All this did not happen in one day but this is a story about wildlife on our road over a two week period; only a fragment but nevertheless an amazing slice…
One early morning, while picking up the newspaper at our roadside mailbox, a family of wild turkeys marched out of the field at Quintin’s place across the driveway and into their orchard. From there they disappeared in the protection of the dense woods on the limestone ledge on the north side of the road. This was not a nuclear family of mother, father and child, but an old fashioned twelve member family. Pa up front, or was it Ma? Ten clearly younger ones wedged in between in a neat spread out group.
I do not always have my camera at the ready, certainly not at seven in the morning, so I went to the internet to select an image closest to what I saw. Here it is.
Wild turkeys have made a remarkable comeback since they were introduced, after hunted to extinction, and habitat loss on Ontario, in the 1980-s.
The loss of habitat was particularly challenging, as wild turkeys thrive in areas that are part deciduous forest and part grassland. When forests were cut down, much of the birds’ habitat was lost, including brood cover — a major breeding requirement. That’s the wooded area providing both overhead protection and easy ground movement for young turkeys, or poults. Brood cover is also dense with insects, poults’ main food source. See: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/dec13/resurgence-of-eastern-wild-turkey.asp
A few days later working around the house always brings some excitement, either a flock of Canada geese comes in low to land on the lake, their individual manoeuvring within the group is spectacular and when they are right overhead you can hear the slipstream of air rushing over their wings. The splashing noise of touching down on the water is drowned out by the squeaking and hooting of the flock.
The next day, we see a swarm of large black birds in the sky over the meadow across our road; these are turkey vultures, not one but twenty five! Their wings are partly transparent against the bright light of the sky, they soar on the updrafts of the wind coming from the lake and rising up the limestone ledge and forest near the boat ramp.
This photo is from the internet, but the one below was taken by Kelly Joyce, a neighbour on our road. These turkey vultures perch on the fence of the Wolfe’s property, just east of the boat ramp and it is safe to assume that they were part of the flock we noticed that day in late July.
Besided the birds, we saw on different occasions three deer eating from the apple tree on Grahams road side, and three young foxes that later were observed by the Tidmans at “the end of the road house”, Hogan’s farm.
Of course there is much more wildlife that we normally don’t see; this is just a sample of the animals that share our space and need our help with conserving their habitat.
In response to this post, Judith Quintin, our neighbour, shared some of her photos, taken through the kitchen window, looking out on their yard. First the regular guests: the turkey vultures, beautiful birds in flight and close up, if you forgive their naked heads.
And a little raccoon, they are such charming nuisances.
The young fox looks very much part of the three we saw with their mother near her den not far from the Quintin’s farmhouse. Just a guess but better than fifty-fifty we are right.
Thanks Judy for these lovely nature pics.
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