Wild Turkey


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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 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />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:

W

ild 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

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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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