City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

August 21st

Filed under: Birds, Coyote, Eagle, Gambel's Oak, Mammals, Meadow Mile 1.3, Plants, Wild Turkey — canopus56 @ 11:16 pm

A Family of Turkeys

4 p.m. At mile 1.7, the presence of a group of wild turkeys is given away by a single clump of scat. At this same location in mid-July, a breeding pair were walking through the Gambel oaks followed by a brood of eight or nine chicks. Unexpectedly, wild turkeys do well in this Great Basin shrub oak habitat. In the canyon, the Gambel oak forest covers the northern slope and continues over into the much larger Bountiful drainage. The dense oaks provide protection their principal predators: hawks and eagles from above and coyotes from below. The oak’s acorns provide an ample food supply. But they’re rarely seen except in late January and February, when the winter snows drive them near the road near mile 2.2. Then they can be seen in flocks of up to twenty individuals.

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