Bird #137 — Wild Turkey

meleagris (guinea-fowl) gallopavo (rom gallus, a cock, and pavo, a chickenlike peafowl)

Wednesday, May 7, 1980 — 6:30 pm

Southeastern Missouri — along Amtrak tracks to Little Rock approximately 50 miles south of St. Louis

Gerber Hackett had our car in his high-school auto shop as a project for his students. (It cost us $200 to have the engine replaced.) In the meantime, however, we were supposed to go to Conway, Arkansas for my brother-in-law Tim’s graduation.  We couldn’t drive, and it was too far to walk, so we took the train. We got a ride to the station in Des Plaines early in the morning and took the Chicago-Northwestern into the city.  We walked over to Union Station and got aboard Amtrak for Little Rock.

I enjoyed the trip down.  Most of it was during daytime, and the tracks, unlike the interstate, cut through enjoyable scenery.

I saw a Wild Turkey standing in a field about twenty yards from the tracks.  When the train went by, it flew up over a fence and landed at the edge of an open oak woods.  It was slimmer than your barnyard-variety turkey, and when it flew, I saw a rusty edge on its fanned tail.

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