Wildlife of Allen County, Indiana

Animals

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has various pages for: Fish & Wildlife, Wildlife in Indiana, and Animals.

Mammals A indenwood Nature Preserve Pocket Field Guide

It is baby season and we are feeling it with the high amount of wildlife calls we are receiving. We are appreciative of...

Posted by Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control on Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024 post by Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control on Facebook:

It is baby season and we are feeling it with the high amount of wildlife calls we are receiving. We are appreciative of people with good intentions who try to help wildlife when they think they need assistance, but sometimes those baby animals don't need help and you could be baby wildlife-napping.

We encourage you to read through the slides we have created with information from The Humane Society of the United States. You can read the full article here: Found an orphaned or injured baby wild animal? How to tell if baby animals are orphaned, injured or perfectly fine—and what to do if they need your help

The most important thing to remember is baby wildlife has the best chance at survival with their mom (the same goes for kittens!) If they are in immediate danger or are injured, please call us at (260) 427-1244 option 1 or your local wildlife rehabber. You can visit Indiana DNR to search for licensed rehabbers in your area: Indiana DNR Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitators

***FWACC can only assist with injured or sick wildlife calls. Unless the wildlife is stuck inside your home, we legally cannot relocate wild animals off your property; remember this is their home! Please do not touch wildlife with your bare hands. Learn more on our website: Wildlife

Mammals

Beavers - Castor canadensis

Beavers (Castor canadensis) were once rare in Indiana due to overharvesting but are now abundant. In 1935, the Indiana Department of Conservation obtained a few breeding pairs from Wisconsin and released them on Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area. Beaver populations expanded, aided by strategic relocations to certain parts of the state to help with expansion. Presently, beavers are found in almost every county. Copied from Beaver at Indiana Department of Natural Resources. "Although the species currently is considered secure across its range, unregulated fur harvest and habitat destruction caused severe declines or extirpation of beavers by 1900 in many parts of the United States." From North American eaver (Castor canadensis): A Technical Conservation Assessment Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Species Conservation Project February 6, 2007 at fs.usda.gov.

Happy International Beaver Day! Beavers were once rare in Indiana due to overharvesting for their fur but are now...

Posted by U.S. Forest Service - Hoosier National Forest on Sunday, April 7, 2024

Sunday, April 7, 2024 post by the U.S. Forest Service - Hoosier National Forest on Facebook:

Happy International Beaver Day!

Beavers were once rare in Indiana due to overharvesting for their fur but are now abundant.

In 1935, the Indiana Department of Conservation obtained a few breeding pairs from Wisconsin and released them in strategic relocations to certain parts of the state to help with expansion.

The population expanded and now beavers are found in almost every county.

  1. Beavers: Our Ecosystem Engineers 06/13/2019 Riverfront Fort Wayne.
  2. Beavers have killed around 150 city trees along the rivers, so city is wrapping them with wire to prevent more losses. Beavers make their way to downtown Fort Wayne, destroy trees

Bison bison bison

Seal of the State of Indiana
See history of the Indiana State Seal. on our 1810 Timeline.

A bison is on the Indiana state seal.

Have you ever wondered why there is a bison on the Indiana State Seal??? Bison once travelled through southern Indiana...

Posted by U.S. Forest Service - Hoosier National Forest on Friday, July 19, 2024

Friday, July 19, 2024 post by the U.S. Forest Service - Hoosier National Forest on Facebook:

Have you ever wondered why there is a bison on the Indiana State Seal???

Bison once travelled through southern Indiana on their annual migrations between the prairies to the west and the open oak savannahs in northern Kentucky (where they spent the winters in a milder climate).

How could bison have survived these long journeys given that they are considered generalist foragers - meaning they eat a wide array of herbaceous grasses and sedges commonly found in mixed-grassed prairies?

Pre-European colonization southern Indiana looked much different than the present-day closed canopy forests. Indigenous people used fire to provide for their needs, which included keeping oak woodlands, savannahs, barrens and glades open with grasses and other forbs to provide food for game animals like white-tailed deer and bison.

The Buffalo Trace, a deeply entrenched path, is evidence of the historical bison migrations across our region. Remnants of this path can still be seen along the Springs Valley Trail in Hoosier National Forest.

