Monday, April 29, 2013

Wild Turkeys, Northern Illinois Year Round Resident

A flock of Wild Turkeys on the lawn of a house adjacent to Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 4/1/2013.
Along with the Ring-necked Pheasant (yesterday's post, 4/28/2013), Wild Turkeys are another upland game bird that is a year round resident of the Northern Illinois area.  After a day of hiking and photography, I was leaving Rock Cut State Park early this spring when a I saw at least two dozen Wild Turkeys feeding on the lawn of a house that borders the boundary of the park. With my 150-500mm Sigma lens I couldn't back up far enough to fit all of the turkeys into one frame, but (Above) are 16 of the 24 turkeys that were on the lawn.
A male showing off his stuff for the surrounding females, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 4/1/2013.
There were at least 5 males displaying their full tail feathers - ah, must be springtime.
A good look at the tail feathers from behind, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 4/1/2013.
When the male's feathers are at full display it almost looks like he wearing a floor length skirt as well as the feathered out tail.

Wild Turkeys are found throughout most of the U.S. east of the Mississippi and much of the West, especially in the Prairie States, but also into the mountains.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ring-necked Pheasant, Northern Illinois year round resident.

A Ring-necked Pheasant crossing the road in front of me out near, Rockton, IL; 5/6/2012.
I have seen many Ring-necked Pheasants in my life, but until about a year ago, I have never had one so out in the open while I had a camera with me. This beautiful guy (Above) crossed the road in front of my car and obliged me by hanging around long enough for me to find my camera and snap off a few pics out the window before he disappeared in the tall weeds.

Ring-necked Pheasants are year round residents in open fields of long weeds and grasses that will hide them from view. At times you can find them along road edges near edges of forests or along thick weedy brush. They can be found in the Northern States from coast to coast.