Another interesting fact about our Turkey is that we didn't have any here when The Sea Ranch was originally conceived back in the 60's. They were introduced a few years ago by the State of California. Turkey was a very important food source for Native Americans in many parts of North America and his feathers and bones were used in a multiplicity of ways from arrow feathers, to decoration, to tools, to blankets. Early European settlers also found them a ready food source and Turkey was almost wiped out by the early twentieth century. Thanks to a very effective government program, Turkey has been reintroduced in much of it's original range and in some places where it had never been found before. We are not sure whether Turkey used to live here, but there is no question about the fact that he likes it here now. His tribe is multiplying rapidly.
Turkey is a formidable, if somewhat phlegmatic, bird. In the spring, the adults roam the Ranch in pairs. After the young appear, the parents can be seen shepherding their gobble around showing them where to find seeds, berries, and insects. Most of the time, Turkey will be found on the ground, but on occasion, it will fly short distances. (We once saw Turkey fly straight up in maternal defense against Vulture.) They also have a rather distinctive physical appearance that includes a snood and a wattle neither of which look to be very necessary. (The snood is the flap of skin over the nose and wattle is the thing under the neck.) The mating dance of Tom Turkey is quite spectacular - particularly the bit with the tail feathers and the way in which the face changes color!