come here.” We looked out the back door, and there was Fredrika pecking around like she had never left.

That was also the same day I removed my rhubarb plant from the garage, thinking it was safe, since she had been missing for several weeks. Apparently rhubarb leaves, while toxic to most anything else, are a delicacy for wild turkeys.

Last summer, after I sinfully spent money on a rhubarb plant so we could have rhubarb out here, Fredrika decimated it within minutes. We put it in the garage to try to let it recover, and even over winter it did really well. But on the one day I bring it out – with it’s one brand new stem and leaf – Fredrika returns and immediately eats it.

I brought the rhubarb plant inside to nurture along with my seed starts, and now we also have the return of the wild turkey to contend with.

So, after my shower I went to the window and pulled back the curtain.

Fifteen turkeys were calling, gobbling, and … mating … in my front yard.

I yelled downstairs to Hubs, no answer. I sent Little Man down to tell him the situation and the response was, “Take good pictures for me.”

There is a birdpocalypse in our front yard! There is chasing and fighting and inappropriate behavior taking place before our very eyes, and “take good pictures” is what he says.

The turkeys were around all day. I ran from window to window trying to keep an eye on where they were, making sure my chickens were okay, and making sure turkeys weren’t getting in the coop destroying eggs or thinking they had just found the promised land.

They were restless, they were noisy, they were outright mean to Fredrika. Well, the hens were mean to her. The toms went out of their way to… oblige her company.

I thought, “This is it, this is our Fredrika farewell.” I thought for sure if the turkeys moved on, she would follow them, now that she finally had a flock.

All day long, the activity was like a nature-soap-opera. I couldn’t focus on anything for any productive amount of time, because of the noise, my desire to protect my chickens, and my curiosity for why these turkeys were hanging around (and so close to the house!)

Turkey Mural

By evening, the wild turkeys had moved on and we could see them across the valley down by the stream. Yet, Fredrika stayed in her normal area up here on the hilltop. I couldn’t believe it when she roosted in her normal spot above the garage that evening.

Hubs said it best, it was like a bad biker gang invaded our property. They just showed up, took over the place, had their way with the land (and the lady), then left when they lost interest.

Hubs did buy a spring turkey license online, and if their return and his availability present an opportunity, I hope to be dressing out a wild tom in the near future.

It’s so amazing to me. By all accounts, we shouldn’t be here. We had no intentions or ideas of moving, then suddenly we were moving, this house was completely out of our price range, then we ended up purchasing it thanks to the Lord moving mountains for us.

AND, He has provided game literally at our doorstep. Rabbits, pheasants, deer, and now turkeys. (I say “and now” because could you really see us hunting Fredrika? No.) Anything we would need is right here on our land. Amazing.

The turkeys came back on Saturday, and were again engaging in the same reckless behavior, right off the patio. I couldn’t believe they had come back (but Hubs had a kayaking date and couldn’t fill his turkey tag before heading out).

I find it especially humorous. If you watch any kind of wild turkey hunting video, hunters are decked out in camo, hiding in brush or behind trees, careful not to make noise or sudden movements.

If we shot a wild turkey hunting video, it would be of Hubs opening the back door, taking aim while the biker turkey gang ran around him, and the scenery would be the garage and the chicken coop in the background.

…and it would probably be filmed on a Wednesday.

One Reply to “Turkeys: Wildlife Wednesday”

  1. I read your post with my 1st cup of coffee for the morning… and I have not laughed so hard in a long time! Your husband’s response to the turkey invasion had me falling off my chair laughing. A great start to my day!

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