Tuesday was more reminiscent of late fall than of early spring with a bitter chill in the air and strong gusts of wind from the northwest. Dawn found me concealed by the edge of a mountain meadow with the 500mm F4 and 40-D mounted on the tripod, hoping to sight wild turkeys.
I was not to be disappointed as soon after dawn turkeys began appearing with young gobblers known as "jakes", coming quite near me. Soon I heard a thunderous gobble in the distance and saw a large mature bird coming toward the jakes. They hunched over, began shuffling their feet, and rubbing their legs together. Sometimes they even lowered themselves completely to the ground.
The mature gobbler stopped quite some distance away and began doing the same thing.
I have not read about this behavior, but it has to be some sort of challenge to the other birds as the mature bird did not approach closer.
It seemed strange that the jakes intimidated the large bird, but evidently he was no match for that many determined young gobblers.
Unortunately there was quite a bit of intervening brush, making filming difficult, but it was nonetheless one of those rare moments that one never forgets, as in fact was most of the events of this blustery early April day.