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Hi Bob and all, A Turkey overhead is an unusual, awesome, and puzzling sight.  I've seen a few, and enjoy that huh? moment. Sounds like defensive behavior for the BBA (Probable), which I know you are doing in Baker county.  WKRP in Cincinnati lives! (I hope you realize, only us old folks will get the reference!) Dotty RobbinsHigh Springs 

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Bob Richter <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [FLORIDABIRDS-L] Bad A$$ Turkey and Lost Laughing Gulls
Date: Thu, 15 May 2014 07:41:49 -0400

As god is my witness, I swear I thought
Turkeys could fly.

                   Arthur Carlson

Late yesterday I ventured into Bethea
State Forest in north Baker County.
As I was turning onto SR 2 at the
headquarters I saw two birds in flight
down the road. From a distance I could
see that one was significantly larger
than the other and that the larger bird
was chasing the smaller. Having at first
thought that the large bird was a Turkey
Vulture I was amazed to discover that
it was, in fact, an actual Turkey and
that the smaller bird was a Red-
shouldered Hawk. The Turkey was
executing some surprisingly acrobatic
moves as he angrily pursued the hapless,
and no doubt shocked and surprised,
raptor. From the time I first saw the birds
to the point at which the hawk decided to
retreat and flew up and over the pines was
about thirty seconds. The Turkey landed
on a pine branch and watched the hawk
flapping hard to get out of there.

I have never seen Turkeys maneuver like
that and have often seen them take off then
crash through trees or shrubs rather than
try to go around them or to laboriously
work to gain enough altitude to just
barely clear the tree tops. I assume
there were baby Turkeys nearby but I
have yet to see any this year.

A little while later I was parked near one
of the very few (and very small) wetlands in
the area when a flock of sixteen Laughing
Gulls passed low over the car then up and
over the pinewoods and out of sight. This
was quite surprising as the birds were coming
from the southwest and heading northeast.
There are no large bodies of open water in
the vicinity, just small and mostly heavily
vegetated man-made wildlife ponds. They
could conceivably been coming from Lake
City and may have been aiming for the
Okefenokee NWR, the boundary of which
is about two miles north of that location. All
the birds appeared to be in basic plumage
but I can't swear to that as they were only
in view from behind and underneath for a
few seconds. At any rate, that constituted
a new species for the state forest.

Bob Richter
Baker County
-- 
http://www.pbase.com/Bob_Richter

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