Last fall, we had a HUGE infestation of Western Conifer Seed Bugs. In the evening, the southeast facing wall of the garage would be covered with the things. I am hoping the turkeys ate copious amounts of these noisy, pervasive, smelly buggers and are continuing to find and decimate their larvae.
According to Wikipedia's page on the conifer bugs:
Their primary defense is to spray a bitter, offending smell, though sometimes they can smell pleasantly of apples, bananas or pine sap; however, if handled roughly they will stab with their proboscis, though they are hardly able to cause injury to humans as it is adapted only to suck plant sap and not, as in the assassin bugs, to inject poison.
The PSU page on the bugs (also linked above) states:
The western conifer seed bug's consumption of Douglas-fir seeds and seeds of various other species of pine results in a substantial loss of seed crop. Thus, its direct economic impact is a reduction in the quality and viability of conifer seed crops.
I think they also enjoy the grasshoppers and crickets, any other bugs, seeds, vegetation, plus the kitchen waste we put out to "compost" (ahem!).
There is says:
Summer foods in the Judith Mountains and Longpine Hills consist of insects (primarily grasshoppers), bearberry, snowberry and skunkbrush sumac fruits, grass leaves and stems, and Carex seeds; winter foods are grains, hawthorn and snowberry fruits, and grass leaves, stems and heads (Rose 1956).
So, TIL, the Narragansett descends from the wild Meleagris gallopavo and domesticated turkey. They look quite similar.
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