Today I arrived home to see a mother turkey with about 12 new, fuzzy chicks in our back yard. About half an hour later the turkey lands on our roof, making those turkey-mother-come-here-where-are-you sounds, obviously having lost track of her chicks. A little while later, the mother and about seven chicks are trying to get down into the yard behind. They disappear.
A little while later I hear a chick's "here I am" urgent peep. I hear it again when I'm in the kitchen but I look out the window and see two turkeys, two chicks and figure everything is cool. The turkeys start out with a lot of chicks so that when 90% are picked off by mongoose, cats, and dogs, they'll still have a new generation. That's how nature works, I get it.
So I'm back at the computer, checking e-mail, the news, politics, Big Island Chronicle, you know, just surfing, when I hear the chick's distress call again. I walk out in the direction I heard it, look down into the neighbor's yard and see two adult turkeys, no chicks. I go back in. I hear it again, but it stops when I slide the screen door open. I go out to where it seems like it was coming from, but can find nothing. The next time it starts, I pause at the screen to locate the source. I go back to the same place and glancing to the left, I see a chick who looks at me and makes for cover. I go back in, get a shoebox, return and find two little fuzzy turkeys. I take the box across the street to our other neighbor, who once said she had a friend who raises turkeys. They already had five of the same brood, in a little pen in their anteroom.
So in one day this turkey mother LOST (not eaten by mongoose, just left behind) SEVEN of her babies. Not to be judgmental, but that's just poor parenting skills. It's really amazing that we have any turkeys at all, based on that sad performance.