April fools

I decided to try another roost site today (one that I haven't visited yet this year). This particular roost site is situated in between a cow pasture & a hay field. The only thing separating those two fields is a small wooded draw. There's a huge oak tree in that draw where these turkeys generally like to roost. When I got close to that big oak this morning, I could only see one turkey in it! I thought "Here we go again! Probably another longbeard." Not that there's anything wrong with gobblers, but I would much rather sit under a talkative hen. I got my camera gear set up & I was ready to go by 5:45 (about an hour before it starts to break daylight). At 6:16, I heard a bird gobble! It was not in the draw where I was, but along the edge of the hay field maybe 100 yards away. As a matter of fact, there were two birds gobbling together. There were also several birds off in the distance gobbling across the hollow. The bird I was set up underneath was still sitting on the limb & had it's head tucked under it's wing (not sure what it was). Then some hens chimed in with some tree yelps! The hens sounded like they were scattered around that hay field. The bird above me finally raised it's head after one of the closer birds gobbled. It began to look around, stretch it's wings & preen itself. I still couldn't tell what it was, it was too dark yet. But I thought for sure it was probably a gobbler. All the gobblers went back & forth gobbling more & more as the sky brightened! The two gobblers on the edge of the hay field pitched down pretty early, landing in the hay field. It wasn't long & those hens began getting more excited with their yelping. Then a few of them pitched into the pasture. Finally I could tell that the turkey I was set up underneath was a hen! She still hadn't said anything though. It sounded like the gobblers & hens that were in the field were heading the opposite direction across the hay field. That's when the hen above me began tree yelping. She was looking all around as she scratched out the softest yelps then she would go back to preening. One of the other hens still in the tree would yelp back from time to time & they both got more excited. I heard a few of the other hens cackle as they pitched down! Then the hen I was zoomed in on started to really get excited. Her yelping got louder & more throaty! Then she hopped limbs & acted like she was looking for a clear runway to pitch down. She then graced me with a fast, but beautiful fly down cackle as she pitched over top of me! As soon as she flew down, the rest of the birds in the opposite field pitched across the wooded draw into the cow pasture behind me. I couldn't turn the camera that way to get any video, so I just let them walk out of sight then snuck down thru that draw & got out of there. But to think I was set up underneath a gobbler...It was an April fools day I won't soon forget!

Sunrise: 7:02 a.m.

Temperature: 25 degrees (clear & sunny)

Wind: Calm

Barometer: 30.11 & rising

Location: Southwest Pennsylvania

# of gobbles heard: 175+

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