Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Turkeys In Montana–Successful or Too Successful?

┬ęBert Gildart: After eating all the unpicked apples we left hanging on one of our trees, turkeys are back on our feeder. We had thought to let the apples ripen then pick them before a hard freeze. Our timing, however, was bad, but that’s OK, as they became food for the birds, including the turkeys now massing beneath our porch and even on our deck. Yesterday, for instance, we battled two huge gobblers intent on devouring ever bit of seed we placed in the feeder.

Return of the Turkeys

Return of the Turkeys

Turkeys are relatively new to the valley; in fact, there were no wild turkeys in Montana prior to the 1950s. But over 60 years ago 18 Merriam’s turkeys were introduced into the state near Billings, nearly 500 miles away. Within three years, the population numbered 750 birds. From there, the population took off and now, according to state fish and game biologists, turkeys in Montana may number as many as 150,000. Of course that makes the hunters happy and every now and then neighboring farmers allow them on their land.

Turkeys & our neighbors yard

Introduced in Montana about 1950, turkeys have expanded range

Once I used to hunt them as well, but today, disruptive as they may be (see Thanksgiving pardon ), we enjoy hearing their daily clucking–and even laugh at their antics when they land on the railing of our porch. One has grown pretty aggressive, ignoring our banging on the glass window making us ask: Has the reintroduction been too successful?

Roosting in our apple tree

Partridge in pear tree? No, turkey in our apple tree

In fact, one old bird lingers until we open the door to the porch and then start walking toward it, at which time the old gobbler takes a short hop, spreads its wings and soars into the yard. There it settles and there it watches–knowing that sooner or latter the feeder will once again be all hers.

Hmmm, maybe I’ll take back up turkey hunting.



One Response to “Turkeys In Montana–Successful or Too Successful?”

  1. Kimmy Says:

    Holy birdbeaks what a lot of turkeys! Looks like they have turned your yard into their vacation home. lol