He's a Real Turkey

Ben Franklin preferred turkeys over eagles.

He strongly felt the turkey would be a more deserving symbol of his new United States.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.”

— Benjamen Franklin, US Statesman

Shh... Hank and his girlfriend Sally are busy.

She's beneath him physically, but not emotionally; this is the way they evolved.

He's stepping on her, but that's part of the mating thing, so its okay. Notice how he drops his wings around her. Some think this is cute and romantic. Actually it is an instinctive and selfish act. It's called cowling, and raptors, you know... hawks and falcons and eagles do it to guard their prey from other raptors after they take it down. Raptors don't use cowling for breeding though, because they do that magic while tumbling hundreds of feet in the air. Turkeys are more grounded.

As opposed to this fatty, Hank is doing a superb job, maintaining natural coloring in his feathers as well as an athletic trimness, allowing him to service his harem. In contrast, our homegrown domestic overweight white fellow has become so rollie-pollie it is now impossible for these fatties to breed by copulating.

Still, these ladies are too much for Hank. Twirling his date makes him too lightheaded to perform his studly acts:

The domestic breeding problem is simple to see: the manmade turkey is too fat to breed. The naked fat dude beneath us on our left is useless for breeding, yet he's the one we pay money for.

The emperor has no clothes.

Things become obvious when the feathers are removed. Above are two naked turkeys, a wild fellow and a domestic one, the kind bred for Christmas and Thanksgiving. These two turkeys are facing right, just as Hank is, with the head pointing to the right and the butt on the left. These butchered guys have their legs back for baking. Still alive, Hank has his legs down, working on Sally.

These aren't ISIS henchmen, they are Australian turkey inseminators. They've come to help Hank out. He dizzied out after the first bird, so these guys are helping inseminate other girls to ensure there will be enough turkeys on Thanksgiving.

I have no idea why the fellow on the right lives in a rabbit hole, possibly an obscure Aussie tradition.

Wild turkeys appear at our Creston ranch every year.

Gobblers attract a hen’s attention by gobbling and strutting. The hen will select a mate by lying close on the ground in front of him, which signals the male to begin copulation. Nesting begins in early spring. Hens choose nesting sites that are in grass clumps, brush piles, understory brush, or leaf litter.

They scratch out a shallow depression or bowl shape in these selected areas to form the nest. In order to protect them, hens choose sites that have enough herbaceous cover to hide the poults while still allowing the hen an unobstructed view to watch for threats. Nest sites are typically found in areas that are within ¼ mile of a water source, have grass heights of 18 inches, and have a high abundance of insects. Females lay one egg per day, producing an average total of 10-11 eggs. The eggs are cream or tan in color and may have brown speckles. Hatching occurs 28 days after the last egg is laid.

Here is momma turkey sitting on the same nest.

Thanks for the turkey pics, Melanie Ristow.

Here's the turkey chapter in Butterfly Boy

“Sally, Katie’s here!” Paula yelled through the patio door.