Both south-central Indiana and northern Kentucky are part of the Interior Low Plateaus ecoregion. For more on this visit: Interior Low Plateaus

For more info on bison: Bison Bellows: Bison Eating Habits Influence the Prairie Ecosystem

For more on the Buffalo Trace: Buffalo Trace

#NationalBisonMonth

📸 Buffalo Trace on Hoosier National Forest

1960s bison grazing at Pokagon State Park

Pokagon State Park near Angola had bison in the 1960s. Bison grazing at Pokagon State Park at the Indiana State Library Digital Collection.

Bygone Bison, Pokagon State Park Do you remember when Pokagon SP had bison, elk, and deer on exhibit? July 29, 2022 at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve 6975 North Ray Road, Fremont, Indiana. Wild Winds has more than 400 acres of rolling Indiana prairie, natural waterways, lakes, birds and is home to approximately 250 bison.

2012 Bison Ouabache State Park

May 5, 2023 post by on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Facebook:

Did you know the United States has a national mammal? On May 9, 2016, the National Bison Legacy Act was signed making the North American Bison the official mammal of the United States. The American plains bison wild population is just over 20,504. Their scientific name is Bison bison bison.

Ouabache State Park in Bluffton, IN has a bison herd. Starting Memorial Day weekend, weekly naturalist-led bison hikes are given around the bison enclosure to learn about these amazing animals. Dates and times will soon be posted on our calendar at on.IN.gov/ouabache.

Photo by Jared Christiansen.

What happened to the millions of bison?

How the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad changed the shape of the American West.

Posted by Smithsonian Magazine on Tuesday, February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024 post by the Smithsonian Magazine on Facebook:

How the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad changed the shape of the American West.

Where the Buffalo No Longer Roamed The Transcontinental Railroad connected East and West—and accelerated the destruction of what had been in the center of North America 

Where the Buffalo Roamed

Bison herds in the western United States were so massive, they shook the ground and sounded like thunder in the distance. The American bison roamed most of North America and in the early 19th century, population estimates were between 30 million to 60 million. Their story is inextricably tied to the history of America’s first transcontinental railroad.

Hundreds of thousands of bison were slaughtered by hunters, travelers and U.S. troops. Trains shipped bison carcasses back east for machine belts, tongues as a delicacy, and bones as fertilizer. When the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, it accelerated the decimation of the species and by 1900, naturalists estimated less than 1,000 bison remained.

By the late 1880s, the endless herds of bison were wiped out and just a few hundred individuals remained. Near extinction of the majestic animal deprived the Plains Indians of thier livelihood and resulted in tremondous suffering. The last remaining Bison were protected in Yellowstone National Park and other sanctuaries in North America. Today, bison populations are slowly recovering. The sculpture “Distant Thunder” is a tribute to the vast herds that once roamed the American West.

Where the Buffalo Roamed at the National Park Service 

September 30, 2022 post by the U.S. Forest Service - Hoosier National Forest on Facebook:

How did bison migrate through southern Indiana - along the Buffalo Trace, of course, but how did they find grass to eat?

How does fire affect the central hardwood region?

Discover these answers and more from our fire specialists in this recording from the Buffalo Springs Restoration Project field tour:

Fire video

#ForestFriday

The Buffalo Trace on page 364 in Early Indiana trails and surveys by Wilson, George R., 1863-1941. 1n Publication date 1919 on Archive.org.

November 29, 2023 post by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region on Facebook:

With snow starting to fall throughout the region, paws and enjoy the landscape and see if you can tell which paws pass through, telling tails you won't want to miss!

Have you seen any wildlife tracks in the snow? Can you guess the tracks below? Click on each photo for a hint.

The babies are romping!! We currently have 4 new baby bison/calves aka: Red Dogs. Moms won’t let us squish their adorable faces so we have to pretend.

Posted by LC Nature Park on Thursday, May 16, 2024

Thursday, May 16, 2024 post by LC Nature Park on Facebook:

The babies are romping!! We currently have 4 new baby bison/calves aka: Red Dogs.

Moms won’t let us squish their adorable faces so we have to pretend.

