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Wild Turkey
 




Habitat: A mixture of mature hardwood forests and open fields.

Weight: Adult male: 15 to 25 pounds; adult female: 8 to 12 pounds.

Length: Adult male: 48 inches; adult female: 36 inches.

The wild turkey is the largest of North America's game birds.

  • Adult males, known as toms, or   gobblers, normally weigh between 16 and 24 pounds.
  • Females, known as hens, are smaller than males and usually weigh between 8 and ten pounds.
  • The largest wild turkey on record weighed 37 pound

  • Food: Acorns and other mast (hard fruit), fleshy fruits,
    corn, a variety of seeds, and invertebrates. Young turkeys
    (particularly) feed heavily on insects.


    Feathers:

    • Males: Iridescent red, green, copper, bronze and gold feathers. Toms use these bright colors to great advantage when attracting females during breeding season!
    • Females: Drab, usually brown or gray feathers. They make great camouflage and hide hens when they sit on their nests.

    Tail:

    Wild turkey tails are usually 12 to 15 inches long and are banded at their tips. The color of the bands in the tail varies by subspecies.

    • Male wild turkeys fan their tails when displaying to attract a mate.
    • You can usually tell the difference between an adult male and a juvenile male (a jake) turkey by looking at a turkey's tail: All tail feathers of adult males are the same length. The feathers forming the center of a jake's tail are usually longer than the rest of the feathers in the tail

     

    Head:

    • Males: Males have brightly colored, nearly featherless heads. During breeding season the color of their heads alternates between red, white and blue, often changing in a few seconds.
    • Hens: A hen's head is gray-blue and has some small feathers for camouflage.

     


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