Benjamin Franklin’s Most Noble Bird


Americans have adopted various animals as their state and national symbols.  Wisconsin’s state bird is the Robin, while the state wildlife animal is the Whitetail Deer.

The federal government has also adopted animal symbols such as the national bird, which is the Bald Eagle.  Benjamin Franklin, however, had wanted the Wild Turkey as the national symbol, calling it, “A most noble bird” when he tried to persuade his friends in the national government to adopt the Wild Turkey as the national symbol.


I took these photos very early Sunday morning.  This turkey was wandering through a picnic area where I parked.


Usually very skittish, this Wild Turkey slowly walked away from me while I took photos.


When she made it to the hiking trail, she hurried into the woods and disappeared.  Later, as I walked back through the area to return to my truck I heard a fawn bawling.  They make a weak bawling noise similar to a calf, or, more accurately, as a friend describes it, “like a sick calf.”  I heard two fawns bawling while I hiked through the park, so I know at least two fawns have already been born and if I’m lucky enough I’ll be able to get shots of them over the next couple of weeks.

8 Responses to “Benjamin Franklin’s Most Noble Bird”

  1. 2 Randy Roberts
    May 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    thank you

  2. May 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    What a lovely girl!

  3. May 23, 2012 at 2:50 am

    beautiful bird indeed, thanks randy for showing it to us!

  4. 5 Shutterbug Sage
    May 29, 2012 at 12:31 am

    We have wild turkeys in our neighborhood. Every time I see one if them, I always think of Ben Franklin and giggle at the thought of a turkey as the national bird. I appreciate what Ben saw in them, but at least on the surface, bald eagles are just so much cooler!

    BTW, I have had terrible luck snappong pics of any of the turkeys running around here, so I am in extra awe of your pics!

  5. 6 Randy Roberts
    May 29, 2012 at 4:42 am

    The problem with turkerys is they are only visible at sunrise and sunset. Which means lowlight, and my Turkey photos still need work. They’re fun to practice on and learn about how to use available light though because of when they’re around.

  6. 7 Shutterbug Sage
    May 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Oh, our flock of wild turkeys is around other times during the day. My problem is they are so stinkin’ fast! 🙂

  7. 8 Randy Roberts
    May 29, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Well, I don’t know what level of a photographer you are, so if this information causes insult, understand, none is intended.

    One of the things which makes taking bird pictures so much fun is their quickness. To slow them down, you need a faster shutter speed. Faster shutter speed can be attained by lowering your f-stop or raising your ISO. There are drawbacks to this however. A lower f-stop will decrease the photos depth of field, and higher ISO can result in a grainier photo. I used an ISO setting of 400 for these photos, with the f-stop at 8, and I should have gone lower on the f-stop. I was hurrying when I took these shots because I knew the turkey would disappear quickly.

    You also have to be sneaky. Wild animals can be fooled into slowing down. This turkey and I have history — I nearly stepped on it. Now, when I catch it out in the open like this, I simply don’t move and it will just casually walk away.

    I could also go into the whole animal whispering thing too, but there isn’t time. Wild animals are talking to you from the minute you encounter them until they disappear. Learning how to hear them takes time and practice.

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