Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Turkey Eyes Are Watching Me (Turkey Update – Part 2)

For almost two years the turkeys have confounded me with their craftiness. Turkeys are extremely intelligent creatures, so much so, that Ben Franklin favored them over the bald eagle to be our national bird.
Over time, I realized the turkeys knew a lot about me. For example:

-         They know I put food out every day.

-         They know who I am. They recognize me as the guy who puts out the food. When they see me from a distance, I get their attention. They look at me with interest, in case I am putting out food.

-         They know where I live. They know I live inside the house and where the door is. They also know that the birdseed is stored inside the house. This is why they knock on the deck door when they have eaten all the food and want more.

-         Because they know I put out the food, they have some affinity towards me. That’s why they respond more positively towards me than my wife, who never puts out any food for them.

-         They believe that when I chase them away, I am only playing a game with them. “That guy would really have to be wacko to put out food for us and then get upset when we eat it, right?” (I told you the turkeys were intelligent!)

And this year, the turkeys have really upped their game. They somehow know what time I put the seed out in the morning, and then sneak in and empty the feeders.  This causes a problem because soon the hungry squirrels and cardinals arrive, but all the food is gone. So, I wait about an hour for the turkeys to be long gone, and fill up the feeders again. But soon, sometimes just ten minutes later, the turkeys suddenly appear and begin munching away.

The turkeys seem to know my every move, but how could this be? The turkeys are far away from my house. If I can’t see them, they surely can’t see me, right? Well, the turkeys may be intelligent, but I have the power of Google.

And it turns out, the turkeys have been watching me like a hawk, literally like a hawk. The hawk has the strongest eyesight of any bird, but just below them, sits --- the turkey. Turkey vision is 8-times stronger than human vision. And maybe with my declining eye-sight, nine-times better than mine. In addition, because of their eye placement, a slight turn of the head provides this amplified sight in 360-degrees. Turkey need this tremendous vision to spot predators, since they can’t run that fast, nor fly that well (Yes, as my backyard as my witness, wild turkeys can fly, Mr. Carlson).

So for almost two years, the turkeys have been spying on me from afar with
Giving me the "turkey eye"
the equivalent of 8X binoculars. Those turkeys were just lurking in the shadows – yes, Turkey Lurkey exists! – just waiting for me to refill the feeders. You might think that with my master’s degree that I would be able to outsmart these birds, but you would be wrong. The turkeys have been laughing at me, if turkeys can laugh, for nearly two years!

They’re watching me
They see my every move
Turkey eyes
They’re watching me
They see my every move
Turkey eyes
They’re watching me
Watching me, watching me, watching me**

It’s no wonder that the turkeys have some type of affection for me since they have watched me put out birdseed dozens of times, which they believe is solely for their consumption. They probably consider me their seedy-daddy. However, I strongly dispute the notice, promoted by my friend Dee, and others on Facebook, that the turkeys “love” me. Nothing could be further than the truth … Whoa! Carol Carpenter’s ghost! What are you doing here?

Why do birds (big ones) suddenly appear
Every time, you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Me: No, no, no, no, no!!!!!!!!!!

That is why, all the turks in town
Follow you, all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Me: Get out of here now!

Ghost: Hey, you gonna eat that cheeseburger?

Me: Wait? What? … those are my fries!

I repeat: These are not my turkeys and they do not love me. They eat the food that I put out for the squirrels and they are thieves. People have suggested that I try to fool the turkeys by placing a plastic owl or rubber hawk on my deck. I reasoned the turkeys would be too smart to fall for that trick, so I used the most hideous, frightening scarecrow I could find: the cutout I use to promote my book signings. It features three headshots of me. While you might think this is rather egotistical, it was designed by my friend Michael, and the original design
So very, very, scary!
actually had four heads. I told Mike that was too many heads. And as Robert Kraft recently found out, you can have too much head.

But incredibly, this did not deter the turkeys at all. They just went straight past the cutout to the food and started feasting again. I thought I even saw one of the turkeys give the cutout a kiss. But that would be wrong, because the turkeys do not love me. They are not my turkeys and I do not feed them.

It’s a good thing that spring is here and my feeding will end soon. I am dealing with a new rafter of young turkeys, which I assume is the result of rampant hot turkey sex happening in the woods behind my house. Yes, the turkeys are populating, probably because they are tremendously healthy, a result of being very well nourish…. Oh crap!

** based on Private Eyes – by Hall & Oates
*** Close to You – by The Carpenters

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