Turkey of a day!
Today I had the opportunity to assist the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) band a dozen Wild Turkeys here in Allegany State Park. This is the final year of their project looking at the harvest and survival rates of the male Turkey in New York State.
Making this Turkey day happen started back in December with our department looking for potential prospects. We easily found wondering birds but could never really find any of the birds returning to the same area. Just before Christmas we thought we had a cooperative flock but the birds disappeared just as an unexpected thaw melted all the snow.
Last week we finally located a group that had potential and continued monitoring the birds’ movements. Tuesday was going to be “the day” . . . . except the birds changed their routine on us. We waited . . . . waited . . . and we waited forever for the birds to arrive! Just as the crew was going to throw the towel in, the birds starting arriving one by one! Making the long story short, our Turkey some how got spooked off the site and we lost our chance for the day!
Today was our second attempt and worth every second of all the work we put into these birds. My morning started shoveling a huge area of snow where the cannon net would be placed. The DEC arrived to set everything up and we were waiting in a near-by parking lot. I waited . . . . . was singing with the radio . . . . ate lunch . . . . played on my cell phone (looking at facebook stuff) . . . and then we finally got the word that the birds arrived!!! About 20 minute’s later we heard the bang from the cannon net and off we went to the banding site.
Everything happened so quickly but I have to thank the DEC team for the great opportunity in assisting them and learning more about Turkeys in the hand than I ever thought possible. This adventure was just as much fun as our last Turkey banding session . . . but obviously this session had more meaning to it!
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