Dec. 23, 1957
Dec. 23, 1957

Table of Contents
Dec. 23, 1957

Coming Events
Events & Discoveries
  • Miami sparkles and swells and toots like a calliope at this time of year with its annual Orange Bowl extravaganza—a fine and final tribute to King Football

Bridge Quiz
Flip-Top Zoo
Silver All-America
For Holiday Entertaining
A Special Memo From The Publisher
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over


A determined biologist mastered the art of wildlife photography to capture the color of America's first holiday bird

The wild gobbler shown at the right, haughty in prime plumage, is a creature of rare beauty, a symbol of holiday feasting from colonial times to the present. But he is also a most wary bird. To photograph him in his natural environment, as 34-year-old Wildlife Biologist Herman Lindsay Holbrook did here, requires skill and patience beyond even that of a hunter, who counts it a lucky day indeed when he can bag a bird. In 1950, when Holbrook took charge of the 17,000-acre Francis Marion Wild Turkey Project near McClellanville, South Carolina, he had never taken a picture with so much as a Brownie camera. Convinced, however, that naturalists needed more photographs of turkeys in the wild, he borrowed the money to buy a 35mm Exakta with a telephoto lens and set about recording the life and loves of the birds. It was a trying job. Holbrook had to spend as much as 10 hours a day with his 6-foot, 190-pound frame cramped in a tiny blind. The first time he attempted a picture the click of the shutter sent the turkeys booming away. To deaden shutter noise he then designed a special felt-lined camera box. Then he squeezed into the blind once more and spent more hours waiting for the turkeys to move within camera range. The result of Holbrook's patience and ingenuity is on these pages, some remarkable pictures of the most elusive and perhaps the handsomest of American game birds.

This is an article from the Dec. 23, 1957 issue Original Layout

Feeding and fighting are two extremes of turkey life caught by Photographer Holbrook. Feeding quietly (above), three turkeys and a crow share a food patch. Below, the feeding ground becomes a battleground as two pairs of gobblers fight to see which will control the field during spring breeding.