DEAR JOHN: Lately, turkeys have been noticed alongside roads in residential areas. What are they doing right here?
Shirley Sprague, Harmony
DEAR SHIRLEY: You do not suppose they’re anticipating an invite to Thanksgiving dinner, do you?
Let’s begin with why there are turkeys right here in any respect. They aren’t native to California, though a species as soon as regarded as extra of a peacock than a turkey, Meleagris californica, did dwell in Southern California about 12,000 years in the past. The species grew to become extinct, presumably as a result of extended drought diminished the quantity of vegetation they wanted to thrive.
The primary turkeys arrived in California within the 1870s, together with settlers who introduced quite a lot of livestock. Within the 1900s, the California Fish and Wildlife Fee started importing turkeys for a leisure looking program. Nevertheless, the birds they introduced again have been farm-raised home breeds that mainly did not know the right way to survive on their very own. Within the Nineteen Fifties, the fee started importing wild turkeys that actually knew a factor or two. Now there are no less than 250,000 of them within the state.
Turkeys, regardless of their undeserved repute for being silly, are fairly clever, they usually have realized that developed areas present them with all the things they want – meals, water, and a spot to sleep.
Within the spring, the turkeys breed and the males then depart to do turkey enterprise whereas the females rear their broods. Younger turkeys, known as turkey poults, stick with their moms till they’re sufficiently old to breed – about 7 months for males and as much as 2 years for females.
To speak and assist look after the younger, females typically type packs. At the moment of the 12 months, you might be prone to see a herd of chickens with immature female and male turkeys.
Whereas it isn’t a migration as we often consider it – turkeys do not fly south for the winter – they transfer all through the Bay Space, often seeking meals, water and protected housing.
DEAR JOHN: I’ve a birdbath in my yard, from which it’s unattainable to guard your self from algae. Do you could have any ideas on the right way to clear it up?
Chicky, San Jose
DEAR CHICKY: You’ve gotten a number of choices, beginning with the location of the bathtub.
Select a shady spot, away from timber and overhanging vegetation. Common water modifications may even assist. Empty the bathtub, rinse with a light answer of water and vinegar, rinse nicely, and place within the solar to dry earlier than refilling.
Algae have a tougher time rising in shifting water, so putting in a fountain or aerator within the birdbath will preserve the water circulating. The fountain would not should be massive. As a bonus, the fountain will appeal to hummingbirds that favor showers to baths.
It’s also possible to search for industrial enzymes to scale back algae. Simply make certain it is protected for birds and different animals. Lastly, some individuals imagine that including copper objects to water prevents or reduces algae, however earlier than you toss a couple of cash within the pot, know that there isn’t any scientific proof that this does something.
Contact Joan Morris at AskJoanMorris@gmail.com.