I first encountered Zelda the turkey in Battery Park in 2007, but she's supposedly been there since 2003. She's big and beautiful...
I ventured down to check on her after Hurricane Sandy, but couldn't find her. The park employees assured me she was still around, but as the park was rendered a complete mess, I had a hard time searching for her. Recently, I heard several reports of her living happily again in the park, so I had to go see her.
She reminds me of a showgirl, or silent film actress, wrapped up in a velvety gown. Check out those gams!
As turkeys go, Zelda is up there in age. From what I understand, the
lifespan of wild turkeys is less than ten years. This brings up an
interesting question: Are our urban birds (hawks, falcons, owls, etc)
living longer in cities? Is it an easier environment or are there other
factors contributing to their longevity?
I'm hoping the Battery Park renovations will include a habitat for Zelda. Although she's tolerant of people, she seems a bit shy...the Garbo of birds.
See more Zelda pics here.
[UPDATE October 9, 2014] Heartbreaking news.