Wild Turkeys Thrive
in Suburban Waterloo
15 September 2014
While checking a few of my regular birding spots I came across a flock of at least twenty-one Wild Turkeys Melagris gollopavo a mere stone's throw from a complex of townhouses. The area in which I located them is at the edge of a residential area and appears to be slated for development itself (we are paving over the whole world). Most of these birds were hatch year birds and the reproductive capacity of this species is prolific. It is a hardy species, surviving our harsh winters, and its numbers have exploded in recent years. And this for a bird that thirty or so years ago was not present at all in the province.
It had been extirpated by over-hunting and an exchange was made with the State of Michigan - turkeys for moose. Michigan had the same experience with its native moose as we had with turkeys, it had been hunted out of existence.
The picture below is not great, but it was the only one I could get as the birds exploded out of one area of scrubby bush and headed for another. It is quite incredible how quickly they can move.
A stately Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias at another location nearby was a tad more photogenic.