Mating Season (5 of 366)

Close up of male Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

2016 Photo a Day, 5 of 366: Close up view of a male wild turkey during matting season.

Here he is, in his full puffed out glory. The male turkey whose feathers created the nice abstract for yesterday’s post. While eating breakfast this past weekend, the kids noticed that “the turkeys were back”.  What started out as a small rafter of turkeys that we spotted in some open space two miles down the road from our house about 10 years ago has grown to multiple rafters that have invaded our neighborhood and the open space that surrounds us.

This time of year is mating season – hence the title of the last post – which means more turkeys in the spring (oh joy!).  When I went out side to take some pictures of the turkeys, they were right on the other side of the fence from our backyard.  They swing by to try and pick off of our bird feeders (which we usually do a good job of preventing) or to eat some unknown red berry that grows in our neighbors yard.  In the end, they provide me more photos for my Backyard Wildlife gallery.

Group of Male Wild Turkeys during Mating Season

Group of Male Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) puffing their feathers for a female during mating season.

They have gotten so used to humans that I encourage all the neighborhood kids to drive their bikes at them while making all kinds of noise just to keep them from thinking this is their space.  So as I sat there taking pictures thru the fence, they didn’t really care.  Eventually my wife (the turkey whisper) came out and stood behind me.  I switched the camera over to video and recorded this short hand held of her talking (and them responding).  While it’s not the usual production quality of my old Sunday Morning Short series, I thought you would appreciate seeing what a hillside of over 45 turkeys looks and sounds like!  And yes they do fly (and roost in the redwood trees in our neighborhood)…maybe I’ll upload one of those videos later in the week.

Gear Chat: This is one area where I absolutely love the Sony A6000, shooting video.  I have been preventing myself from renting the A7 as I fear I’ll need to buy one after using it.  You can see in this video how well the camera auto focuses, something none of the Canon’s I’ve ever used could do.  This alone is worth it’s weight in gold when filming the kids!  Its small size does make it a bit harder to hold still, one reason I’m anxiously waiting for the rumored A7000 with the on sensor image stabilization (which would be a default upgrade) or why I would have to go with one of the A7 II bodies. The on camera sound is not terrible, you do pick up a bit of operations noise (I was rotating the camera while holding it thru the bars of our fence, so most of that noise is my palm rubbing on the grip).  And the lack of a stereo microphone port on the A6000 is a buzz kill (I would love to mount my Rode microphone on it, even though that thing is like 2x the size of the A6000).

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