Turkeys are one of the most well know birds in North America for their contribution to several special days in the fall and winter season. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without the contribution this bird has added to most of the people that live on this continent. The history of this majestic bird in the wild would most likely surprise you as being a huge success story. The surprise is not the success, but the fact that we very nearly lost the Wild Turkey in its natural habitat. Today, turkeys are found in almost every state, several provinces and some location in Mexico as well. Let’s find out a little bit more about this fabulous bird, let’s talk turkey
Belize is a rustic country with a very small population which is absolutely perfect for nature photography and birding. While looking for places to stay in Belize I did a considerable amount of work. I had also decided that I was going to hire a guide for a couple days on this trip, which is something I don’t usually do, so it added to the level of reconnaissance I was planning. Wading through the internet I found several locations, but one seemed to stand out with the positive responses to the stay, the people and the birds. The Crystal Paradise Resort was that place. All of the comments on the travel sites kept mentioning “The Tuts” and how welcome everyone felt under their roof. For someone who is travelling to a new country for the first time, this kind of feedback is exactly the thing that someone needs to feel comfortable. It also turns out that the Tut brothers are very fluent in the language of birding and have extensive experience guiding all over Belize. That was the clencher, I signed up for a three night stay with two days of guided bird watching.
We can always sense when fall is in full swing when the familiar honking of geese is high in the sky as they sail south. The miracle of migration happens twice every year bringing birds to and from their homes for the season. Once, when the days get longer and the weather starts warming up, signaling the move north. Again, when the days get shorter and the young birds fly on newly feathered wings to warmer southern climates. In North America, there are four flyways that follow major landscape dividers. The Atlantic flyway captures the birds east of Hudson’s Bay and follows the coast south to Florida and beyond. The Second is the Mississippi Flyway which handles a great deal of birds from the arctic and along the western edge of the Hudson’s Bay and down the Mississippi River Valley and out across the Gulf of Mexico. The third is the Central Flyway which follows along the eastern edge of the Rockies south towards the Texas Panhandle and into Mexico’s East Coast. The Flyway that I am most familiar with is the Pacific Flyway. These are all the birds that live in Alaska and head south picking up and dropping off the birds that live in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. We are going to have a look at the Pacific Flyway in a little more detail.