Garden Photo of the Day

Wild Turkeys in the Garden

Happy Thanksgiving to our GPOD family, and thanks to Dale Daley for sharing his wild turkey flock with us!

"Around Labor Day this year, we were surprised and delighted to observe a flock of around twenty wild turkeys meandering through our large garden.  Turkeys are not all that common in this part of Michigan.  The turkeys hardly noticed the many unusual plants in our garden, but were actually more intrigued by the selection of bugs and insects available. The flock was made up of 5 or 6 hen turkeys and their nearly grown offspring from this year.  We have established a natural habitat on our thirty acres that can provide for most of their needs.  We never expected that our garden would become part of their territory."

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The turkeys mostly follow the designated paths through the garden, but occasionally trek off into the interior of the beds in search of insects.  They are very curious creatures.  

Here, a group is milling around in an area that features native plants.  

Several of the turkeys regularly took advantage of one of our bird baths, sharing it with a pair of bronze herons.

With the cool fall weather, the flock has continued to visit our garden on a regular basis.  Here they pass by our Buddhist statue without at all paying the proper respect.

The turkeys are now foraging for seed heads in addition to insects. 

In this photo, the turkeys have returned to the same area where we first saw them.  They are now interested in the small crab apples that have fallen to the ground from a weeping crab tree.  One of them has flown up into the tree to feast on the apples before they fall. 

In the past, our garden has been plagued by rabbits, deer, moles, and other wildlife, but our turkeys have proven, so far, to be a real treat.  They have not done any damage to our plants and the little organic deposits they leave behind are surely a plus.  We look forward to enjoying many years with the noble turkey.

View Comments


  1. wGardens 11/25/2015

    Very enjoyable to see photos of your unexpected guests! Thanks for sharing!

  2. user-4691082 11/25/2015

    I love the photo with the turkeys drinking with the bronze herons! I'm glad to hear they don't damage your beautiful gardens.

  3. Quiltingmamma 11/25/2015

    I smiled at the bronze herons photo as well. Growing up on a West Coast Island, we never saw turkeys, but since moving to Ontario, there has certainly been an upswing in population over the past 20 years. I expect that trend is all over.
    Dale, you must be happy to see your efforts of providing a natural area and using native plants paying off with a happy environment for the critters.
    Happy Thanksgiving to the U.S. readers!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/25/2015

    Dale, your Buddhist statue rang a bell of , "hmm, haven't I seen the before?" and, after a quick search, the gpod where you shared your creation of your zen garden came up. So, are the turkey's adding some interesting design tracks in your beautifully maintained pea stone? I applaud you for welcoming your visitors and allowing them to make their own contributions...since a garden is living art and never remains exactly the same. Love the turkey in the crab apple tree picture...ha, maybe the first line in a song for counting down to Thanksgiving!

  5. greengenes 11/25/2015

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! Thank you all for taking us into your gardens and filling us up with inspiration and beauty. Dale, what a treat today! How wonderful to see these beautiful birds. Do you throw out to them any grains? Your acreage is so perfect for them. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the turkey life!

  6. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/25/2015

    Thanks for sharing more photos, Dale. I thought the garden looked familiar, but I couldn't find your garden via the search engine: glad Michaele looked harder and showed me I wasn't crazy. Your garden is so cool and the turkeys are are great. I was thinking what Rhonda said: glad that they are polite visitors and now destructive marauders. I did laugh out loud at the turkeys enjoying the company of the bronze herons!

    1. User avater
      meander_michaele 11/25/2015

      I never seem successful activating the search function here on the gpod page, Tim. Maybe it's only for the digital plus subscribers. So, I open a new window and throw the key words in the google search. Here's the address that seemed to show up for Dale's step by step on creating his Zen garden...

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/25/2015

        That's funny that the FG search function doesn't work well for you. I just typed in my name and got hits for all of my images on GPOD. Maybe it's related to the device? Thanks for the link!

        1. User avater
          meander_michaele 11/26/2015

          I wonder where I'm going wrong? I click on the magnifying glass looking symbol that's on the right side where Fine Gardening is on the left. I get the hand thingie but nothing opens up to seem like a search box. Ha, it seems as if it wants to ignore me. I'm sure you're busy with family but at your convenience maybe you can steer me in the correct direction. Thanks.

  7. diane_lasauce 11/25/2015

    Simply awe inspiring.

  8. VikkiVA 11/25/2015

    Organic deposits - love that. I Googled what a group of turkeys is know as and came up with this answer. A group of wild turkeys is called a flock, whereas a group of domesticated turkeys is known as a rafter or gang. Who knew? These turkeys know a beautiful landscape when they see one! Vikki in VA

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/25/2015

      That's so interesting. I wonder if domestic turkey gangs have turf wars? :) I had to look up the rafter thing for more info because it is so curious. One source said this: One definition of the noun "raft" is "a large collection" from Middle English "raf" meaning "everyone" or "one and all" (hence applied to a flock of birds). Related to "riffraff."
      Although nothing beats a 'murder' of crows in my book! Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. GrannyMay 11/25/2015

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Dale, your wonderful garden is even better with the addition of the turkeys. Love the photo of the flock enjoying the crabapples! Thank you.

  10. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 11/25/2015

    Growing up in rural WI, I don't remember ever seeing a wild turkey, but they were frequent visitors to our garden in Madison in the last decade or so. It's so nice to see a species increase in population rather than become extinct and they're so much fun to watch. Your photos are great Dale especially the one with the bronze herons and I like your attitude about sharing your garden with them. Your Zen garden is working:)

  11. GrannyCC 11/25/2015

    Wonderful pictures. What a treat to have the turkeys in your garden and it is so nice they are not interested in plants only their seeds. Love the picture of the bronze herons and the one in the crabapple tree. Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. schatzi 11/25/2015

    Incredible! Wild turkeys 2 days in a row! Wonderful! Another garden paradise for all. Happy TG.

  13. Cenepk10 11/28/2015

    Cool. I see flocks of them all around here - in Ga. Those particular turkeys have great taste to hang out in your garden ! Very nice of them to pose & show your garden off so nicely !!!!!

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