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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wild Turkeys




One of Ontario's biggest success stories lies with the re-introduction of the Wild Turkey. In the early 1980's Wild birds from various parts of the U.S were trapped and re-located to the region. Today the wild turkey population is greater than 40,000 birds, and is a rather common fixture, even along the edges of large cities!! The re-introduction allows for hunting to take place, and given the fact that each hen produces around a dozen eggs, they are quit capable of sustaining and at the same time increasing there populations. That said, because they nest on the ground, and eggs take 6 weeks to hatch out, predation is also high. After chicks hatch, it is a further 2 weeks before they can fly, and are able to roost in the trees with the adults. Predators include Raccoons, Foxes, coyotes, birds of prey and even dogs and cats. Fortunately turkeys have a high reproductive potential, and one good hatch can significantly increase populations and offset previous poor hatches.

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