I saw them out the window, one and then another, and another. Big, brown birds casually strolling into my yard. I wasn’t casual at all. I leapt up practically babbling, OMGWTFBBQ!11! 1-2-3-4-5-6…Eleven wild turkeys!
They were huge birds, but I wanted a better look. Trembling with fright and excitement, I dashed out with the camera. Up they flew onto the hill. Back I fled into the house.
I posted on the Interwebs looking for advice and comments. I looked up Animal Rescue League. They want to you call for wildlife in distress, and these turkeys looked pretty content. I looked up Mass Wildlife. I looked up the Audobon Society.
I learned that wild turkeys were extirpated from Massachusetts by 1850, but in the last half century, they’ve been making a comeback. In the last few years, there’s the annual Thanksgiving “isn’t it hilarious that wild turkeys chase people and attack cars” story. Or crash thorough windows. I learned that 11 turkeys is nothing: 13, 15, 17 turkeys in a flock turn up all the time. And the best thing to do is to leave them alone.
Finally I picked up my phone and called Animal Control. Should I be concerned, I asked. They’re everywhere, she told me. They’ll find their way out.
They took their time about it. The turkeys spent two to three hours up on the hill, grazing on who knows what. I definitely saw them pecking at the collards. Every now and then one of them would fluff up and look even bigger. Sometimes they drifted close enough to hear soft cluckings from them when I opened the window. Though I felt a little trapped, I admired how well they were camoflaged against the brown earth and dry grasses. I liked how the spring snow looked on their dark feathers.
Eventually, there came a time when I looked out to see how they were doing, and they were gone! Flown away, just like that.
I miss them.