For goose/turkey experts...

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by warpig, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. warpig

    warpig Guest

    hammer4nc
    V.I.P. Member
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    (2/23/02 1:20:54 am)
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    This story isn't about hunting...but I thought bird experts, or hunters, might find it interesting anyway.

    We're doing a remodel job on a house that backs up on a medium size pond, located in metro Raleigh, North Carolina. First, its obvious that the local waterfowl population is quite healthy (an understatement). Several times a day will bring flocks of canada geese gliding in, honking, before spashing down on the pond. Same with mallards. The pond even has a blue herron. While the herron is quite skittish, the ducks and geese are tame. Geese will frequently be seen waddling across and down the residential streets, claiming right of way over cars! And, most of the neighborhood takes pride in their feathered friends. The next-door neighbor's golden retriever will chase the geese off his dock, skidding to a stop just short of the edge, as the honkers flap away, but it seems all in good fun on both sides.

    Anyway, on nice days, some of the guys will take lunch in the back yard, quick to notice that the swimming ducks and geese will paddle on over in short order. Naturally, bits of food tossed out on the water will get gobbled up by the birds. Now, if a person stands at the shoreline and starts throwing food amidst just a few birds (esp. with exaggerated arm motion), its as though someone sent out a radar signal to the rest of the pond...suddenly more fowl will come a-gliding in, and before long theres 40-50 ducks and geese scrambling for each thrown tidbit!

    Notes on bird behavior:

    *Birds have personalities! Some are aggressive, chasing away any other duck that invades his personal space at feeding time, leading to mini-butt chewing episodes. I guess thats called the old "pecking order"? (The guys prefer to aim for the more laid back ducks, just to even things out).

    *Either spring is in the air, or feeding is a natural aphrodisiac for ducks...some male will usually start chasing a female, for food (we thought), and end up, well, shamelessly having his way with her!

    *Lately, the birds have started "expecting" their daily feedings, and will start congregating even if a guy is just out back stacking lumber or emptying trash! A couple of canada geese have even started camping out on the back lawn!!, approaching workers to be fed first. Now, canada geese are big birds, and more than one worker has expressed fear of being assaulted by a hungry goose in a most vulnerable fashion!

    So here's the capper. This pond has a couple of birds that no one, has ever seen before, or can identify (mystery species)!!! Most unusual looking! Homeowners are no help. The guys have taken to calling them "the ugly ducklings", though they have a body the size of a large canada. These birds ARE ugly! Imagine the body of a goose, dark grey/blue feathers, white neck, with the head of a turkey stuck on it! No lie. I spent some time on the internet the last few nights, trying to find a picture similar to our specimens, with no luck! The closest thing I can find is a blue goose:



    Now, imagine the head of this bird covered in red, not with feathers, but more like the neck fleshy portion of this turkey!



    There you have it! I'm stumped on this one! thinking of bringing the digital camera to the pond, and sending the picture of the bird to NC state poultry dept. for positive ID. 'Course, I figured the resident experts could give me a head up, without missing a beat! Anyone?

    Regards from NC.

    PS Hunting aspects notwithstanding, it's really grand to see these beautiful birds up close (except for our ugly ducklings, that is)

    Edited by: hammer4nc at: 2/23/02 1:25:13 am

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 2543
    (2/23/02 6:05:23 am)
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    Get a picture and lets see what they are. Sounds like Turkey Buzzards, they live around water but are not water birds.
    We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans... -- Bill Clinton, US President (USA Today, 11 Mar 1993, page 2a)

    Hangfire
    Member
    Posts: 13
    (2/25/02 3:51:20 pm)
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    Souds like a Muscovy duck. Try this.
    Muscovy ducks








    Edited to make link active.

    Edited by: AntiqueDr at: 2/25/02 4:38:17 pm

    Hangfire
    Member
    Posts: 14
    (2/25/02 3:55:42 pm)
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    I guess I need to figure out how to get the autolink feature to work.

    280freak
    V.I.P. Member
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    (2/25/02 4:12:58 pm)
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    Hangfire -

    Try putting ".com" at the end of your link.

    Hangfire
    Member
    Posts: 15
    (2/25/02 4:35:06 pm)
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    Thanks. I'll figger these computers out someday.

    hammer4nc
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 234
    (2/25/02 7:00:42 pm)
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    hangfire,

    Thanks, I think you got it right! Here's a photo from the link you posted earlier- the picture didn't post on my screen:




    Here's a couple of pictures I took today...sorry, the camera and operator aren't too good:





    The photos don't give enough detail to convey how ugly their faces really are. I think we have a couple of male muscovy ducks...the ok state webpage said they were 10-15 lbs, I would agree, as you can see they are at least twice the size of the mallards. Thats why I mistakenly thought they were geese! Mystery solved! Thanks, hangfire, and everyone else for the help!