Noticing nature: Turkey Talk

During my morning sit spot nature watch, the wild turkeys showed up and grabbed my attention! They were making lots of different sounds. Not only were they gobbling and clacking but making sounds with other parts of their bodies. They paraded around in a flock of about 10 birds, larger than they have this spring so far.

I feel lucky to have the turkeys come through almost daily, so I get lots of practice to refine my drawings. I think its important to know your intention for the page. Are you doing a detailed study of feather structure and color? or movement and behavior? This time I went with more of a diagram style, simplifying the turkeys so I could sketch quicker because the intention was less about what they looked like but more about what they were doing!

One of the neat sounds they make is when the males forcefully flick down their wings with a “thwump!” then I hear the scraping sound of the stiff flight feathers dragging on the cement as they slowly, deliberately strut around- so proud and serious. Like a model on a runway in slow motion, they waving the fan of tailfeathers toward a hen who appears to be ignoring all the attention the toms are giving her.

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