May 26 2008

I am not a turkey

Published by at 2:53 pm under Bird Behavior,Hiking

Blaze Orange (photo by Rick St. John)Yesterday I hiked at Quebec Run Wild Area in Fayette County.  The site is 7,441 acres at the top of Chestnut Ridge eastward down the mountain, so far south it’s nearly in West Virginia.

Though there is no hunting on Sundays in Pennsylvania, I forgot it was Sunday when I heard gunfire in the distance.  Just to be safe I draped my hat in blaze orange and put on my blaze orange vest. 

May is Spring Gobbler season in which hunters can shoot “bearded” tom turkeys.  Because wild turkeys can see colors, turkey hunters dress in camouflage, hide in the underbrush and use hen-turkey calls to attract the males toward them.  I’m out looking for birds so I might be attracted to the sound of turkeys, too.  Better safe than sorry.

I didn’t encounter any hunters but my blaze orange had an unintended side effect.

Everywhere I went, male and female scarlet tanagers came close to check me out.  When I sat down they came out of the treetops to see me.  One male tanager didn’t even sing.  He just opened his beak at me in a threatening way.

Duh!  I looked like a scarlet tanager!  Of course they were curious about me. 

No, I am not a wild turkey.  I am not a scarlet tanager either.            (Click on the picture my husband took of me to see a photo of a real scarlet tanager.)

One response so far

One Response to “I am not a turkey”

  1. Amy Fon 27 May 2008 at 10:00 am

    I’ll bet the tanagers wondered what your mother fed you when you were a chick, that you grew so big. :-)

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