Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff
Saturday 02/24/2007 Topping of the week with a flock of turkeys to boot.
I headed out at 5:00 am on slick snow covered roads to meet the "turkey crew" at the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newington. This is the second year of a wild turkey study as part of a cooperative study by UNH, NH Fish and Game, the USDA Wildlife Services and the Pease Airport Authority. This study seeks to learn the habits of the turkeys surrounding the airport in order to hopefully help prevent further aircraft strikes.
We met at 6:00 am just as it was getting light. The UNH graduate student and Wildlife Services staffer Angelic had already been down the last quarter mile to the rocket net site had baited and readied the rocket net. Another Wildlife Services employee Tony was manning the detonator.
Six became seven and on into eight and past when the radio cracked that "turkey were under the net". Part of the crew was long-time NH turkey biologist Ted Walski. He had started over from the Connecticut River side on the snow covered roads very early to lend his nearly four decades of experience handling turkeys.
A total of 12 turkeys were under the net with Tony reporting a big gobbler and a couple of hens sliding out to escape. Still a dozen turkeys is just the right number to handle in the frigid conditions. The turkeys were boxed and we headed down to the Fish and Game's Sandy Point Discovery Center to handle the birds inside a warmer basement workshop. All the birds were tagged and leg banded with the ten hens equipped with radios. I couldn't help but take a few shots of "Turkey Ted" loading the boxed turkeys into his truck, weighing them and passing his passion for turkeys on to another whole generation of younger biologists, especially Angelic. It was a very rewarding morning.
2007-02-21 Warming up at last and a turkey, a goose 179 ducks and hopefully more turkeys.
2007-03-01 Turned around in a deer yard... inside a development!
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