They would spend the day at the neighbor's place (where they were being fed!) and then return to roost in the old twisted oaks next to the house. It became my evening ritual to watch their antics as they lined up, preparing to fly up into the trees from the deck railing.
"Flight control. Tom Number 5, you are cleared for take off." You could imagine some control tower assisting them.
In the winter, they moved to the big evergreens in the back and then, they sort of disappeared. We'd still see them now and again, but not in the numbers we were used to.
"They're probably nesting somewhere," said Big Dog.
Now, a mom and her chicks have returned. Most of the chicks are brown speckled miniatures of Mom, but one is black with a white head and one is an albino. They are all adorable. They're not able to really fly but can leap onto the oak that's growing sideways and walk up the trunk and onto Mom's branch.
I am wondering what happened to the rest of last year's flock. Or is that roast turkey I smell wafting from the next ranch?
Moving creatures aren't the easiest things to photograph!