Monday, September 20, 2010

Local Ecological Upset

What are that chances that my neighborhood animal community shows signs of interactions that you talk about in your local high school biology class? Well it happened to me.

Granted, this story is a dictation of my parent's spectacular tale. I'm merely the scribe to get it out to the internet. (I was playing Halo:Reach, it's not my fault I wasn't taking a stroll around the cul-de-sac (I'll have discussions on Reach rather soon)).

Anyway. This is a story of inter-species competition. Between wild turkeys, Meleagris gallopavo and Canada geese, Branta canadensis . The turkey population is a known group. I have been keeping a rough track of them each time the flock treks out into the field and yards of the neighborhood. I'm currently counting roughly 40 birds but earlier this summer I was closer to 30. Clearly, there is a population increase. I would go as far as saying surplus because the of competition observed.

There was a flock of Canada geese resting in the field, picking among the grasses for a quick snack. Suddenly, the flock of turkeys rush out from the forest underbrush onto the field. They aggregate a few dozen feet away and begin to squawk and gobble amongst themselves. After mustering the turkey equivalent of courage they begin to make a rumpus of bird noises. The sounds disturb the geese which begin to collectively migrate away. Suddenly all the turkeys charge into the resting flock of geese pecking and gobbling. The geese, bewildered, take off into the sky. The turkeys had protected their domain.

I like to see this as competition, the turkeys wanted to keep the resources of their land from other groups of birds. I did see this event on a much smaller scale earlier yesterday morning. The flock harassed two crows into taking off. I suspect the large population of turkeys require more resources and thus instinct kicks in to make one feisty flock of turkeys.

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