Turkeys en regalia

by Skip Via

In the fall, the valley’s wild turkey population forms flocks that will stay together all winter. Interestingly, these flocks do not usually interact with each other, respecting each others’ territory. They do, however, interact with each other within the flock, largely to establish dominance and breeding preferences for the next spring.

Flocks can be quite large. This one, observed along KM Ranch Road, appears to have about 30 birds with the typical mix of toms, hens, and juveniles. The toms are in full display, vying for dominance in the pecking order during the upcoming winter and the spring breeding season. No fights were observed this time, but fighting for dominance is not uncommon within a flock.

Part of the flock in the field.

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