So glad to see you!
I used to see 9 wild turkey hens regularly. It was always 9, no more, no less, precisely 9, for 2-3 months. They would be out in the pasture, at the edge of the woods, and usually work their slow, methodical way up into the yard and feed around the oak tree under two bird feeders.
With winter coming on and my general affection for these (and all) birds, I thought they would need a food source to stay around, so I bought them a feeder of their very own. It looked perfect for the task, sits up on 12″ legs (still in the box below in the only picture I took thus far), and wasn’t cheap ($225!) — especially for wild animals that aren’t expected to making any contribution toward paying the mortgage on the Small Calm Farm. But I really like having non-predatory wild animals around and they definitely need food in winter, so I’m thinking I should feed them. They’ll add some needed life and color to the place during dulling times.
I put a 50 lb. bag of cracked corn in it and set it up at the edge of the wooded area between the neighbor’s field of harvested sorghum and the yard, a place where I can easily see from inside the (warm) house from a distance without disturbing them. A month passes. It snows. It turns cold. It stays cold. It snows more. It snows again. Winter is here to stay. Nothing. Not a single turkey for weeks. Sparrows, juncos and other birds gather around it sometimes. But no turkeys. Not a turkey in sight for weeks.
Then, finally, today, turkeys! They scratch around on the ground, digging down into the snow. through the snow, eating the bird seed fallen to the ground around the oak tree, the seed the smaller birds haven’t eaten.
Fine. Whatever works. But you have your own dining area! (Off to the right of the oak tree in the distance by the tree line.) It’s just your height. I got it just for you! C’mon, man!
I’ll figure it out. In time. I want these big birds to know this is their home. I’d like to see them every day, or at least regularly.
Turkeys are VERY wary birds. At my slightest movement, they were off and away from the dreaded human with a camera. Before they sensed my presence, they were having a great time.
Lesson learned. No more turkey pictures. Gotta figure out how they will go to their own feeder.