American Turkeys-Walloon Lake

Bird sightings, trip reports, ask for ID

American Turkeys-Walloon Lake

Postby Rick Baetsen » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:49 pm

Bonnie and I took a hike behind our house in the fresh snow. We did not need snowshoes as under the fresh snow was hard packed snow from all the thaws and freezes. What once was all undeveloped forest land around us on three directions has been developed with houses in the past 38 years since we built our home here in 1980. We are lucky that one of our neighbors bought the 40 acres south of us and put it in a family trust and later donated it to the Land Conservancy, so we can still hike out the back door on a few trails in the woods.

Two interesting sightings, one was that of a Pileated Woodpecker, that we first heard doing a drum roll on a hollow aspen snag. It was so loud and clear that it would have made a good recording, like that we have on our old bird call cassettes.

Second was a nine sets of American Turkey tracks. Six were male birds, three were hen birds. One was a really large Tom with a beard that must have been a foot long. All this from tracks? No, though I am a good tracker, especially in snow, I am not that good. We were back tracking the turkeys as they had come in from the south into our backyard to the feeders a bit earlier in the afternoon. We got up-close looks at them until Emmie our English Setter woke up from her nap and started hunting the big birds from the patio door window. We did not from sign though that some of the Toms had been displaying and even fighting as Bonnie found some feathers in the snow where it appeared they had been fighting over the hens.

A fresh set of Red Fox tracks might suggest that a pair again has a den somewhere close to the house, but if so it must be tucked in between some ridges to the south that remain undeveloped. I will wait for another fresh snow later in the month and see if I can cut a set of fox tracks and follow it back to a den, like I did a few years back.

At the feeders, a few more Common Redpolls showed up yesterday, but the few we are seeing now are only here a short time and then move on.

Rick Baetsen
Rick Baetsen
Michigan Outdoor Writers Association
Walloon Lake and Munising, Michigan
Rick Baetsen
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:37 am

Re: American Turkeys-Walloon Lake

Postby Dale » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:28 am

Great post Rick. Wish we had some redpolls down here, but not this season. Have plenty of deer in the yard daily, and most of the winter birds common to us all, but waiting impatiently for Spring!

Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:01 am

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