Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"How about any wild turkeys in your area?"

A few days ago I received an email from one of my readers** (we'll call her by her initials: J. H. in this blog),  regarding wild turkeys.  In it, she detailed that in her area wild turkey reintroducing had been an ongoing project and wondered if I had any around where I live.

The answer to her and any other readers is yes.  I've seen a few wild turkeys in Sterling and Great Falls alike.  I have also seen them off the Appalachian Trail as it borders Loudoun County, Virginia near Clarke County and also at the land adjacent to the Potomac River near Lowes Island in Virginia.

A camera that I had set up at the end of last year in Sterling, Va, captured one of these turkeys.

The odd thing about this turkey is that it is walking in a spot about 10 feet from the den of a red fox, a predator that could easily take advantage of this opportunity.

Another odd thing is that it is not in a flock.  Usually turkeys will travel in a small groups, especially during the colder months of the year.

Maybe this turkey got lost.  Maybe it is the only one that survived a series of attacks by predators.  Who knows, maybe the camera was triggered by more turkeys, but only snapped a picture of this one.

Wild turkeys feed mostly on small nuts and seeds (acorns, beechnuts, hickory nuts, and grass-grains) and small animals such as insects and slugs.

I believe that this turkey was feeding on a slugs because under just about every single leaf it walked on, lies a buffet of slugs.

Here is another picture from this site to show you where exactly the fox den is.

**A special thanks to blog reader, J. H. for providing me with a wealth of information and for inquiring about turkeys around where I camera trap.


  1. Hey - Love your blog and I always enjoy seeing the wildlife around FFX County. I'm a big fan of gametrail cams. I have a few trail cams set up where I hunt down in Culpeper. I'd like to shed some light on your lone turkey - the turkey in your picture is a hen and while most of the time they are together and feeding in is very common that they will scatter apart from one another and then try to find one each other. This can happen if say a predator or a human scares the birds and they all fly in every different direction. Then they'll call each other and try to group up again. I've seen lone turkeys dozens of times while in the woods. A good tactic for fall turkey hunting is breaking up a flock and then calling them back in. Takes a ton of patience though.

    Another thing I wanted to add, that is purely coincidental - where I live near Herndon, we have a lone hen that I've seen occasionally and seen her walk right over the fox den that is on the side of our house. Surprised me too that she'd walk literally right on top of a predators den.

    Anyway, I enjoy the blog and keep up the good work.

    1. Thank your for visiting the blog and for that information.
      I was not actually aware that turkeys scatter when threatened. Do you get a lot of wild turkey pictures on your game cameras in Culpeper, Va?

    2. Also, are your Herndon turkey viewings close to Sugarland Run Stream Valley? I've read in the past few days that a wild turkey flock goes up and down the stream bank constantly in Fairfax.

  2. Hey Brian- I just left you a comment on the Reindeer entry about sheds. I don't really know what's going on right now with that...but just as I switched back to my dashboard, I saw another blogger post this entry:

    He's in CT, which is close enough to me I think to answer your question!