CSI: Turkey Nest

I checked on our turkey nest yesterday, only to discover that it had been abandoned. The mother was gone, as were her eggs. Fearing the worst, I went in closer for a forensic search. There were 2 shell halves, crushed & dirty. The tall brush around the nest seemed more disturbed than usual, but the nest site was far from trashed. No sign of a struggle, attack on the mother (no feathers), no bodies or animal tracks or hair. Hmm.

Ken came down & we searched the perimeter. We found a few more eggshells (shown above). See how the shells are mostly whole? A fox or raccoon would have chewed everything, probably eaten most of the shell with the egg or fetal chicks. Finding whole pieces of shell strewn outside the nest, was that a good sign? If they hatched, where were the babies? If they survived & simply left the nest, they’d be with their mother, of course. I had seen 3 turkey hens behind the house, so I overtook them on foot. None had chicks in tow. Surely the chicks could not have all been eaten by a predator already?

But today, another turkey hen, alone in the field across the road. We hurried over there, then couldn’t find her. It would be impossible that she could have covered the width of the field so quickly & unseen. This early in summer, the grass is not that tall, not high or thick enough to hide an adult turkey. Where was she? Ken spotted a low rock he didn’t recognize (he knows where the big rocks are, to avoid them with the mower). When approached, the “rock” stood up & began moving away from us — along with her bevy of chicks! They were very small & many, a dozen perhaps. We could hear peeping & catch glimpses of them bobbing in the grass as they struggled to catch up to their mother.

We admired them but quickly backed off, as to minimize further distress. Hatching confirmed :-)

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10 Responses to “CSI: Turkey Nest”

  1. mary taitt Says:

    I am so glad! YAY! Wonderful news! :-D

  2. peggy fussell Says:

    Oh Hooray!!! Such suspense, you had me worried! I bet they are as cute as can be.

  3. Scott Says:

    That’s Great news Heidi. Though my nest didn’t fare as well, I am seeing a turkey with 7 or 8 little grey ones in tow maybe 80 to 100 feet north of the affected nest. The day after the accident, I saw that group at the same time I watched another individual turkey circling and occasionally approaching the affected nest.

  4. Aya Says:

    your blog is becoming one of our favorite things! every time you blog about the animals and birds and wildlife I read it to Ned like the news and then he comes over to look at the photos, he was just asking me the other day if there were any wild turkey news.

    I’m so glad the chicks hatched and not got eaten by a foz!

    • henniemavis Says:

      You guys must be desperate for amusement if you count my blog among your “favorite things,” HA!

      That said, it’s nice to have you both as fellow wildlife fans & fellow artists. Thanks for reading & commenting :-)

  5. Shannon Says:

    And now the predators shall feast.

  6. mike Says:

    Very cool turkey story. And I hope your friend is recovering well.

  7. Pearl Says:

    good camouflage. glad there were lots that go away.

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