Time for Turkeys (Bearded Hen)

March 26, 2016

I’ve decided to devote some time to photographing turkeys this spring. I’m usually out chasing ducks, shorebirds and other critters this time of year so I miss out on some excellent turkey photography here at the farm. The featured image is from my first effort this morning. I set up my blind along a brushy fence row last evening and made it down there this morning just a little before sunrise. I could hear gobbling in the distance but nothing very promising.

After about an hour and a half, I heard this jake as it walked down the big hill from the direction of my house. It was talking to itself the entire way, all kinds of turkey gibberish. This was my favorite shot of the morning. The light was diffuse from high clouds, making for a nice sunrise image.



I captured this close-up image as the bird stepped into the shade of the brushy fence row. I thought you might appreciate some of the details.

I’m looking forward to sharing more images of Missouri’s eastern wild turkey as I get them. Stay tuned.

Thanks for looking,


Correction:  My friend Mark Haas advised me that this “jake” is actually a bearded hen. I’ve photographed bearded hens before so I should have noticed this myself. Sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees! Thanks for the catch, Mark!

Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images:  Danny’s Website 

5 comments on “Time for Turkeys (Bearded Hen)”

  1. Thanks for sharing these pictures I find them so interesting.

  2. Learnt a new word…”jake”. 😀 . Thank you for the great post, as always. Is it normal for that one feather to stick out of its chest, or is just this one bird?

  3. Love your photography, Danny. However, I believe this is a bearded hen and not a jake. The tips of the breast feathers are tipped with buff color and not black. Females have buff tips and males have black.

    • Yes, you are correct. See changes that were made shortly after posting. If you look closely, she even has spurs. Thanks for keeping an eye on me. I need all the help I can get!

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