Friday, August 30, 2002
While unloading groceries this afternoon, I saw a very large bird walking by the roses along the back fence. Since the (still unnamed) peacock was over by the small sheep shed, I assumed it was one of the vultures I had seen this morning, sitting out on fence posts at the far end of the feed lot for the ram lambs. Walking closer, I could see my mistake and the reason for my confusion. It was not a turkey vulture, but an actual wild turkey. For several years there has been a good sized flock living in the National Park above us on the mountain. Usually shy, wary birds, they sometimes come down to the pasture by the house to feed in the early morning. I am used to seeing them from some 100 yards distance, not 10 feet away, walking in my own backyard. This fellow (I say "fellow" because he had the Tom turkey's characteristic beard, a long tuft of feathers dangling down in front) panicked when he saw me, tried to find an opening in the wire fence, and then flew off into a tree on the property line. I lost sight of him in the foliage, and with frozen foods thawing in the truck bed, could not stay to watch.