Something New This Mating Season in Fridley: Male Turkeys
A young male, or jake, has a short beard and tiny snood.
No one knows yet what the spring season holds for the Fridley Tigers, the Spring Lake Park Panthers, or the Totino-Grace Eagles. But for the Springbrook Nature Center turkeys, this spring will be better than past years. It's mating season, and for the first time the park has male turkeys strutting their stuff for the females.
According to Siah St. Clair, director at Springbrook,
We have had females here before, but this is the first year that we have had males. Just a few minutes ago I was taking pictures of 4, two females and two males.
The male is displaying in the birdfeeding area in front of the windows. He was gobbling a few minutes ago. I think he sees his reflection in the window and thinks it is another male displaying almost as well as he is, so he comes right down to the windows to show the females how much better his display is than the reflection.
You can tell he is a young male because he has a very short “beard.” The beard is a hair-like projection from the middle of the chest.
This is a bit novel to us now, and visitors enjoy seeing them. But in two or three years if we increase [the turkey population] to 20 or more, we and the public may perceive them differently.
They have been over on the Mississippi river for several years, so it was only a matter of time before they came here.
St. Clair took his photos from the windows inside the nature center looking into the bird feeder area Thursday. The other photos are from Wednesday, in the nature center parking lot and along 85th Avenue NE.
For more about the turkeys and other wildlife at Springbrook, check out St. Clair's blog, All of Nature.