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phicks
Lakeland, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 27, 2008
3:25 PM

Post #5835738

Great Article and Pictures Have a Great Thanks Giveing Paul
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

November 27, 2008
7:43 PM

Post #5836359

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Paul!
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

November 28, 2008
1:11 AM

Post #5836898

Those critters are here too. We have them in and around the garden two or three times each summer. They forage over a large territory when they are not over populated. When they are in their rutt I can hear the gobblers sounding off miles from where I live. We have thousands in our county...all wild birds. The restocking stopped years ago.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

November 28, 2008
2:15 AM

Post #5837066

Yes, no more need for restocking in many areas! LOL I did read somewhere that attempts to restock from captive bred populations were unsuccessful... but it went much better once they simply captured wild turkey groups and relocated them.
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

November 28, 2008
5:34 AM

Post #5837403

Wild turkeys live around here -- Los Alamos, New Mexico, but we rarely see them. They also live on my farm in Southern Mississippi, but I rarely see them there either. I wonder why we don't have them in the numbers you do, critterologist.
By the way, isn't a Sand Hill Crane larger than a turkey? We have those around here and they sure look tall.
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

November 28, 2008
3:40 PM

Post #5838038

My guess is that the Northeast has more cover and more water not to mention the grasslands that foster buggy food all summer long. For Instance my surburban home is within walking distance of two creeks the Westerners would call rivers. Both feed into the huge river basin a mile or so South at the foot of another undeveloped mountain. The land mass is a mix of farms, surburbia, with lots and lots of creek and riverside natural game cover and food. This mix covers some twenty miles along both creeks and some three or four hundred miles of the Sesquahanna River basin. Thats' just the South flow of the river. It meanders a hundred or more miles North to it's origin zigging and zagging through numerous mountain valleys. The origin is a divide feeding three major Eastern Rivers...The Ohio, the Delaware and the Sesquehanna. The Ohio works it's way into the Mississippi. The Delaware to it's own lowlands and into the Atlantic Ocean while the Sesquehanna works into the Chesapeak Bay and then the Atlantic Ocean. The next open ground to our North is that around the Finger Lakes in New York. Our deep mountains are no longer deep but they are just plum full of small streams all over them that feed our three major rivers. The top third of Pennsylvania is state or nationally owned forests...I would guess for about 75% of the land mass. In these mountains we now have all wild game animals with the exception possibly of the large cats, Western Deer, antalope and buffalo. The hunting and recreational use of these land masses are second only to timber resources, natural gas mines, some mineral mining.. relative to cash flow that feeds the natives. The schools of the mountains are the highest tax payer supported schools in the state. There are more bears in some of those counties than there are people.
...That's my two cent geography and economical lesson for this day. :)
pajaritomt
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

November 28, 2008
4:11 PM

Post #5838121

Well, that certainly does explain the situation out west. And we do have the big cats as well and they are increasing. My mother-in-law saw a mountain lion chasing a deer across the neighbors' front yard last week. That might explain the lack of turkey sightings here -- they don't dare show themselves.
But it doesn't explain southern Mississippi which has water everywhere, probably as much as Pennsylvania. No mountains, just lots of rainful and creeks that the West would call rivers everywhere. Nor is Mississippi heavily populated. There are lots of fields and piney woods. And they don't have big cats and few bears. They do have coyotes but who doesn't? I have seen turkeys at the farm but not all that often. I suppose the problem could be human poachers which we have quite a few of.
I would love to have flocks of turkeys all around.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

November 28, 2008
6:38 PM

Post #5838465

That makes sense, Doc. The turkeys are apparently more common in some Northwest areas such as San Francisco.

I'm glad you mentioned the sandhill cranes... I've been wondering about the "second largest bird in North America" thing... I read it in several places as I was looking for more information on wild turkeys. DH also mentioned CA condors... Hmm. I wonder if perhaps turkeys could be heavier than those others (rather than larger in terms of wing span, which the condors would definitely win).
docgipe
NORTH CENTRAL, PA
(Zone 5a)

November 28, 2008
7:40 PM

Post #5838591

Condors are light weight birds...very light per their size. The blue in their wing feathers is closer to slate and is a prized fisherman's fly tiers color when it is available from farmed animals. Otherwise it is a protected bird and has been for years. I had two legal feathers when I was twelve or thirteen years old. There may be enough left to tie three matched wing fishing flies. I expect if someone wanted to burn my case even that tiny amount could get interesting because I have no proven source for what is left.

Turkeys are very heavy per their size. They only fly short distances and half of their longest flights are likely less than a couple hundred yards gliding at best.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

November 28, 2008
7:43 PM

Post #5838594

It does seem likely then that they may be the second heaviest bird. Interesting about the condor feathers... I didn't consider the possibility of farming them!

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