Photo by BarrytheBirder
I photographed these Wild Turkeys in the Town of Vaughan today, on the the northern outskirts of Toronto, as they gleaned leftovers from a recently harvested grain field. There were approximately 30 of these very attractive birds in a flock that has survived the fall hunting season in Ontario. All they have to do now is get through a long, cold, snowy Ontario winter. And it seems the wild turkey is remarkably able to do just that. Since a few hundred of them were introduced to Ontario, from the United States back in the mid-1980s, they now number around 80,000 in the southern part of the province. Almost 10,000 Wild Turkeys were killed in Ontario by licensed hunters in 2009. Most were killed with ordinary shotguns, but a few were brought down by muzzle-loading shotguns, bows and crossbows. There are many rules and regulations about hunting Wild Turkeys, all supposedly designed to sustain some sort of natural balance to the new bird population in our province. Inserted into all of the info and data is the following question: "WHY IS BIODIVERSITY IMPORTANT?" The printed answer is as follows: "Biodiversity is all about being connected ... all species, including humans, are dependent on one another to survive". This would seem to presume that dead turkeys are an essential part of the food chain in which human beings participate. Lucky for us that turkeys aren't licensed to shoot. For the record, there is no hunting for turkeys allowed in Vaughan, but there is immediately north in King Township where I live.
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