Thursday, November 22, 2012

A watched turkey never struts...

Blue Slate turkey in full display

It's been weeks since I've been able to capture my toms strutting in full display.

The mornings I hauled my camera down to the chicken yard, no strutting.

The mornings I forgot, lots of strutting.

But this weekend I happened to have my camera with me when they started their dominance dance.

I love watching them dance.

Gypsy Farmgirl tom turkeys in full display

The first sign of the dance is the lifting of all of the tom's feathers along his back and fanning out his tail.

This maneuver appears to magically double his size.

The fanned out tail is tipped towards the object of his attention (sometimes the other tom, sometimes the girls, sometimes me).

In addition to the feather lift, he drops his wings until the tips drag along the ground. 

tom snooed elongated for display strut

Tipping his chin down, his head, usually pale white and light blue, flushes to a deeper blue.  His pink wattle and caruncles flush to a darker red and his snood elongates, nearly covering his upper bill.

{Don't you love turkey lingo?}

He circles his object of attention (usually the other tom) and as they circle, he keeps his tail feathers tilted.

The dance may last a few seconds or several minutes. 

No blood, no violence, just a fashion show and dance off.

We could all learn something about resolving our differences peacefully if we would take our cues from the turkey.

Here's a very short video of one of my tom's strutting.  

Happy Thanksgiving ~


Jess said...

They are so beautiful.

Victoria Strauser said...

Thank you Jess! I can't wait you see YOUR turkeys this year! haha!

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