4/24 Tom on a Log


This is not Jake from the previous post. This is Tom, a young gobbler (mature male) who has been hanging out in a different part of the forest. Wednesday at 8:30 am he was standing on a log near the trail, his wattle, caruncle, and snood illuminated by the morning sun.


The droopy snood over his beak and the blobby red caruncle inform other turkeys that he’s a young Tom, at least two years old. These fleshy parts are judged by hens as measures of a gobbler’s virility, and they get much larger on older, dominant males.

Like most urban wild turkeys, this bird has never known a human hunter, and doesn’t share the legendary wariness of rural turkeys. He has likely eaten cracked corn provided by my friend Deany who lives at the edge of the forest.

So what does a young gobbler do in the hormonal springtime, when no hens are to be found? He gets up on a log and shows himself off, that’s what.


He preens…


Eyes the intruder…


fluffs his feathers…




Strikes a pose for possible admirers…

None of which may do any good, since dominant males breed with most of the hens. But if this young Tom is lucky he too will be a hormone-laden old gobbler someday. Meanwhile, practice makes perfect.















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