Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trail camera turkeys (28 April - 05 May 2017)

Last week I switched out the memory cards of my trail cameras.  It was no surprise that the most common species photographed was the White-tailed Deer.  The cameras also captured images of Fox Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, Red Fox, Virginia Opossum, and Northern Raccoon.  One series of three nighttime images seems to show a large American Mink.

Other than the White-tailed Deer, the species that showed on the cameras most frequently during this time period was the Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).  The cameras captured images of soliary birds and bird traveling in pairs or flocks.  Many of the birds were females (hens), with a few young males (jakes), and mature males (toms) thrown in for good measure.

My favorite set of images shows a tom in full strut (its mating display).  When strutting, tomes fan up their tail feathers extend their wings so the tips hit the ground, puff up it feathers to look bigger, and more.  The turkey in the pictures below was too far away from the camera to trigger it on its own so it only showed up when something else tripped the motion sensor.  The interesting thing to me is the time stamp on the bottom right of the photos.  In the first image it reads 17:32 (or 5:32PM).  The last image reads 19:12 (7:12PM).  The tom appears to have remained strutting for more than 90 minutes.  This may not have been continuous; there is a large time gap between some of the photos (not all of which are shown below).  Even if it was not continuous, the tom barely moved from the place where it first appeared during this entire time.


The tom finally stopped strutting after a deer walked through the flock.  Disrupted by this interruption the flock finally wandered away from the area.

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