Top Tom Turkey Thinks He’s Rocky Balboa?

Today I watched a Tom turkey who was quite sure he was protecting his harem of six lovely hens.  He spied another male turkey and was going to make certain he was Top Turkey. He was determined to drive that other male

Female Turkeys spend a relaxing fall afternoon in Susan's New Hampshire garden

turkey away.  And so the battle began…

This bold and brave turkey circled his opponent.  He pecked at it.  He fluffed out his feathers. He gobbled.  He circled again.  He pecked again.  He fluffed again.  He gobbled again. And so the battle continued…

What Top Tom did not realize was that the other male turkey was just his reflection.  Yes, this bold and brave turkey was picking a fight with my car!  Each time he got to the wheel well the other turkey “disappeared.”  Clearly befuddled, Top Tom would peek under the car looking for the other turkey.

A handsome female doing the turkey trot

One would think that after just one time around the car, pecking at a metal object, Top Tom would conclude that this was not a “real” turkey and he had nothing to worry about.  Alas, he circled the car for two more rounds of battle.

After the third time circling the car and pecking at the turkey I guess he considered himself the winner by TKO.  He finally walked away.  So gallant was he.  That or the female turkey who came over to him said, “It’s your reflection, You Idiot!”  To which he puffed out his feathers and strutted his stuff for the female who promptly

On the road again. . .

proceeded to ignore him and eat.

This episode brought to mind one of my son’s (and my) favorite movies, Racing Stripes. In it there is a hit-man pelican named Goose who beats up a motor scooter.  Top Tom and his battle reminded me of Goose and his hard-fought motor scooter battle!  It’s a great movie and if you see it, remember my turkey friend.

–Reflections from Susan’s Garden in New Hampshire

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