Black bear - Ursus americanus

  1. Bear cub mentioned in 1859 newspaper clipping 1859 - Fort Wayne in Old Times - General Harmar's Campaign in 1790 - Miami Village - bear cub Dawson's Fort Wayne Weekly Times, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Saturday, September 10, 1859, Page 1.
  2. Black bears (Ursus americanus) were historically abundant across Indiana, excluding the northwest portions of the state dominated by prairie. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss caused black bears to be extirpated from Indiana and much of the Midwest by 1850. Today, black bear populations are expanding and they may pass through Indiana from established populations in adjacent states. In recent years, four black bears have been confirmed (2015, 2016, 2018, 2021) in Indiana. Copied from Black Bear at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
2015 first black bear seen in Indiana since 1871

June 12, 2015 post by the Indiana DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife on Facebook:

Here's some exciting news! The first wild black bear to wander into Indiana since 1871 was confirmed in St. Joseph County.

Black bears eat mostly plants and berries this time of year, and especially love bird seed due to the high fat content. They are still a wild animal, so keep your distance, but feel free to observe from afar and send any photos or sightings to dfwinput@dnr.in.gov.

Entire story: Wandering black bear confirmed in St. Joseph County [ Archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine ]

Photo Courtesy of: USFWS (not of the bear currently in Indiana)

2018 Black Bear Factsheet

December 3, 2018 post by the Indiana DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife on Facebook:

A trail camera photo of a black bear from November 23 in Clark County, Indiana was recently confirmed by DNR staff. The bear can be seen walking along the edge of a standing soybean field. This is likely the same bear that was reported in the New Albany area on Nov 18 after being struck by a vehicle. These reports are 10 miles apart indicating that the bear was still active and moving after the accident. A black bear is not cause for concern, but citizens are encouraged to be BearWise to minimize potential conflicts and not leave out food for the bear or attempt to approach it. Visit bearwise.org for tips on living with black bears and read our factsheet below for bear information. Learn more about black bears, report sightings, and download the pdf of the factsheet at our black bear webpage: Black Bear

June 27, 2021 post by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources on Facebook:

CONFIRMED: Black bear in Vanderburgh County

DNR biologists have confirmed a black bear sighting that occurred in northeast Vanderburgh County before sunrise this morning. The closest town to the location is Elberfeld, in Warrick County.

Biologists confirmed the bear from photos taken by the landowner.

“This is Indiana’s fourth confirmed black bear,” said Brad Westrich, DNR mammalogist. “With expanding bear populations in neighboring states, this is expected.

“Human-bear conflicts can be avoided if you remove or secure potential food sources from your yard. Bears can smell food from more than a mile away.”

Black bears are rarely aggressive toward humans.

If you see a black bear:
— Do not feed it.
— Observe it from a distance.
— Do not climb a tree.
— Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms and backing slowly away.
— Report bear sightings to the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife at Report A Mammal

Most problems that occur with bears arise when bears associate food sources with humans and lose their fear of people.

More guidelines for reducing or eliminating the potential for bear-human conflicts:
— Remove bird feeders and bird food if a bear is reported in your area.
— Clean and store away grills after use.
— Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
— Pick ripe fruits and vegetable as soon as possible or place an electric fence around them to ensure bears cannot reach them.
— Consolidate beehives you may have and place an electric fence around them. — Don't leave pet food outside overnight. — Don't add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
— Don't climb a tree if you encounter a bear; wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave the area.

More information on black bears is at Black Bear

Family portrait! 📸 Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for visitors on public lands. While it is an exciting...

Posted by U.S. Department of the Interior on Friday, June 7, 2024

Friday, June 7, 2024 post by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Facebook:

Family portrait! 📸

Seeing a bear in the wild is a special treat for visitors on public lands. While it is an exciting moment, it is important to remember that these bears are wild and can be dangerous.

If you see a bear, remember you are a visitor in its home. Keeping your distance and not surprising bears are some of the most important things you can do to avoid an encounter. Pay attention to your surroundings and make a special effort to be noticeable in bear country.

Learn more about staying safe in bear country: Staying Safe Around Bears

Photo by Taylor Albright

Bobcat

Geriann Albers, a Furbearer Biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, told WANE 15 that bobcats started to move into southern Indiana in the late 1900s. Now, they’re migrating into northeast Indiana. “They’re doing this because they like to follow our river corridors,” Albers explained. “So, they moved to the southern part of the state and they’re following our rivers, basically, up into northern Indiana and over. Now they’re moving down into our northeastern and eastern part of our state.” While bobcats are more nocturnal, secretive animals, Albers said more and more sightings are happening thanks to trail and security cameras. More bobcat sightings are occurring in northeast Indiana; why are they coming here? Rex Smith June 20, 2023 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Coyote

This coyote, along with a friend, was seen roaming southwest Fort Wayne last week. Fort Wayne Newspapers employee Jean...

