Saturday, July 7, 2012

Turkey Babies

I have posted in the past about Tom, the wild turkey wandering the grounds of my office complex. A couple weeks ago, I saw Tom and his lady friend pecking at seeds in the grass so I knew he (and they) were still around.

Then one day, I heard a turkey gobble - slightly different from the normal gobble, but definitely with that turkey guttural sound with it too. Then I heard a "cheep, cheep" sweet sound. Then I heard a gobble - and a cheep - and a gobble - and a cheep... and thought, what the heck is going on?

I went to my office door - and saw a baby turkey! Oh my gosh, did he look sweet. He had gotten separated from his mama, and was standing on the brick walkway in front of my office door that leads up the steps to my office. Mama Turkey was down the way along the grass, on the brick path that starts a few feet to the right from where the baby stood. All the baby knew was that his Mom was directly in front of him as the crow flies - and as the turkey flies, if they flew, but it appears they do not (at least not when they are babies).

I watched as the baby - cheep, cheep - tried to jump up towards the sound of his mother's gobble (rather than realize that if he first waddled away from her voice to the right, he would find a crossing brick pathway perpendicular to where he stood that could get him to her much more easily). By jumping toward where he heard her, this baby turkey kept landing - smack dab! - into the low concrete wall that lined the pathway of the bricks leading to me. Ouch! (I thought, as I watched him smack his face into the wall, trying to follow his mother's gobble and get to her). Ouch, and ouch again (I thought, as he tried this trick two more times).

For as much as I did not want to get in the way of the call of nature (and turkey), I felt I could not just stand there and watch him hit his head against the wall - both proverbially and literally - so I did what I knew would help: I opened the door to my office.

He turned towards the sound I made to his left and looked - startled by my actions - and instinctively took off to run away from that sound, and me. He skedaddled a few feet to his right, and in that direction was the pathway that his mother had taken, and where she stood (some yards away) waiting for him to join her.

I knew he'd find her now. I didn't have to see the reunion to know it would happen as I watched him round the corner and take off on the pathway towards where she was.

But curiosity got the better of me anyway, and I stepped out of my office and walked the path that he had gone - only to see a passel of them (is it a gaggle or flock?) - gathered with the Mom - oh my gosh, how cute was that!! - there were about five or six brothers and sisters that patiently waited with Mama for their unfortunate wayward brother to join them.

And so there they were - turkey babies! Looking suspiciously like goslings (is the best I can describe it).

This was the best photo I was able to take - it is not particularly good - but it does show, just next to the shadow, the baby turkey scurrying away from me and toward the brick path that leads to his left (and to his mother):

And then here is a photo of his mother with the other babies (though the siblings are nearly impossible to see) around the corner from where he was:

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