Wayne R. Petersen
This issue’s mystery image offers the potential for a few distinctly different identification scenarios: 1) a prehistoric species, 2) a remarkable attempt by a very large raptor (e.g., a Golden Eagle) to capture a phalarope, and 3) an equally remarkable attempt by a very large bird to land on the water. With reason prevailing, a prehistoric species would be a most unusual departure from past At a Glance columns because 1) prehistoric images do not exist, and 2) Hollywood technology has never been previously applied to an At a Glance image. The likelihood that the bird is a very large raptor can be readily eliminated by the fact that no living bird of prey shares the dramatic features of the long neck and equally long tail exhibited by the mystery bird.
With options one and two above eliminated as possibilities, readers are left only with the fact that the mystery species is a very large bird seemingly attempting to land on the water. Hmm…? So what are the options? There are in fact no options. There is only the fact that the bird is exactly what it appears to be–a Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)!
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. Bird Observer publishes original articles on birding locations, on avian populations and natural history, on regional rarities, and field notes, Massachusetts field records, photographs, and art work.