Thanksgiving Day in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 50. Sunrise is 6:58 AM and sunset 4:24 PM for 9h 25m 51s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 0.6% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1863, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant capture Lookout Mountain and begin to break the Confederate siege of the city.
Sarah Lear reports Triumph of the turkeys (‘Wild birds flourish in Wisconsin cities and suburbs. After nearly being wiped out of Wisconsin, wild turkeys have repopulated their former habitats’):
More than a century after Wisconsin’s wild turkey population was nearly gobbled up, the birds are flourishing. Now, many are even flocking to urban and suburban areas.
“For the most part, they have been restored to all of their former range, and then some,” said John Kanter, a senior wildlife biologist with the National Wildlife Federation.
Wild turkeys were nearly gobbled out of Wisconsin
Wild turkeys, once abundant in the region, had been wiped out of Wisconsin by late 1800s thanks to a combination of unregulated hunting and the decimation of their former habitats by the timber industry.
For much of the 20th century, attempts to restore the birds to their former habitats were unsuccessful, in part because officials were trying to send birds raised in captivity out into the wild.
“They were trying to pen-raise them with domestic turkeys, and then release them, and they were finding out that they just behaved like pen-raised birds and didn’t survive,” Kanter said.
In the 1970s, Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources negotiated a deal with Missouri’s Department of Conservation to exchange ruffled grouse from Wisconsin for wild Eastern Turkeys from Missouri. After the wild turkeys took hold in Wisconsin, the DNR began trapping some of the birds and relocating them to other areas of the state where the conditions were right for them to thrive, said David Drake, a professor of forest and wildlife ecology at UW-Madison.
“We’ve restored a lot of forest lands across the state,” Drake said. “So the Wisconsin Department Natural Resources took turkeys from parts of the state where they were relatively abundant and moved them into parts of the state where they were not quite as abundant.”