Sometime in the early afternoon yesterday, one of my buddies sent me a text saying "There's a turkey by the Toys R Us parking lot just walking around".
A few minutes later, I got multiple emails and Facebook notifications saying similar things. I was hooked immediately and was watching the situation unfold from my phone and Facebook newsfeed.
I used to work for that Toys "R" Us store in Loudoun County during my high school years, and though I do not hang my hat there anymore, I try to still keep in touch with some of my old friends and coworkers there.
It's a good way of not burning bridges and once in a while, some interesting wildlife information is spread between all of us.
This was a perfect example of that spreading of wildlife information. It's important to know and I find it fascinating.
I get texts and emails similar to this (though usually with different species) every few days or so from various friends and contacts all over northern Virginia. Usually I just refer them to various wildlife agencies to ask for advice, but for this one, I knew it seemed to be under control already and had an idea of where the turkey had come from nearby.
For wild turkeys, it is basically breeding season right now. They are fluttering all over with the males starting to really "strut their stuff" during the day. The one pictured and in question is most likely a female (also called a hen). She lacks a beard (bristled feathers near her neck and breast) that would usually be a giveaway that it is a male.
So why did the turkey cross the road? Well, who knows. Maybe she wandered off farm land and wooded land too far and just go lost. Maybe she was being chased by male suitors all day. I like to think that maybe she was going in the general direction of the Total Wine store very close to grab a six-pack of her favorite brew, but that's probably not the case.
Either way, I do not know the exact outcome of what happened to her but hope to find out shortly.
As for the multiple friends and former coworkers who tipped me on this information, I say a very big thank you for keeping in touch with me and for sharing this.