And now for the grand fanale to the Uniontown Poultry Association‘s Ringtone Series–Turkey Gobble and Turkey Call Tones–just in time for Thanksgiving!
Meet Hannah Cunnard–a friendly and knowledgable 11 year-old, a member of the Sunshine 4-H in Greensburg, PA, and a first-timer at the Fall Poultry Fair. Hannah introduced us to her poultry-contender, a Turken (Naked Neck) Chicken (above). When we invited her to make a ringtone, she escorted us to the turkey area in the poultry hall and showed us how to make a turkey gobble by clapping. Here’s Hannah’s Clap and Turkey Gobble Tone. The sound quality was so good that I couldn’t resist making this awesome Turkey Gobble Alert–a surprising sound to set on your phone for a text or picture message alert.
After visiting with Hannah, we met Ed Stanish, Jr., current President of the Uniontown Poultry Association, and a self-described “student of turkey calls.” We learned from Stanish that there are about 25 to 30 distinct turkey calls (or sounds), and that he can make just about all of them. Raised on a farm, and having spent “every moment possible outdoors,” he learned the calls while observing and listening to turkeys over the years. Here’s his Turkey Call Alert.
Stanish explained that there are different “seasonal” turkey calls. The main gobble is produced by the female, or boss hen as she asserts her dominance. Male turkeys call during mating season to attract females. A”kee kee” call is something a momma hen uses when her flock gets scattered. “Kee kee” means “Come home, it’s safe.” One hunting technique, Stanish said, is to startle and scatter a flock, and then use the “kee kee” call to bring them back. If you’re interested in hearing more turkey calls, there’s a rich archive of wild turkey audio at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Web site. For instance, you can hear the “Cutting of [an] Excited Hen,” which the NWTF describes as a “series of fast, loud, erratic single notes is referred to as cutting. It’s a modified cluck and is a distinct, abrupt call with a somewhat questioning nature. It can be heard at a great distance and is often used by a single turkey looking for companionship.
Sincere thanks to Hanna, her mother, and Ed Stanish, Jr. for contributing these holiday-timely and very special sounds to the project. And thanks to Scott Davidoff for assisting me on the journey to the Fayette County Fairgrounds to collect ringtones at the Uniontown Poultry Association’s Fall Show.
This ringtone recording session was made possible by a generous grant from The Fine Foundation.