Dickson Mounds Museum and the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon present Nature Trek, a new “walk & talk” science series on the third Thursday of the month April through September at 6:00 p.m. at the Therkildsen Field Station, located at 11316 N Prairie Road, Lewistown, off of Hwy IL-78. After a brief introduction to a particular topic, the group will trek to different locations on the Emiquon Campus where trip leaders will share their understanding of plants, animals, human history, earth history, and the sky.
On Thursday, April 18, 2013, Dickson Mounds Museum’s Alan Harn will discuss turkeys. Wild turkeys were abundant in Illinois prior to European settlement, but their numbers declined steadily during the 1800s due to over-hunting and the clearing of forests. By 1910 wild turkeys had been eliminated from Illinois altogether. Transplanting of live-trapped wild turkeys into the Shawnee Forest of southern Illinois began in 1959 and continued through the year 2000 as turkeys adjusted to the mixed forests and cropland of the remainder of Illinois. Today, an estimated 135,000 turkeys inhabit every county in Illinois.
Although turkeys are Illinois' largest birds, they are perhaps the most elusive of North American game animals. The Nature Trek program will introduce participants to the lifeway of these fascinating birds and provide information about how to best find and view them on the landscape through stealth and calling.
Admission is free and registration is not required. All ages are welcome. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather and wear proper footwear as much of the program will be held outdoors and includes walking on uneven terrain.
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