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Wild turkey

Meleagris gallopavo silvestris


The eastern subspecies of the wild turkey; males up to 30 pounds, and traveling in flocks of dozens -- nearly 40 in this group, which regularly forages under our bird feeders and surrounding forest. Vocalizations are constant and complex -- and sound incongruously gentle, sometimes like the coos of doves -- and their social coordination is impressive. The turkey in the tree, and then flying down, was a sentry. He arrived a few minutes before the others, scouted the area, then called for the rest, who arrived in single-file.


In this case, second-generation forest with adjoining fields.


The tendency to turn domesticated animals into terms of ridicule -- a coward is a chicken, a slob is a pig, an ungainly screw-up is a turkey -- obscures the majesty of this creature.

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galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Have you thought of putting this in the Birds of the World mission?

galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Can you tell if the close up a male or female? Our 4 are a lot like that .... must learn what to look for.

galewhale..Gale 9 years ago

Wonderful observation of the social structure... lots to watch out for now. We have a group of 4 that come to eat bird seed here too. I still can't tell male from female, nor youngsters from mature ones. My instinct is ours is a group of youngsters none of them seem to have the horn of the mature tom that was hanging around last winter.

I wonder what term of ridicule domesticated animals would have for us humans.

Spotted by

Maine, USA

Spotted on Jan 28, 2012
Submitted on Jan 28, 2012

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