As we mentioned last week, Ed Pernisi, one of our land acquisition specialists, and his wife Deb have been watching a turkey nest located on land we own in Williamstown, New York. The Pernisi's again visited the nest last week and they got lucky! As they approached the nest, they saw the hatchlings (known as poults) in the process of picking their way out of the shells. Ed and Deb brought along their grandson, Ethan, as he has been vigilant about watching the nest with them for the past three weeks. The nest was empty. The mother was in the brush nearby, silent at first, but they could hear the high-pitched chirping of the babies. Sure enough, there were two groups of young ones, a group with the mother, who was leading them away from the nest, and the group in this photo. Mother turkey began to call the second group and the poults began to move toward her as well. Ed and Deb said they were lucky to have caught the poults in the process of hatching, since they left the nest so quickly. The poults will flock with their mother all year - even through the winter. For the first two weeks the poults are unable to fly, the mother will roost on the ground with them. According to the Pernisi's, "This was an incredible experience for us, and especially for 10 year old Ethan, to watch these animals in the wild until the young hatched. The babies were eating on their own, and walking easily, less than an hour after leaving the shell, unlike the robins nesting in the Christmas tree field we have been watching."
We are so thankful to Ed and Deb for sharing these pictures with us!