Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jane: Prehistoric Birds

Half the fun of going to the library these days is what I see on the drive there.

We've mostly been going to the Marion Public Library ever since June 2008 when the Cedar Rapids Public Library was flooded. The drive isn't bad--out Cottage Grove Drive and up East Post Road to Marion.

And when you drive out East Post Road, you have to be sure to look out your left window when you get to the corner of East Post and Collins Road. Out there in that cornfield, strolling along in groups of 20 or more are wild turkeys! I saw them today, looking a lot like the birds in this picture.

I don't know why it makes me so happy to see them. They are just the funniest looking birds you can imagine. This is how David Sibley describes them in his Guide to Birds:

Very large and dark, with heavy, dark body incongruously joined to thin neck, small head and long legs.
That word "incongruous" really describes just about everything about a turkey. They're just funny looking, I'd say like footballs with long tails and necks, and really, from a distance, no perceptible head at all.

Every once in a while, I've gotten close enough to one to see it better. With their scaly heads and huge three-toed feet, they look about as much like dinosaurs as anything I've every seen!

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