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Friday, March 23, 2012

All the Young Dudes

It's spring, and in spring a young turkey's fancy turns to thoughts of...well, you know.

For the past few days, a group of Toms have been working the back meadow like cutting horses, rounding up the hens into harems. Fanning their tails, dropping their wings, puffing up their feathers, blood-gorged blue heads and red wattles, they strut back and forth, left, right, straight ahead, keeping their conquests in line. Until today, it's been a pretty orderly process.

This morning two Toms in "fancy dress" were driving about eight hens up the driveway past our house, when three Toms approached from the opposite direction. Quickly, the established Toms shooed the hens off to the fence line and turned up-driveway like Jets on a New York City playground, fluffing and puffing, trying to intimidate a bunch of Sharks. No bats, no knives, just beaks and spurs.

The battle was a short flurry. The newcomers flew at the defenders, but the attackers were driven off in short order and headed back up the driveway. The victorious Toms summoned their hens, and together they wandered back to the meadow to...well, you know.

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