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Wild Turkey - Tom

Meleagris gallopava

Description:

Female and Male wild turkeys.

Habitat:

Broadleaf woods, farms in winter

Notes:

We have been feeding them in our yard all winter. The snow is so deep that sometimes we fear they will sink in and not be able to get out. Cornell Labs has great information about them plus a sound recording http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wild_...

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10 Comments

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

nicholas4 shows what turkey eggs look like... "about the size of a duck egg":
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/552...

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

This was the previous Tom... we saw from November through the 8th of February and then he seemed to be displaced by this one.
http://new.noahs-app.appspot.com/spottin...

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Gordon Dietzman said under the photo linked above "This is a young gobbler. As a gobbler becomes mature the bare skin on the head may changed color from gray to white, blue, and red depending upon the bird's state of arousal. You have a great photo of a mature gobbler in full strut and one that is showing a great deal of aggression. Great shot."

My response: Thanks Gordon.... there used to be 12 in this group but two disappeared .... one of them was also a full grown gobbler but he had a longer beard than this one so I think the one in this photo did something to the other... drove it out? Now it is doing all the gobbling"

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Here is Gordon Dietzman's photo of a young Tom before his face turns blue
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/759...

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Sounds a bit like us Americans ;)

Thanks

jamerbean
jamerbean 9 years ago

He had written a letter to someone mentioning it, but according to wikipedia there's no evidence he ever really advocated for it. Even if it was hyperbole, it is a lovely line:

"For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Fascinating!! I've heard about difficulty to hunt as well. Was it Benjamin Franklin that want it to be the national bird?

jamerbean
jamerbean 9 years ago

Totally anecdotal, but I've always noticed when they're outside the full length windows that face the yard they don't really seem fazed to see us standing there and watching them. I could move around, wave my arms, etc, but they seemed to understand the window was there and I couldn't get through it, which is more than just about any other bird I've seen.

I googled a bit and can't seem to find anything other than more anecdotal hunter accounts, but they generally agree they're intelligent and difficult to hunt.

galewhale..Gale
galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

I'd love to know more about their intelligence! They seem to mill about a lot when they are feeding ... but are very conscientious about keeping the group together.

jamerbean
jamerbean 9 years ago

Absolutely wonderful birds, and much more intelligent than people usually give them credit for. Nice shot!

galewhale..Gale
Spotted by
galewhale..Gale

Maine, USA

Spotted on Feb 20, 2011
Submitted on Mar 7, 2011

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Reference