Posted by The News-Sentinel on Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012 post by The News-Sentinel on Facebook:

This coyote, along with a friend, was seen roaming southwest Fort Wayne last week. Fort Wayne Newspapers employee Jean Sheets sent us this photo from her sister, who lives in the Fall Creek addition off Bass Road near the University of Saint Francis.

Greetings Fort Wayne. Just wanted to give a #CopProTip for those of you calling 911 for coyote sightings. FWPD and FW...

Posted by Fort Wayne Police Department on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 post by the Fort Wayne Police Department on Facebook:

Greetings Fort Wayne. Just wanted to give a #CopProTip for those of you calling 911 for coyote sightings. FWPD and FW Animal Care and Control want to let you know it isn't necessary to call 911 to report sightings. However, please call 911 if you see any of the following:
Coyotes strapped to rockets Coyotes carrying boxes labeled ACME Coyotes posting signs that say "free bird seed" or "detour" Coyotes detonating TNT Coyotes dropping anvils from hot air balloons Coyotes in possession of very large magnets

😂 In all seriousness coyotes live with us. Yes, some are #CityDwellers but most stick to county areas. They are probably more visible now that the leaves are off the trees. Their mating season will soon start so sightings may increase. They generally won't harm humans but Roadrunner, if he catches you you're through also small dogs too. Remember, they are animals so always use caution if spotted.

#WileyECoyoteSuperGenius

#ThatsAllFolks

  1. Coyote in Chicago
    Coyote on Michigan Avenue in Chicago March 23, 2021 Photography by Michael Novo
  2. Coyote reports are up in Chicago this year, with Lincoln Park seeing more than any other community Tara Molina, December 19, 2022, CBS Chicago

Deer

The last reported wild deer was killed in Knox County in 1893 shown on our 1893 Timeline then reintroduced decades later.

Reminder: this was during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic

Oh, deer. 📹 : Jeff Walker

Posted by City of Fort Wayne Government on Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020 video post by the City of Fort Wayne Government on Facebook:

Oh, deer. 📹 : Jeff Walker

A deer explores streets of Indiana city amid shutdown

OH, DEER: As residents in Fort Wayne, Indiana, remain indoors amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, a deer took the opportunity to explore the quiet city streets. https://abcn.ws/3cLFX2b

Posted by ABC News on Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020 post by ABC News on Facebook:

OH, DEER: As residents in Fort Wayne, Indiana, remain indoors amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, a deer took the opportunity to explore the quiet city streets. https://abcn.ws/3cLFX2b

Fun Fact Friday | Did you know that we work with licensed wildlife rehabilitators when we receive orphaned or injured...

Posted by Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control on Friday, May 24, 2024

Friday, May 24, 2024 post by Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control on Facebook:

Fun Fact Friday | Did you know that we work with licensed wildlife rehabilitators when we receive orphaned or injured wildlife? 🦌

This story is a prime example of what it means to work together to save lives! A concerned citizen called us about a fawn that seemed to be abandoned. We advised to wait 24 hours to see if mom comes back. After 24 hours passed, the fawn was still there alone so they called us back. Another way to tell if mom hasn’t visited is to see if their ears have began curling back because that is a sign of dehydration.

Officer Koens went out to check on the fawn and it was clear that he/she was abandoned. Unfortunately it is likely that the mom had passed away. Officer Koens brought the fawn back to our shelter for Officer Steadman to transport him/her to a wildlife rehabber who has been rehabbing deer for 40 years! ❤️

We are very happy this fawn is in great hands and has a second chance at life. We are extremely thankful for wildlife rehabbers; they work so hard, especially this time of year, and save so many lives.

Fox

Be aware of a Ring and Runner in the neighborhood. 😆 What does the Fox say? "Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!"

Posted by Woodhurst Community Association on Saturday, April 27, 2024

Saturday, April 27, 2024 post by Woodhurst Community Association on Facebook:

Be aware of a Ring and Runner in the neighborhood. 😆 What does the Fox say?

"Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!" 

Groundhog

February 2, 2024 post by Purdue Extension - Sullivan County on Facebook:

Punxsutawney Phil says spring is right around the corner!

Or is it?

