Friday, March 30, 2012

Eastern Wild Turkey Mating Season: A Contrast In Appearance

With the unseasonably warm weather, the turkey mating season has been well underway for the past few weeks, and even though the last few mornings have been either cold or windy, activity continues to be exceptional. I never cease to be amazed at how the appearance of the mature gobblers and jakes change when they engage in the courtship ritual.  Normally they are a sleek looking bird, with a small and not particularly attractive head.

Jake Pauses To Look For Danger
Jakes Preparing To Roost In Evening
Contrast these photos with those of a similar bird when he is aroused and strutting in full courtship display.

Jake Struts
Even more impressive is the sight of a mature gobbler performing the courtship display, and a morning spent photographing these magnificent birds ranks near the top of things that I like to do,

Mature Gobbler Struts-Note Wings Dragging The Ground

Two Gobblers Strutting
All photos were taken with the Canon 7D and 500mm F4 L lens at f4 aperture at either ISO 200 or 400.

Originally published at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.