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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 32-292

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Where We Left Off:

The detectives debated the possibility of a real live Utahraptor being here in New Jersey after the trail camera caught photographic evidence of one running through the Fort Winchester area.

The Petrified Forest:

Right before Thanksgiving (aka Turkey Day), two flocks of turkeys gathered here. Perhaps it was one flock that broke into two distinct flanks for safety reasons. Whichever it was, there were a lot of wild turkeys in the backyard!

Turkey hunting season ended November 5, 2022, well before Thanksgiving. These birds were safe in that regard. One thing they aren’t safe from—just like all the other animals—is having their habitat removed. This causes starvation, more vehicle deaths, so-called “nuisance” problems; and if the animal is a predator, it also jeopardizes people’s agricultural animals like chickens. It’s a cycle completely caused by humans.

After taking the time to observe the turkeys, which was only a couple of minutes because they move through quickly, the cats and I did some research. We learned some interesting things about the mundane world’s wild turkeys.

  • Only male turkeys (toms) make the “gobble” sound; female turkeys (hens) make a bunch of other non-gobble sounds.
  • Toms have many mating partners. It’s a huge harem for each gobbler.
  • Toms are deadbeat dads. They take no part in raising the babies.
  • A lot of hunters know how to mimic turkey calls. Others use commercially made devices which have to follow a legal standard. You can tell the NJ DEP has not revisited the talent of turkey calling in some time.

Many audio and video tapes, as well as CD-ROMs, featuring champion callers are available, and learning from these is almost as good-as rubbing elbows with a knowledgeable caller.NJDEP

  • Some hens have beards! This reminds me of the Tolkien myth where people once believed there were no female dwarves, but in fact, the women have beards too and outsiders didn’t know.
  • Male turkeys poop in a distinctive shape. What shape, you ask. A “J” shape! I read it on the internet, so it must be true.

Bob's Burgers Moolissa cow episode. Tina: maybe this cow is trying to communicate the only way it knows how - with its feces.

Our previous turkey case file was left unsolved/open because it’s ongoing for the time being. In Case File No. 23-283, the turkeys gathered on the mountain with other animals to share information about the selling of their land. People have been coming and going from the house up at the top. I guess someone is finally trying to fix some of the things after many years of neglect. They still have the asking price set way too high.

The turkeys don’t like to talk to humans or the cats. We had to use a middleman to get information about the turkeys’ concerns. The chipmunks are hibernating and the squirrels rarely come out. The devil-deer only come around in the dark. At this point in the year, we have to rely on our bird friends for information. Information gathering is not going well. Not at all. I spent hours trying to find current news of this podunk town to see what’s going on here. Can’t find anything useful on mainstream sites like Facebook,, or the town’s website. I tried Patch too, but that’s only about the next town over which is more populated.

poop in grass
Could this “J” shaped poop discovered in 2017 have been from a male turkey?

The chattiest birds aren’t necessarily the ones who like to talk to me or Gus. They want their snacks but without the possibility of Gus jumping at them. Totally understandable. Our best chance at getting information is when Oliver is on his observation deck. He converses with all the birds. Our winter birds are mostly chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and sparrows. There are highlights of cardinals and hawks. The blue jays come around on warmer days. The turkey vultures seem to be continuing their daily visits flying above the trees looking for roadkill. Until the day of writing this, I had no idea dark-eyed juncos were sparrows.

The sparrows sat in the burning bush hedges and talked with Ollie about the town’s disturbances. The sparrows unloaded a lot to Ollie. He brought back the news to us in the office.

There’s been a section of road blocked where large pipes are being laid underground. There’s also the bear hunt. The Superior Court issued a stay which only lasted a day and a half. Then the hunt was allowed to continue. With the black bear numbers already low, the first segment of the hunt didn’t yield the numbers the DEP wants murdered so the hunt was extended another week. Plus, it’s the holiday season which means even more delivery trucks to residences and retail stores. FedEx, Amazon, UPS, and the US Mail are constantly running multiple times a day, every single damn day. It’s also cold now so deliveries of oil and propane have increased too. Those are loud trucks. Of course there are the heavy haulers like dump trucks too. The noise pollution, traffic, and emissions are out of control.

And yet, people complain that bears are in their yards.

With all this news, we understood why the flocks of turkeys were upset. They were likely hearing all kinds of terrible noises. They were also losing more of their habitat as the golf course housing development and the over 55 housing development sprout more buildings like a heinous mold on the landscape. The turkeys weren’t gathering because of the elections in Bunny Hollow or the Back 40; they had been gathering because of the human elections.

The results of our area’s elections in November weren’t good. Not to mention, it doesn’t even matter what the local or district results are when the state can come in and approve whatever it wants negating everything the residents do to vote for representatives they agree with. It begins to feel like it’s all for show. Welcome to Mooseport! No one cares about small towns; and if you say you do, you’re called a racist, a gatekeeper, close-minded, or other disrespectful label. The neighboring towns are still “small” and they’re diverse. People like me aren’t arguing about diversity. We’re fighting to keep farmland and forests from becoming industrial messes. The reason people like it here is because of the greenery and open space. All these developments and special zoning exceptions for industrial use, literally destroy the planet not just the notion of what a small town is or should be.

In my meeting with Ollie and Gus, it was clear that humans have to be the ones to fight for the animals who can’t go to the polling places and cast their own votes. Wouldn’t that be something?

Case Findings:

As we discovered, the bears, volkolaks, deer, and devil-deer weren’t the only creatures upset by the developments; the birds are scared for their lives too. More human meetings are coming up in January and February. Our mystery was to find out what was going on with the turkeys which we have. Therefore, we can close the case, but will continue monitoring the environmental impact for everyone’s sake.

Case Status: Closed

When Ollie can’t talk to the birds in person, he video calls them.

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