Which is why it came as such a surprise one evening when my son looked out the window and said, “Mom … there are turkeys in the yard.”
“Real turkeys?” I asked. “As in – birds?”
(I thought maybe he meant local teenagers acting up – it hadn’t happened before but you never know.)
“Yes Mom. Turkeys. Big ones, too.”
I ran for the window and then for my camera (technically, my iPad because I didn’t have an iPhone yet at the time). Sure enough, a trio of toms had invaded the yard and started hunting for grubs. They stuck around for half an hour and wandered off down the sidewalk.
Two weeks later, I woke up and wandered into the kitchen for coffee – only to find a three-foot female turkey staring at me through the sliding door in the great room. (Note: this is actually far more startling than it sounds – that door leads to the fenced backyard.) By the time I grabbed my camera, Peeping Tom-asina and her babies had wandered off to the other side of the backyard – and my smallest cat, Oobie, was watching them from the window. As with the previous ninja turkeys, the family stayed about half an hour and departed for parts unknown.
This is NOT what I expected when I moved to Sacramento.
Three weeks ago, on one of the hottest days of the summer, I was driving home from work when I spotted Mom Turkey and her babies – now almost grown – walking down the sidewalk a block from my house. They seemed perfectly comfortable, except for the 110-degree heat, and when I pulled over to take some pictures they sauntered into a yard and stood underneath a tree – completely unfazed by my presence.
In fact, one of the babies wandered up to look at my truck while I was looking at him.
Apparently, the Sacramento suburbs are home to wandering tribes of ninja turkeys, capable of appearing and disappearing at will. I’m not complaining. There’s something about turkeys that appeals to my sense of humor, and their off-and-on visits (with no sign of them in between) is a surprise I’ve already learned to appreciate.
Have you ever seen wildlife in an unexpected place? What would you do if you found a turkey ogling you through the window? Hop to the comments. I’d love to hear.