An early outing before work yesterday at Flatrock Brook Nature Center in the unseasonably warm temperatures turned out to be well worth it. Flatrock Brook is in the the city of Englewood, New Jersey, just across the George Washington Bridge from New York City. It is a charming 150-acre nature preserve, surrounded on all sides by housing, and is heavily utilized by people seeking a wooded respite from endless rows of suburban style housing.
There is a flock of Wild Turkeys that strut around like they own the place and they might very well be right. After all, there is no hunting and while I watched the turkeys they routed a feral cat that dared come near the flock of twelve which consisted of two tom turkeys and ten hens. Never had I enjoyed such a prolonged and close encounter with a flock of Meleagris gallopavo before and I thought folks might like to see the resulting images of the tom turkeys.
Wild Turkeys were at one point extirpated from a large portion of their range and stayed that way for quite some time. (They were gone from New York State from the 1840s until around 1948 and in New Jersey from the mid-1800s until they were reintroduced in 1977.) They are now common and doing better than the rest of the game birds of the eastern United States. Keep an eye out for gobblers and enjoy their strutting show!
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