In Harmony With Nature


Driving to work yesterday morning, I saw a Tom Turkey parading toward a flock of Hens.

His chest feathers were puffed and his tail feathers were fully splayed and displayed. One look into his beady bird eyes and you could see the call of spring’s ritualistic Cock-on-Hen, “One Cock for one Flock,” why-don’t-we-do-it-in-the-road thoughts of old-school “traditional” Wild Turkey flying feather bird lust.

This guy was being controlled by primal urges known to virtually any organism residing even one evolutionary tick above an amoeba. The call of nature, in its most primitive form, was commanding his every action.

Didn’t want to miss this show! Grabbed camera and jumped out of my truck then quietly stood (perched!) on the side of the field just like any other puerile voyuer nature lover would do.

This guy was primed for action.

When he caught up to the Hens, the girls seemed shy at first.  They became friendly in pretty short order though.

I should tell you that the radio was on when I jumped from my truck. While shooting photos of the amorous Turkeys I was listening to a news report about the General Assembly’s passage of the marriage equality bill.

This is where things became, err, different. As the news report played on the radio, it was almost as if the Turkeys had heard the same story I did about Vermont giving legal recognition to the marriages of same-gender couples. As if on cue, two more Tom Turkeys, who were also mingling within the flock of hens, turned away from the ladies.

Next thing you know . . . .  (you need to click to believe) . . .


Damnedest thing I ever saw.

With no interest in the hens WHATSOEVER, the two Toms puffed themselves out – apparently for each other – and paraded off, together.

“One Cock for one Flock” and “Tom & Tom” seemed equally in harmony with nature.



Someone asked me if the two Toms were photoshopped.  The two Toms are not altered. Here is the original photograph.  As Paul Harvey would said, Tom and Tom are the “rest of this story.”

About Caoimhin Laochdha

Central Vermont life-long civil liberties activist. I offset my carbon footprint by growing my own energy and riding my bicycle at least 8 months of the year. Every election cycle, since Gerald Ford's social promotion to the Oval Office, I've volunteered for at least one Democratic presidential campaign that ultimately finished in second (or lower) place.

10 thoughts on “In Harmony With Nature

  1. the anti-strong families group are gonna be screaming “First it’s gay marriage and then it’s gay turkeys … what’ll we tell the children?”

    You have also managed to make legal recognition of same sex marriages an enemy of the hunters!


  2. Looks like you captured a classic example of “cooperative courtship”.

    Cooperative courtship is a well-documented behavior in wild turkeys, and an oft-cited example of ‘kin selection’ in evolutionary theory.  The subordinate male assists the dominant male in defending access to females, with whom the dominant male exclusively mates.  

    As an aside – I’m always extremely wary of biological explanations for human behavior.  Science (albeit flawed science) has been used to justify human rights abuses at least as often as it has been used to protect human rights.  And evidence for a “biological” or “genetic” basis for homosexuality in humans remains on very shaky grounds – the jury is still out and probably always will be (but that’s a discussion for another diary).

    Now please tell me to lighten up!

    I love the pictures and the fun diary!

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