All About Turkeys

1st January 2013

Turkeys got their name from the incorrect belief that they came originally from Turkey!

Gallinaceous birds are described as heavy-bodied ground-feeding domestic or game birds including the turkey, grouse, quail, pheasant and Chickens.

The Mexican wild turkey is now considered a variety of the northern species (var. Mexicana). Its tall feathers and coverts are tipped with white instead of brownish chestnut, and its flesh is white.

The Central American, or ocellated, turkey (M. ocellata) is more elegantly colored than the common species.

The Australian, or native, turkey is a bustard (Choriotis australis) - a large, ground-nesting bird.

The turkey is the largest game bird in North America.

Weight: 25 ponds

Height: 3 feet

Habitat: Wooded areas with plenty of trees

Lifespan: 13 years

Wingspans: 1.5–1.8 metres (4.9–5.9 ft)

Diet: Turkeys eat insects, acorns, berries, buds and small reptiles.

Turkeys have a distinctive fleshy wattle that hangs from the underside of the beak.

Female Turkeys are smaller and much less colorful than the males.

"Heritage turkeys" and "wild turkeys" can fly.

The Californian Turkey (Meleagris californica) became extinct about 10,000 years ago.

Benjamin Franklin suggested making the wild turkey, not the Bald Eagle, the national bird of the United States.

The turkey is the favorite meal for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations.

The collective name for a group of turkeys is a Rafter.

Male turkeys are called Toms

Female turkeys are called Hens

The names given to babies are Poults or goblets.

Turkeys grunt, make a "gobble gobble sound"

The Wattle is the flap of skin under the turkey's chin.

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