De-lek-table Turkeys

Today was apparently the day for Turkey.

  • When I arrived at work, there were 8 or 9 turkeys wandering down toward the aviary.
  • At Rockland Lake, there were 14 turkeys (at least!) prowling at the edge of one of the seasonally closed parking lots.
Wild Turkey

Turkey displaying at the Tenafly Nature Center in Tenafly, NJ.

In both cases, they were a collection of males and females.  From what reading I’ve done during the winter males and females don’t flock together…. so seeing them together makes me wonder if turkey breeding season is approaching.  There were definitely males displaying this morning.   Unfortunately I can’t find any information on the Internet regarding when turkeys form leks.  Leks are the breeding system choice for turkeys.  In a lek, males gather together and compete for females.  Imagine a boxing ring of turkeys where they rush at each other and bump chests – that is at least what grouse do and I imagine that turkeys do something similar.  The females select the most fit males from the center.  The favored male entertains all the females.

Lots of birding today!  4 lists for the e-bird today!

Bird Feeder:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Black-capped Chickadee
5 Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Song Sparrow
2 American Goldfinch
9 House Sparrow

1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Red-tailed Hawk
8 Wild Turkey
2 White-breasted Nuthatches

Rockland Lake:
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall (5)
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Turkey Vulture
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Blackback Gull
Downy Woodpecker
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
Marsh Wren – new!
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

Congers Lake Memorial Park:
1 Ring-billed Gull
7 Mallard
6 Common Mergansers
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Song Sparrow

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