Date: 10/12/18 5:58 am
From: Alfred Maley <alfredmaley...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Sunflower Hearts As a Golden Eagle Attractant
We’d never had turkeys in the yard regularly until this year when a hen
showed up with 12 chicken-sized poults in early summer. Later she was
joined by another hen with five small poults - 19 turkeys in all. They
mainly passed through the yard on the way to the neighbor’s feeder as we
don’t feed birds during the summer (because it attracts deer.) But I
weakened and started throwing out sunflower hearts when they’d show up. Now
they feel right at home, although they only spend 10-20 minutes in the yard
each day on their relentless, nervous travels. Somehow they’ve lost one
poult, so the flock now numbers 18.

Producing so many young seems unusual but may be down to low raccoon
numbers caused by rabies. Red-shouldered Hawks also produced young in the
‘hood as well, a rare occurrence. While there are hordes of dead squirrels
on the highways, I see fewer raccoons than normal.

Turkeys feed heavily on acorns; this year there are none. Alas, their
alternate food, chestnuts, are a thing of the past. We have few beech tree
in the ‘hood and I don’t even know if they had a crop or not. So it looks
like these turkeys will be spending a lot of time around houses this
winter, climbing into ornamental trees and shrubs in search of berries. Or,
they may encourage more folks to put up bird feeders - there are lots of
sterile lawns and alien ornamentals, but very few feeders, for some reason.

This leads me to look forward to the Golden Eagle season - the next month
or so. I can already envision a young Golden Eagle slamming into a hapless
turkey in my back yard, and proceeding to devour it as we watch. You can
only dream.

Al Maley
Hampstead, NH

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