Centre County bird 191: Wild Turkey, March 22nd 2010

Hunting is a big deal in Pennsylvania and there’s some animal that’s hunted every day of the year. Hunters are very good about managing habitat and conservation; if species decline, there is less to hunt. In spite of lots of good habitat for turkeys in central Pennsylvania, I’d still not seen one in Centre County so far. (I did startle one on a gravel road through the Seven Mountains area once, though, and a few flying overhead along the Juniata River.) Back in January, I found turkey tracks in the snow on top of Mount Nittany, but that certainly doesn’t count.

I wasn’t on the lookout for turkeys on the 22nd when I made a run up Bald Eagle Valley. And for some reason, I was driving along PA 550, not the usual route to get up and over Skytop. Making my way towards US 322, I noticed some large dark shapes in a field next to a cemetery. About 30 Wild Turkeys were milling around, with a few males puffed up and displaying to the more numerous females.

Flock of turkeys in Florida. photo from wikipedia

Later that afternoon, I found a very early Pectoral Sandpiper in the rain at the beach at Bald Eagle State Park.

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