We have caught a couple of glimpses of them before but just passing through.We haven't seen them this close!
I took a bunch of pictures and my camera software automatically made this little gif (or short film loop).
It's neat because you can see the tom turkey in action, spreading his tail and puffing up to show that squirrel who's in charge!
That will make you dizzy if you watch for very long, so here are some still photos.
This is when they first came up. Mama turkey at the feeder with part of the babies and Papa turkey heading off to the left to herd the other babies over. The three squirrels didn't know what to do, one ran up the bird feeder pole and the other two took off in different directions!
Here is the whole family. Papa turkey is getting a little annoyed by that squirrel. Mama and babies are huddled up for safety.
Mama and babies go back to eating, seeing that Papa turkey has everything under control. Squirrel tries to act like he is tough but it's only a bluff.
Squirrels have retreated, family is safe...Papa turkey struts his stuff!
It was hard to count the babies but I truly think there were at least 16. I don't see how they can manage and protect that many. It must be an extra intelligent hen and a very brave tom.
I'm glad I got to see that little skirmish!