Although Groundhog Day is a great tradition enjoyed by millions of Americans, groundhogs might not be the best weather forecasters…but they are still very impressive animals. Click the link to see what Purdue Extension Wildlife Specialists have to say on the subject: Groundhogs can’t predict the weather but they do poop underground

February 2, 2024 post by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information on Facebook:

☀️ Happy Groundhog Day! It’s that time of year again where we wonder: To winter or not to winter? Since we can’t control spring like Persephone, we’ll tune in to a furry little “forecaster” named Punxsutawney Phil. While his accuracy rate has fallen to 30% over the past decade, you can always count on him to look cute and grumpy at the same time.

This year, he didn’t see his shadow, which means an early spring! Whether you’re rejoicing that your cardigan can get more outings or celebrating that those pale noodles called your legs might finally see some sun—we’re just happy to hop back into bed. Learn more about Phil’s past predictions here: http://bit.ly/GroundhogsAndClimate #PunxsutawneyPhil

*FUN FACT FRIDAY* The answer to TALK TO ME TUESDAY's Who am I clues is... the GROUNDHOG! Here are some more fun...

Posted by Fox Island County Park on Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024 post by Fox Island County Park on Facebook:

*FUN FACT FRIDAY*

The answer to TALK TO ME TUESDAY's Who am I clues is...
the GROUNDHOG!

Here are some more fun facts:
Groundhogs are sometimes called whistlepigs. This funny name comes from their habit of whistling at potential mates.

Some people refer to groundhogs as woodchucks. The name comes from a Native American word, wuchak.

Groundhogs are known for digging huge burrows to live in, and they can move up to 700 pounds of soil to create their home.

When the groundhog builds its home, it actually builds a bathroom. It’s a designated place away from the space where the family sleeps or stores its food.

Groundhogs can eat more than a pound of food in one sitting!

Groundhogs can hold their breath for up to 5 minutes when diving into water to escape danger. It’s found only in the United States and Canada.

They may not look like the squirrels you’re used to seeing, but groundhogs are the largest member of the squirrel family.

Two of the groundhog’s 22 teeth — the top incisors — continue to grow throughout the animal’s life at a rate of 1/16 of an inch every week.

Raccoon

December 6, 2022 post by Wild Birds Unlimited (Ft. Wayne, IN) on Facebook:

Are raccoons on your naughty or nice list??

Did you know that today, there are 20 times more raccoons in cities than 70 years ago? Have to hand it to them; they sure know how to adapt!

February 9, 2024 post by Fox Island County Park on Facebook:

*FUN FACT FRIDAY*

The answer to Talk to Me Tuesday is... the Raccoon!!

Here are some Fun Facts for you:
• The popular nickname for Raccoons is Trash Panda because they am intelligent and adaptable so have learned to source food around humans.
• Raccoons “see" with their hands Raccoons are often seen “washing” their food in water before they eat it. This behavior is because raccoons have very dexterous front paws, which they use to feel around and explore their surroundings. Their paws are way more sensitive than human hands and can pick up on things that we would never notice.
• When raccoons do their “washing” routine, they actually feel the texture and temperature of objects and things in their environment and try to determine if those are safe to eat or not. Raccoons also have 5 fingers on each paw, which gives them a very human-like grip. This gives them the ability to open jars, doors, and even latches.
• Raccoons prefer to be out at night. (nocturnal)
• They do not truly hibernate but put on extra fat in the fall so when they need to sleep during an extra cold they will still be okay.
• They are great climbers with hind feet that rotate 180 degrees, allowing them to descend head first.
• Once people feed raccoons, they will become a nuisance because they will eat almost anything.
• In the wild, raccoons eat clams, crayfish, frogs, fish, snails, insects, dead animals, bird eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
• Raccoons live in abandoned burrows, under rock piles, hollow logs, and holes in trees. Or, you might find me in attics, crawl spaces, chimneys, and abandoned vehicles.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Meet your urban wildlife neighbours: 5 things to know about urban raccoons

13 Truly Interesting Facts About Raccoons`

Squirrels

  1. Squirrels at City of Fort Wayne .
  2. Fox Squirrel at Indiana Department of Natural Resources

No, this is not a skunk, it is a black squirrel with a sunshine stripe in the Poplar Neighborhood in July 2024. Happy summer neighbors!

Posted by Poplar Neighborhood Association on Thursday, July 11, 2024

Thursday, July 11, 2024 post by Poplar Neighborhood Association on Facebook:

No, this is not a skunk, it is a black squirrel with a sunshine stripe in the Poplar Neighborhood in July 2024. Happy summer neighbors!

