This shot was taken this month by ‘Mericans frontman Chris Daltry at his home just north of the city. A sizable population of turkeys has been terrorizing the Daltry cats for some years now. This one was flapping out of a tree where it had been roosting.
The Providence Journal ran an article last year about the DEM’s efforts in reintroducing the nearly extinct Eastern Wild Turkey to the state, starting in 1980 with 28 birds. In the mid 90’s another 137 birds were introduced. The population soared to an estimated 6,000 in 2002 but has since dipped back to about 3,000. Predators (skunk, fox, coyote, raccoon) are the lead suspects in the decline although a few diseases are being studied. (2013 Status Report)
And how do toms impress the hens?
“They have this amazing ability to not only fan out those beautiful feathers, but they will pull in their head to their body and literally cut off the circulation to their heads so their head turns bright blue and red. Apparently, that’s very sexy looking,” says Kimberly Calcagno, refuge manager for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.
Look at the caruncles on that guy.