Smart Turkey

Last weekend, Harland and I did some large birdwatching as I related in yesterday’s post. Today, I want to share with you the antics of one of the smarter turkeys of the flock.

In order to draw the turkeys in near our blinds, Harland hung up an automatic feeder that releases some corn twice daily.  Each morning, the flock arrives, eats all the corn on the ground, and then moves on down the trail to forage for the rest of the day.

But last Saturday we watched as one young turkey, a teenager in human terms, returned after his flockmates had left and began jumping  up at the feeder, pecking at it causing some corn to slip out.

He gobbled up all the corn, and jumped up to peck at the feeder again.

He did this repeatedly for about 15 minutes, and finally I whispered to Harland, “This could go on all day.”  We just had to giggle at his resourcefulness, and that he had waited until he was alone to feed so he could have it all for himself.


But finally all his flapping and pecking was noticed by a couple of older turkeys, who muscled their way in, chased him off, and started their own private corn stealing.

Never underestimate the intelligence of wildlife. Turkeys may have small brains, but there’s something pretty amazing  going on in there.


——-> UP NEXT:  How Harland and I met. Our love story.

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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15 Responses

  1. Michaele says:

    Great shots! Must have been fun taking them. I am always amazed at how much smarter wild turkeys are than domestic turkeys. A domestic turkey will fly over a fence and then spend the rest of the day pacing back and forth along the fence line trying to figure out how to get back.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Michaele,
      I’ve actually heard of wild turkeys doing the same thing. It defies reason, but maybe fences are their intellectual limit.

  2. Joani says:

    That is 2 funny. Amazing how they figured out where the feed was coming from and how to get more of it. You could have a flock to feed if U all keep this up.

  3. Lynda M O says:

    Incredible how clever they can bee. Bird brains certainly have innate drives as well as learned behaviors. Wonder how long it takes evolution to catch up with the changes seen in food seeking performances.

  4. Sally Bishop says:

    Amazing how beautiful they are to watch, even in such cold weather 🙂

  5. How fun that must have been for you to watch. The turkeys next door are definitely starting to “talk”, which is a clear indication that spring is on the way. 🙂

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Justina,
      It got up to 60 degrees here yesterday. What a blessing to have warm weather for the first time since December. Most of the snow melted off too.

  6. Kelly says:

    Wow! fascinating! What cool shots and videos. It’s amazing that they can jump so high, seemingly effortlessly. My mom says they fly up to her balcony to eat the seed that drops from the bird feeders. I am better able to envision this now that I’ve seen your posts. Thanks!

  7. Peggy says:

    Ha ha! Too funny! You are so lucky to have caught all this. Thanks for sharing the video. When it comes to eating we are all pretty smart.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Peggy,
      Too true. I sometimes wish I wasn’t smart when it comes to eating as my expanding waistline can testify. 🙂

  8. Teresa says:

    That survival instinct is pretty powerful! Such a neat thing to get to see.

  9. Nezzy says:

    Now we’ve watched big old flock of turkeys follow our wild~eyed cattle durin’ the winter months. I’ve even had ’em here in the yard but this one has to take the cake. Heeehehehe!!!

    Here I’ve always thought that turkeys weren’t the sharpest tool in the shed! :o)

    From the muddy hills and hollers of the Ozark Ponderosa, ya’ll have a most wonderfully blessed Valentines Day!!!!

  10. Oh I love to watch stuff like this. Animals always amaze me how resourceful they are!

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