[ Black squirrels are a melanistic color phase of Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) ]

Turkey

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 post by Mitch Harper on Facebook:

Shared March 29, 2017 post by WANE 15  on Facebook:

Wait, what? A wild turkey was spotted strolling through downtown Fort Wayne on Wednesday.

Gobble gobble! Wild turkey spotted on stroll in downtown Fort Wayne 

A wild turkey was spotted strolling through downtown Fort Wayne on Wednesday. Former Fort Wayne City Councilman and mayoral candidate Mitch Harper posted several photos on his social media pages of a large turkey in the parking lot of Trinity English Lutheran Church in downtown Fort Wayne on Wednesday. In one photo, the turkey was perched atop a small SUV parked in the lot. It’s not clear how the bird made its way into the city center. Harper said he called a bird rescue team to rescue the turkey.

March 29, 2017 Twitter photos.

November 23, 2022 post by Ohio History Connection on Facebook:

The mainstay of the Thanksgiving meal in the U.S. was first domesticated nearly 3,000 years ago by Native Americans in what is now central Mexico around 800 B.C. They were not used for meat but for ritual and religious purposes. This domesticated subspecies was brought to Europe in the 1500s, bred into many varieties, and then brought back to North America with the first colonists.

In Ohio, turkey became popular for Christmas dinner by 1787. But the recommendation of turkey as the Thanksgiving meal’s centerpiece can be almost entirely attributed to a decades-long marketing campaign by popular magazine editor (and composer of “Mary Had A Little Lamb”) Sarah Josepha Hale.

Once driven nearly to extinction by habitat loss and overhunting, the Wild Turkey can now be found in most Ohio counties. Read a brief history of the turkey on our history blog: A Brief History of the Turkey.

[ Wild Turkey at Fish & Wildlife, Fish & Wildlife Resources, Animals, at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. ]

November 22, 2022 post by National Historical Publications and Records Commission on Facebook:

Ben Franklin had a few satirical thoughts about our national bird: “For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perch’d on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping and Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country, tho’ exactly fit for that Order of Knights which the French call Chevaliers d’Industrie. I am on this account not displeas’d that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. Eagles have been found in all Countries, but the Turkey was peculiar to ours, the first of the Species seen in Europe being brought to France by the Jesuits from Canada, and serv’d up at the Wedding Table of Charles the ninth. He is besides, tho’ a little vain and silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on. “

From the Papers of Benjamin Franklin, supported by the NHPRC. To read the fascinating history behind this piece, go to Founders Online: From Benjamin Franklin to Sarah Bache, 26 January 1784 at The National Archives.

Happy Thanksgiving from the NHPRC!

Their November 27, 2019 Facebook post add this line to the last line above that the article was: an excerpt from an [unpublished] letter to his daughter Sarah Franklin Bache, Jany. 26th. 1784. To access the digital edition of the Franklin Papers, go to The Papers of Benjamin Franklin.

[ Bald eagles became extirpated in Indiana by the 1890s and were re-introduced in the 1980s ]

Wild turkey's in Indiana were extirpated for many decades before reintroduction in the mid-20th century allowed wild populations to re-establish themselves.

November 23, 2023 post by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves on Facebook:

A true Thanksgiving success story in Ohio!

Did you know that the wild turkey is native to Ohio? Many thanksgiving dinners include turkey, either harvested locally or purchased from the store, but there was a time, not so long ago, that wild turkeys disappeared from Ohio’s landscape.

Records from the early 1800s showed a plentiful population but as Ohio grew, its turkey population shrank due to overharvesting. By the new century, turkeys were considered extirpated from Ohio. About 50 years later, ODNR’s Division of Wildlife (video courtesy of ODOW) reintroduced wild turkeys into Ohio’s forests which resulted in a dramatic conservation success story.

Today, the turkey population has rebounded to upwards of 150,000 across the state! These birds rely on natural areas, including state nature preserves and scenic river interior lands for food and habitat, which means land conservation continues to be a critical component of native species management.

On behalf of Ohio’s native species and protected habitats, we thank the Ohioans who continue to respect and support the natural world around them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Ohio Division of Wildlife reports on their 2023 Wild Turkey Hatch Results November 8, 2023 on Facebook.

November 23, 2023 the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago reports similar information for Illinois on Facebook.

So far not finding similar social media reports for Indiana?

Back to top

Page updated: