One of the more perverse miracles of nature is the evolution of a cute Wild Turkey youngster (poult) into one of the wild’s ugliest birds.

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Nonetheless, countless numbers of these cuties are merrily following their chortling and hissing mothers around here now, learning how to catch insects.

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This is the time that the mothers (hens) roost with their poults on the ground and defend them from predators there, while the males and non-breeding females (Toms and younger Jakes and Jennies) continue to roost in trees. Sometimes, while tromping in tall grass, a hen will pop up and hiss and, as we give her a wide berth, we have to imagine her unseen poults gathering around her.

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The poults start flying at about four weeks after hatching, and then the whole clan roosts in the trees. (Brooklin, Maine)