Ocellated Turkey

These birds are timid and hard to spot, but their noisy gobbles give them away.
Ocellated Turkey Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Meleagris ocellata
Ocellated Turkey Physical Characteristics
Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Golden
20,000 to 50,000
4.5 years
6 to 11 pounds
Ocellated Turkey Distribition

Its particular name, ocellata, describes the areas, or ocelli, on their tail plumes.


The ocellated turkey ( Meleagris ocellata) is native to the island to the Yucatán Peninsula and components of Belize and Guatemala. These birds are rather evasive and tough to capture, however they are loud with distinct gobbles. They reside in exotic and evergreen woodlands, where they invest their days foraging for insects and plants on the ground or roosting in little family teams in trees. Discover every little thing there is to find out about this turkey, consisting of where it lives, what it consumes, and exactly how it acts.

5 Remarkable Ocellated Turkey Truths

  • The ocellated turkey gaps predators by roosting in trees and hiding its nests on the ground.
  • Their coloring and special patterns resemble peafowl.
  • This turkey has long and thinner bone stimulates than various other North American species.
  • These birds are shy and tough to find, however their loud gobbles provide away.
  • This species is near threatened because of overhunting for sporting activity and food.

Where to Locate the Ocellated Turkey

Ocellated turkeys reside in North and Central America in 3 nations: Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. It largely occupies 50,000 square miles of the Yucatán Peninsula however likewise has numerous big populaces in Belize. Their liked environments consist of exotic deciduous and lowland evergreen woodlands. Yet you can likewise discover them on deserted ranches and cleanings. Seek them roosting in trees in little teams or foraging on the ground.

Ocellated Turkey Nest

Their nest is a freely built circle constructed from branches, which they position straight on the ground in thick plants. They hide their eggs to stop nest predation.

Scientific Name

The ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is from the Galliformes order in the Phasianidae family, which incorporates hefty, ground- living birds like pheasants, chickens, and various other turkeys. The Meleagris genus makes up the turkeys, big birds discovered in The United States and Canada. Its particular name, ocellata, describes the areas, or ocelli, on their tail plumes.

Dimension, Appearance & Actions

Ocellated Turkey
These birds are rather evasive and tough to capture, however they are loud with distinct gobbles.1,280 × & times; 853 pixels, documents dimension: 281 KB, comedian kind: image/jpeg – Certificate

The ocellated turkey is a reasonably big bird and a family member of the North American wild turkey. Nevertheless, it is a lot smaller sized than any type of North American wild turkey subspecies. This turkey gauges 28 to 48 inches long and evaluates 6 to 11 extra pounds, with a 67- inch wingspan. Their plumes are bronze and rainbowlike eco-friendly, and their tails have actually areas called ocelli that appear like those discovered on peafowl. Females are a duller color with even more eco-friendly, however both sexes include blue heads with orange and red blemishes. Throughout reproducing, male crowns inflate and end up being an intense yellow/orange. This species does not have a beard usually discovered in turkeys, and their legs are brief and slim with lengthy bone stimulates.

These turkeys are reluctant and evasive however rather social, commonly discovered in little or big groups. They likewise roost in little family teams. Yet their shy habits does not quit them from being loud. The male’s gobble includes reduced- regularity “thumps,” which raise right into a gobble various from its North American relatives. And they start their vocal singing 20 mins prior to daybreak, similar to various other species. These birds invest much time on the ground, picking to run rather than fly. Nevertheless, they are quick, effective fliers and can take a trip brief ranges.

Movement Pattern and Timing

Ocellated turkeys are long-term citizens in their setting and do not move.


Ocellated turkeys are omnivores that forage on the ground.

What Does the Ocellated Turkey Eat?

Their diet includes beetles, moths, ants, grains, seeds, nuts, and leaves. These birds forage on the ground for reduced- existing plants and periodically forage in little teams. They might likewise venture to feed locations near chickens. And male ocellated turkeys eat even more prior to the reproducing period starts. These birds search for food under the woodland’s thick cover however might venture right into cleanings near ranches to look for grain.

Predators, Risks, and Conservation Status

The IUCN provides the ocellated turkey as NT or “near threatened.” This species is reasonably decreasing because of environment loss and searching stress. The ocellated turkey deals with numerous hazards, consisting of searching for sporting activity and food, environment fragmentation, and chicken- birthed illness. This bird might likewise endure future results of environment modification, such as springtime warm front and wildfire damage.

What Consumes the Ocellated Turkey?

The key danger to the ocellated turkey is human beings, that search them for sporting activity and food. Their all-natural predators consist of foxes, raccoons, ocelots, jaguars, serpents, and predators. As a result of their little dimension and tendency for residing in thick woodlands near huge cats, this turkey succumbs several predators. It likes to run rather than fly when getting away threat, and it might kick its legs, utilizing its lengthy, bony stimulates to protect itself. They likewise roost in high trees, far from evening predators.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Ocellated turkeys mate yearly from very early February to late April, and males might mate with numerous females. The males take part in sophisticated dating habits, consisting of dance and shaking their wings while dragging the ideas along the ground. Females lay 8 to fifteen eggs and nurture them for 28 days. The young are birthed in a sophisticated state and fledge the nest after 24-hour, however they follow their mommy around till getting to young their adult years. They get to complete grown-up tuft and sex-related maturation around 2 years and live approximately 4.5 years.


The worldwide ocellated turkey population is approximated to number 20,000 to 50,000 fully grown people. Their population is constantly decreasing because of exploitation and environment damage. The IUCN presumes a 20 to 29% decline in their numbers over the last 3 generations.


  1. Red List / BirdLife International, Available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22679529/178204994
  2. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, Available here: https://www.revista.ccba.uady.mx/ojs/index.php/TSA/article/view/3715

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