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Wild Turkey

Classification
  • Order: Aves
  • Family: Galliformes
  • Genus: Meleagris
  • Species: gallopavo
Fun Fact

Turkeys can swim by tucking in their wings, spreading their tails, and kicking their legs.

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About Turkeys

The males are much larger than the females, and their coloration is different. Their coloration can be a sign of their health because parasites will dull the color of the feathers of both sexes. During breeding season, males will gobble to attract females and then display for the females by strutting with their tails fanned and wings lowered. The females then do all of the incubating of the eggs and rearing of the young.

Despite their size, wild turkeys are strong fliers and will fly short distances, and they will roost overnight in tall trees. It is believed that turkeys were introduced to the United States from Mexico.

Turkeys in the Wild

Habitat

Turkeys prefer hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests with scattered openings such as pastures, fields, orchards and seasonal marshes.

Location

Their range covers most of the United States and some areas in Mexico.

Diet

They eat seeds, berries, grasses, and insects.

Population Status

Wild turkeys were, at one time, in a drastic decline due to hunting for food, but are currently listed as a species of “least concern” and found in every state except Alaska.

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