Invasion of the wild turkey!

A large, colorful bird and I startled each other in the backyard yesterday when I went out to tend the tomato plants. The bird ran off in a hurry in the opposite direction, so I didn't get the best look at it.

I described it as looking like a "small turkey." Not that I thought it actually was a turkey, but I didn't know what else to call it. Mystery bird in the garden!

Mom suggested that it might be a turkey vulture, as they have been known to domicile in Oxnard. GrandDad suggested that it might be some kind of chicken, as he has had a chicken move into the yard in the past. He also asked if I was sure I wasn't hallucinating. Me, I suspected it might be some sort of quail or grouse-related bird, but a quick glimpse wasn't enough for me to narrow it down on WhatBird. So I kept calling it a small turkey.

The turkey turned up again this morning outside the kitchen window. This time I got a better look at it, because it didn't know I was there. But still no positive ID.

Then this afternoon, when I went out to pick tomatoes for an experiment in gazpacho, I startled the turkey in the east garden again. This time I cautiously tracked it around the house. I tried to stay far enough back that I wouldn't startle it but close enough that I could keep an eye on it, which worked until we were 3/4 of the way around the house, when I sort of cornered it in the narrowest part of the yard, between the garage and the shed, and it decided that running wasn't working for it anymore.

"It flew?" asked GrandDad, in a tone of voice that suggested that now he really thought I was hallucinating.

"Well, like a chicken flies. It jumped up and flapped its wings and at least got over the fence."

Which at least solves the mystery of how the turkey / chicken / pheasant / whatever got into the garden in the first place.

Then, during dinner, GrandDad pointed out the back window and bid me "look!" He had spotted "my" turkey putting along the back lawn, easy as you please.

He says it looks like a guinea hen. It is probably a refugee from the neighbors down the block. They sometimes have roosters, and people sometimes complain, but GrandDad doesn't mind them -- it reminds him of the chickens that they had on his parent's ranch when he was a child.

So we have another non-human visitor in the yard, to keep company with the mockingbirds who have been feasting on our figs and the stray cat who sometimes saunters through the back yard (looking for gophers, we hope). I wonder if my guinea turkey likes tomatoes? (It's okay if he does. We've got enough to share.)


Interesting Stuff

Books! Books! Books!

  • Bookfinder
  • BestBookBuys
  • Bookcrossing
  • Book Sale Finder
  • Library Thing
  • Good Reads
  • Disclosure: links from this page to commercial sites -- particularly -- may or may not be affiliate links that remunerate the blogger for sales made through said links. In no case does affiliate status affect the opinions offered on this site.

    HTML 101: How to add a link

    <a href="http://exact-url- of-site-to-which-you-wish-">WORDS TO APPEAR AS LINK</a>


    Blog Archive