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November 2009

Thanksgiving (Wild) Turkey Memories

   Wild turkey My column in The Record today evoked this comment from a long-time colleague at The Record:

   "Living in Ringwood, my wife and I have often had the pleasure of watching feathered and furry critters move about our wooded backyard (always squirrels, chipmunks and various birds; often deer, turkey and nightime raccoons; and occasionally bear, fox, groundhog, hawks).

  "Among other favorite stories, and pertinent to your column, was the day after our first Thanksgiving there, just a month after we moved there in 1995.

   "We woke up to look out the windows overlooking the backyard to see what we considered a victory parade by about 15 turkeys. it was our first gobbler sighting, and in the meantime we've had noisy Toms strutting in full feather, lines of fuzzy youngsters following their moms, and strangest of all, the one who got up on our backporch roof to peek in the windows of our master bedroom ...

   "Now THAT'S what I call a Peeping Tom!"

My Record column today: Wild Turkeys

   My birding column in The Record today is on Wild Turkeys in our region, and their amazing comeback.

   The link is here. I should note a boo-boo in the column. At one point I talk about wild turkeys running at speeds of up to 55 mph. They actually can run at speeds up to 20-25 mph -- which is still a lot faster than me.

   The Wild Turkeys in the photo are the pair that has been seen in Rutherford since this summer -- photo courtesy of Jaimie Winters of The South Bergenite.

Please Help Us With Celery Farm Calendars!

Calendar cover Jerry a

   The 2010 Celery Farm Calendars are not only beautiful, but they go for a great cause -- the Lillian and Stiles Thomas Scholarship Fund.

   They make an exceptionally thoughtful gift for the holidays -- so help a worthy cause and get some shopping done at the same time.   

    The photography is excellent, and all proceeds go to the scholarship fund. The calendars sell for $15, and they will be available at Friday night's Fyke meeting.

 Fyke members will also be selling the calendars on Sunday the Franklin Turnpike entrance to the Celery Farm.

  Please help -- buy calendars and volunteer your time on Sunday!  E-mail me if you can spare an hour or two on Sunday -- or would like to buy calendars and support a great cause.

Coots plus

IMG_0728-1   If you are an American Coot fan (and who isn't?), I suggest you stop by the Celery Farm soon.

   There are still at least two Coots hanging around the Warden's Watch, and they are a pair of tickets to Wacky Town.

   Scary, red eyes, bobbling heads, silvery/white beaks, grotesque feet and those blackish feathers -- what's not to like (except for the nightmares)?

  More on coots here.

   Also hanging around -- at least two Great Blue Herons (one was by my yard this a.m.), and that Great Egret, who, like a Thanksgiving dinner guest or two from my childhood, apparently doesn't know when to leave.