I need to get on the stick with these posts.  Between the yard work, running, birding and ramping up the Halloween prop lab for this year’s haunted trail (link here), things have been getting a bit bunched up.  I was going to wait a bit on this one, but an encounter a few days ago while hitting the trails for some training felt like a sign.

Wild Turkey found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2021

Yes folks, we have our next installment of the “in a Tree” series.  This one is not as odd as the previous Roadrunner in a Tree as I’ve witnessed a Wild Turkey in a Tree (WTiaT) a few time times in the past.  Admittedly, on the rarer side as typically they are wandering around the ground or trying to play Frogger with Linda’s vehicle.  As luck would have it, this is one of the few species Linda doesn’t have a silhouette of on her front fender – for the record she stands firm her bumper is the victim of animal suicides.  

Wild Turkey found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2021

Hit the jump see a few more shots of our large bodied tree climber.

Contrary to the domestic Turkey, Wild Turkeys do have the ability to get their plump bodies off the ground.  Still a struggle to get enough lift to compensate for their 90-400 oz bodies.  As far as the domestics go.. well, one quote pretty much says it all “As god as my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly”.  If you are just out of the womb and haven’t seen that episode of WKRP in Cincinnati – stop reading this post immediately and go watch it (be sure and come back when done watching!).  Hearkens back to a time where comedy writers could actually write compared to the crap that passes off as entertainment these days. 

Wild Turkey found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2021

For some quick background, this series comes from our January trip to southern Texas.  I was walking back to the RV while at Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park in Mission, when I got an uneasy feeling someone/thing was watching me.  Not a big deal as I get that feeling about 99.99% of the time – especially when birding with Ron as I’m pretty sure the forest trees are covered with his image on wanted posters.  “I’m not paranoid, I know they are after me!” 

Wild Turkey found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2021

In truth, trained all my life to be extremely aware of my surroundings and surprisingly often I’m right – like this Turkey eyeballing me form the nearby tree.  Literally made me jump a little when I turned and saw it staring at me intently (see the shot below).   Saw those beady eyes sizing me up, then my focus shifted to those wicked looking claws, then I remembered the WKRP quote and laughed out loud – thankfully no one was around and saw that .. at least no one I saw.. hmmm.  Seeing that it had lost the jump on me, it proceeded to weave its way through the large branches.  Amazing nimble, I might add, for a bird that I had always thought was a bit clumsy. 

Wild Turkey found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2021

It eventually made its way to the position in the first shot, which happens to be my favorite from the series.  “Nothing to see here, just these two branches .. move along”  We currently have at least one hen that hangs out in our woods.  She usually has 1 to 3 offspring a year and likes to bring them around the various oak trees near the house or to my feeders for a mid-day snack.  Tough job to get a poult to adulthood in our parts with the Hawks and Coyotes that roam the area, especially when they get no help from the Toms. 

Oh, almost forgot to mention the catalyst encounter mentioned above.  I was heading out onto the trails when a hunter comes out of the woods in a full on Ghillie suit and face paint (and you thought I was joking about all the people tracking me ha).  Before your imagination runs wild, my primary training trails at Jubilee College State park are close until 1:00pm from April 13th to May 13th for Turkey hunting.  A total pain in the ass as I like to get my runs in before the heat of the day takes over. As I ran by, I thought to myself – the size of a Turkey’s brain is probably no bigger than a nickel.  If you have to go to those lengths to outwit one… we need to rethink our apex predator status – just saying.

Hope you enjoyed my brief encounter with a WTiaT.

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