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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Western Road Trip Part 8 (Wild Turkey)

I had gone to the Elkhorn area of Cypress Hills, Alberta to photograph warblers but after arriving and the light failing very quickly I decided to have a cuppa of tea and settle in for the night. At around 4.45 a.m next morning an almighty series of calls woke me from my sleep.
Peering out the window of my van there was a Wild Turkey with two females. As a newcomer to birding I always thought the Wild turkey was something from the Mid-West USA. The light was so low that photography was almost impossible. After tens minutes or so the birds wandered off into the bush. A few hours later and ready to continue my journey I was just about to leave the campground and there were the same trio but this time with a little better light, after a few quick shots they too disappeared into the forest.
I wasn't finished with the wild Turkeys yet. During my visit to Vernon I saw another Wild Turkey in the demonstration forest on Benchrow Rd, although I don't have photographs another birder had some good record shots.

One thing about birding is to be prepared for the unexpected, perhaps that is why it is such a popular pastime with people from every walk of life.
I spoke to a game warden and he explained that the Turkeys had made a nuisance of themselves and some had to been relocated. I suppose that happens when you build cabins, a gas station and other infrastructure on their territory. The only predator they have is the cougar which have been turning up at Elkhorn to have their young and snack on turkey meat. I suppose its like a wildlife supermarket. Trouble is cougars and turkeys seem to get in the way of us "humans"
Nothing new there!

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