Project Chekov: Turkey, Thrasher and Titmouse

A Turkey, a Thrasher and a Titmouse walked into a bar.  The bar tender goes “Sorry, we don’t server T’s.  Okay, okay, not as funny as three men walk into a bar, the fourth one ducked, but I gave it my best shot.  Like the last post this one brings you not one, not two but Terree (in my best Monty Python imitation) birds.  Unfortunately, unlike last time it is short of images – a measly one per species, weak.

First up is the Wild Turkey. These birds definitely differ from their domesticated brethren in that they can flight.  Not very well, but they can go short distances and launch themselves into the trees if need to escape from danger.  Typically you will see them hanging out on the ground at the edges of tree lines looking for berries, insects and snails (per Cornell’s dietary information).  Cornell also mentions they have made a comeback of sorts and now can be found in every state but Alaska.  Likely easier to just go down to the local Walmart and grab one out of the freezer than stalk these quarky birds in the wild.  According to Wikipedia they actually got their name from the country Turkey (as a result of Britain bringing us the domesticated version) – did not know that.

I have found them to be very aloof and not wanting to be around humans at all.  Whenever we spot them they usually turn and head for the woods almost immediately.  The one above is a female that has been hanging out in the woods near a ravine not too far from the house.  While we were building our house we discovered a group of Wild Turkeys living there and did our best not to disturb them too much – one had actually laid about 8 to 10 eggs at the time.  Soon after they were hatched, the mother took them to another location – our builder mentioned the Tom’s will kill them if they find them.  Guessing it has been this female that has been hanging around here each year.  This year she was hauling around two offspring!  She brought them to the feeders twice but each time she saw me with the camera she gathered them up and high tailed into the woods.  Glad to see at least two of them made it to juvi status – maybe those will take up residence next year as well!  I was surprised to find that the Wild Turkey hasn’t made it to the Blog yet – chalk up another check mark.

Next up.. the Brown Thrasher.  Now this bird has made a showing on the blog.  The previous two showings were in my own backyard (link here and here).  This new sighting was at Banner Marsh in a Mulberry tree along the side of the road partway to the marsh.  While taking pictures of another bird, there was a rustling in the tree behind me.  Turning to investigate this Thrasher was staring right at me.

That began a 15 minute battle to try and get a clear shot of that damn bird.  Pretty sure it knew I wanted it in the tin so it purposely kept itself partially hidden.  jumping form branch to branch as it circled the tree away from me.  I’d stop it would stop on the other side of the tree – move left it went right, move right it went left and when I moved into the center of the tree it just went to the top.  Extremely frustrating.  Kind of feel bad for Linda having to hang out in the car watching me dance around this tree.  This is the ONLY shot worth showing from that battle.  All in all, not too bad if I say so myself.  Again, the journey was more than the destination.  Something about these birds make it seem like they are always pissed off (probably because humans keep disturbing them with their big glass).  Guessing it is the yellow eye, but not sure on that.

Hit the jump to see the final bird in the set

Lastly, I bring you a bird that has a high school humorous name, the Tufted Titmouse.  This bird has been featured on the blog before, but those were some pretty crappy pictures back then – fuzzy bad for sure (link here).  This one was hanging out at our feeder trying to sneak off with some food under the beaks of a House/Purple Finch and Cowbird.  I like this shot because even though the Finch was oblivious to the intrusion, you can see the Cowbird was letting it know it wasn’t too keen on the idea.

These birds are a regular at our feeders but will never eat at the feeder themselves.  They will swoop in, grab a sunflower seed and head back to the trees to crack it open and eat it.  They are pretty timid and refuse to come near the feeders until I have moved out of the area – unlike Chickadees which have no problems feasting on the spoils whether I’m at the pole or not.  According to Wikipedia, a previous year’s offspring sometimes remains to help its parents raise the next year’s young.  How interesting – don’t see that indicated on other birds I’ve researched.   I like to watch these birds in the yard and never fail to call out their name whenever I see them – then again I’m easily amused hehehe.

Well, that makes three.  Hope you enjoyed the shots… well, the few that were available.

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