Heavy rains have affected turkeys

STILLWATER – The overwhelming amount of rain much of Oklahoma has seen over the past couple months has made it presence felt in the wildlife community.

Both long-term and short-term impacts will be evident, said Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist.

“In the short term it is filling wetlands which provides habitat for many aquatic species,” he said. “Mud flats have been covered, which reduces shorebird foraging opportunities for some species, but floods new areas providing expanded foraging for other species of shorebirds.”

Nesting has likely been impacted for some ground nesting birds, also.  “Wild turkey hens in particular appear to have been locally affected,” Elmore said. “The excessive rainfall has likely caused some nest loss, as many hens are being observed in small flocks when most of them should be incubating.”

Hens can, and often do, renest, however.

“Nevertheless, I am expecting low poult numbers in some areas of the state,” he said. “Assuming the summer temperatures remain reasonable, quail reproduction is expected to be good this year.”