Turkeys in Ponderosa Pine

I haven’t been hiking as much as I’d like to these last few years, what with Covid and all. So today, my husband and I headed out to a trail a few miles from our house west of Denver that I used to hike a lot.

We picked a rotten time to resume hiking — flowers have mostly flowered and gone to seed, and birds are finishing up with their fledglings rather than showing themselves in courtship. And the mid-July heat was intense even at mid morning.

But we were rewarded by seeing some wild turkeys among the ponderosa pines. When I was young, turkeys were unheard of along the Front Range — they had been hunted out long ago. In fact, they had to be reintroduced in the 1980s. But with protection, the reintroduced birds have taken to Colorado like ducks to water — er, or maybe turkeys to shrubby wild lands. The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife reports that turkeys are now found in the majority of Colorado counties.

I’ve now seen turkeys in the wild several different times — today, once while canoeing the Colorado River, and before that, in Rocky Mountain National Park. But I still get excited.

These ladies were making their way down the slope, maybe going to water? They were a little frustrating to photograph because of the intense sun shining through the dense pines meant that areas of the photos alternated between washed out or too dark. But birds were fun to see. And their story of successful reintroduction was a nice reminder among all the bad news of the world that sometimes people do try to do the right thing, and sometimes it works.

Published by Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...

3 thoughts on “Turkeys in Ponderosa Pine

  1. Synchronicity! I also posted about Wild Turkeys! And I also get very, very excited whenever I see them. There are some in Parker in my mother-in-law’s neighborhood and I saw one in hiking in Boulder once.


    1. I saw your post right after I put mine up!
      These gals were at the junction of Castle and the aptly-named Turkey Trot trails in Jeffco Open Space’s Mt. Falcon Park. I think this flock has been in this area for years.

      Liked by 1 person

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