Driving up the road toward home, it's not uncommon to have to share the road with some of the other local residents. Folks out for a stroll. The occasional lost hunting dog. Neighbors' cats. Escaped goats (and sometimes even cows). Feral pigs. Pheasants. Assorted wild birds. Today it was turkeys .....
(Things look blurry because it was raining and I took the photo through the truck's windshield.)
These 3 critters spied me coming and started trotting up the road. For the next 3/4 mile, they never deviated. Right up the center of the road. I guess nobody informed them that they were birds, they could fly out of harm's way. So for several minutes I got a really good look at them trotting up ahead of me.
Being a retired dog show person, I couldn't help but notice that the three birds each had a different gait. One tracked wide, causing him/her to rock side to side as it wobble-trotted up the hill, head swinging from side to side. Another turkey single tracked, bringing its legs right underneath it's body as it effortlessly kept pace with its buddy. I would have awarded the first place ribbon to this one. The last one, I could see, was suffering. It was incredibly cow-hocked, so that it had to put out great effort to briskly trot along with the others. Within a half mile, this cow-hocked bird was slowing down, struggling, mouth open, and heavily panting. I actually felt sorry for it and slowed my truck so that it wouldn't collapse in exhaustion. Poor bird.
I never thought about it, but the feral turkeys are just like dogs....some are put together better than others. Some are efficient movers, others are not. Being essentially wild living animals, I thought that Mother Nature would weed out the poorer specimens, but I suppose that life for them here in Hawaii is soft & cushy. Not much in the way of predators to enforce "survival of the fittest". So even the less efficient ones survive.
Ok....this post has nothing to do about anything, but I found it interesting to watch these turkeys heading up the hill. I guess I'll look at them a little differently for now on.