Common photographic subjects can still be fun to shoot. Most everyone in New England I would guess has at least one or two turkey siting stories, even in the city. They tend to travel in groups, sometimes with as many as 60 partners. They do seem to work together well (at least it appears that way) and as such often end up walking or flying in interesting formations. (And yes, wild turkeys can actually fly, at least some can, if they feel like it.) These two were part of a team of maybe eight or nine crossing the road that runs through Quabbin Park in Belchertown, Massachusetts. They aren’t terribly afraid of people, but they did move along at a pretty good pace. This is a good example of why it is helpful to always have access to your camera. This shot required rolling down the window and hitting the shutter. I took about 20 shots over the course of maybe 30 seconds, and this was the best.
Commonplace, but still fun. Turkeys of course lead an interesting life. As I mentioned, they tend to travel if flocks or foraging groups. The groups are composed of nearly all females and one male. The male does, as near as I can tell, absolutely nothing, particularly with regard to the raising of young. This perhaps sheds light on the origins of the phrase, “you turkey!”
“Commonplace” though actually doesn’t capture the whole story. Turkeys were of course hunted to regional extinction in the 1800’s. There were for all practical purposes no turkeys in most of New England by the early 1900’s. Why the resurgence? There was opportunity, in the form of significant reforestation. There was also human intervention. The turkeys we see here are largely the result of restocking programs in which wild turkeys were brought from other parts of the country, back to what was once one of their main homes. It worked. Sometimes the best of human intentions actually achieve a desired outcome.