I commented that we should keep an eye out for male Wild Turkeys in display. It is that time of year. And there they were: not one, but two.
After watching the two toms for a while, it struck me that there was something odd about their behaviour. Each was decked out in its striking courting plumage and there were a number of females in the neighbourhood. Yet, rather than seriously approaching the ladies, the two toms stuck so closely together that they were almost always touching.
Were they more interested in each other than the ladies? Well, sort of. Neither seemed interested in the other sexually, but saw him as competition. It seems to have been a example of
keep your friends close, but your enemies closer
which was memorably stated by Micheal Coreleone in the movie, Godfather, Part II (1974), but which originated in Niccolò Machiavelli’s, The Prince (1513).
The two turkey toms appeared inseparable.
Females were plentiful, but so obsessed were the males with blocking the other’s access, that neither made conquests. It was all rather funny and pathetic.
So the toms wandered away loveless, each presumably pleased the other had been thwarted.