The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among others, ran a story at Thanksgiving about wild turkeys, and how suburban areas make pretty good homes for them. It seems the wild turkey is a success story — there were only 30,000 in the US in the 1930s, and there are seven million now. Which means that people are starting to see the birds in their yards, and there are growing reports of aggression. This makes sense: wild turkeys live in flocks, and are ruled by the pecking order. If humans are nearby, some of the dominant males might assume that humans are part of that flock, and try to dominate them. Lucky for the turkeys, humans often do things that validate this thinking, like putting food out for them, or turning their backs and running away from the sharp spurs on the backs of their legs. As the article puts it, some human behavior "can encourage these lordly males to think that humans are a subservient life form."
The article, written by William M. Bulkeley for The Wall Street Journal, is called "One for 'The Birds': Wild turkeys attack people
," (November 23, 2005). The photograph is from the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Public Photo Gallery
, and was taken by Hal Korber. You can click here for a bigger version
You're probably wondering what wild turkeys have to do with lunch with Peanut.
You may recall from the third installment
that Peanut eats fast, and then Mind Controls Bruce into giving him sunflower seeds. Which means that if parrotlets are anything like wild turkeys — and they probably are — then Peanut rules Bruce. Which we've known for awhile. (In fact, we've been calling Bruce Peanut's Seed B**** for a few months, at least.)
But as we eat lunch with Peanut more regularly, Peanut has become more demanding. After eating quinoa, granola, oat groats, or some combination of them all, Peanut makes his way to Bruce's shoulder, which is the prime location for demanding sunflower seeds. Lots of them. I keep trying to explain that Peanut is giving him little Nibbles of Love — which he gives me all the time during snacking sessions. But Bruce insists they're Bites of Dominance, which, along with the Mind Control, makes him incapable of resisting Peanut's power.