Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you know that the Wild Turkey was at one time endangered? I had no idea. Read about here where Idaho Nature Conservancy's own Matt Miller wrote about it. The Turkey recovery efforts have been almost too successful in some areas where they are superabundant and have become a nuisance.

Some cool Turkey facts from All About Birds:

* The Wild Turkey is native to North America.
* The chicks are almost on their own after just couple of days of hatching.
* Alaska is the only state that does not currently have Wild Turkey populations.

Although range maps don't often show Wild Turkeys as being widespread in Idaho, I have seen Wild Turkeys a few times since I've become a birder. I recall seeing them on a Boy Scout campout in Tripod Meadow once when I was a boy, but most recently I have seen them at the Fort Boise WMA, Montour WMA, and in Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area. When I lived in South Carolina, my job took me driving all over the back county roads and I saw Wild Turkey's almost daily.

When it comes to eating Turkey on Thanksgiving Day, I like it best soaked in a saline/citrus brine, then injected with citrus and spices, then deep fried in peanut oil using an electric fryer. Mmm...Delicious!

I used to use a gas fryer, but when cooking a turkey for a church Christmas party I created a raging inferno in my Mesa, AZ backyard. Besides the fryer and turkey being charred beyond use, there was no damage accept to my pride...thankfully!

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