Besides chuckling, turkeys purr, cluck and gobble. They even hiss, though I haven't heard that. You can hear turkey calls over at Cornell Lab of Ornithology's turkey page.
Not all birds hang out on my lawn; there are a number that flit, flap, and soar overhead. I've often wondered what it would be like to take to the sky. Now I don't need wings; I can open David Elliott's newest book, On the Wing.
illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
32 pages; ages 3-7
theme: animals, nature
From hummingbirds to eagles, this book waxes poetic about birds from all over in all kinds of weather. There are Japanese cranes dancing in the snow, flamingos, bowerbirds, condors and puffins. Elliott includes a few backyard feeder-friends we might already know: woodpecker, blue jay, cardinal, crow.
The illustrations are luscious, with details of feathers and beaks right on down to the toes. Here's one of the spreads, featuring my favorite late-winter visitor.
Beyond the book: Fill up a bird feeder and watch who comes to visit. Or visit an aviary. Take a close look at the birds you see: what do their beaks look like? Do they have feather crests? Are they brightly-colored or more earth-toned? What do their calls sound like? How do they act around other birds or around people?
Now try your hand at writing poetry "on the wing". Remember, poems don't have to rhyme, and they can be as short as a puffin's beak or as long as a peacock's tail.