We are enduring this winter as best as we can, like everyone in Michigan. Apparently, this is the harshest winter since that of 1880-81, and we have no trouble believing that. I’ve avoided the hospital on a couple occasions, thankfully, due to the efforts of one of my doctors as well as urgent care – cold weather and my health are becoming increasingly incompatible.
As humans, we are not the only ones affected by this brutal cold. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources was quoted on the news a couple of weeks ago as saying that they expect to see a lot of animals dying off because of the cold exposure and more importantly, due to the lack of food sources, because the snow and ice cover has been so persistent.
Yesterday, I noticed turkey prints in our front yard and so I knew that the wild turkey flock had at least some survivors through the season. A couple of hours ago, George was doing some studying in the living room, and he saw something BIG swoop in and land in our yard. We are, of course, always on alert for flying predators like hawks, with the protection of our flocks in mind, so he sounded the alert – and we both got to the front windows to see a big turkey investigating our yard, and the area around it became the landing zone for his flockmates – some on the ground, some in the tree.
The tree that they are feeding in and around is a type of ornamental crabapple, and it still has some of its fruit from last season on the branches. Obviously this has been quite a treat for them. At last check, I counted 17 birds ranging from in front of our driveway to around our back yard, with most concentrated around that tree. I’m glad to see that our yard can provide them with a food source, even if what’s on that tree will only give them a day’s meal.
When they jump up from the ground to pick berries off of the tree, it sends me into hysterics. And let’s face it, turkeys in trees? Hilarious.
Also, of note? Wild turkeys seem to have the same approach to travel as Tusken Raiders – moving single file, to try and hide their numbers. Bye for now, turkeys!