I seem to have a way with turkeys.
If you missed yesterday’s post, see it here.
Go ahead. We’ll wait.
You're back? Read on . . .
He was fit.
He was attractive.
He had the moves.
And he had eyes only for me.
Oh, and he was covered in feathers.
Maybe I should explain . . .
In the town of Coaldale, Alberta is the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre. A centre dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured raptors. The stories of the hundreds of birds already helped back to the wild is inspiring. Visiting the place is an experience.
There are demonstrations and education stations throughout the site. Majestic birds with various injuries are glimpsed during their rehabilitation exercises. One, a golden eagle named Spirit, blinded by a shot from a careless hunter, is particularly exciting.
Especially up close.
Visitors can walk along the pathways and watch the antics of owls, hawks and eagles.
And one Turkey Vulture.
Snoopy, unable to fly or survive in the wild due to various injuries, has been a happy attraction of the centre for several years.
When my family arrived, he was contentedly staked out with a long tether, enjoying the sun.
As I approached, he fanned out his tail, ruffled his feathers, clicked his beak and spread his not-unimpressive wings. Then he hopped toward me and . . . strutted. Hey, hey, hey lady! Like what you see? Huh? Do you? Huh?
Reaching the end of his tether, he continued to swivel back and forth, allowing every feather its opportunity to (quite literally) shine.
I called Husby over. “Look at this guy!”
Husby moved closer.
And that’s when the show ended. Every feather was slicked flat. Wings folded and tail snapped shut.
Snoopy just sat there. The very picture of indignant male. Oh, I see! You’ve already made your choice. Well, sucks to be you, lady!
Husby smiled and moved on.
“No!” I said. “He was different! He was all . . . ruffled!”
But Husby had already moved ahead to one of the hawk exhibits.
I looked back at Snoopy.
And received a shock.
Once more, his feathers stood on end. His wings and tail were spread. He was again looking at me. He shook his wings invitingly. How about now, lady? That guy is gone. All of this could be yours! Last chance . . .
One of the attendants moved past. “Oh, I see you’ve discovered Snoopy,” she said. “He likes the ladies!”
Snoopy the lady killer.
An appropriate title for a bird from a raptor centre.
With a totally different meaning . . .