A turkey’s gender can be determined by the shape of its droppings.
Turkey Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Turkey Physical Characteristics
Brown, Yellow, Red, Blue, Black, White, Green
1-10 years
Top speed
6 mph
3-11kg (6.6-24lbs)
Turkey Distribition

The turkey is a remarkable bird that is straight pertaining to dinosaurs like the velociraptor. It’s a smart and social animal, and it’s likewise connected to pheasants and grouse. These birds can be located all throughout the USA, Canada and Mexico.

A Fantastic Bird: 3 Turkey Realities

  • A turkey’s sex can be established by droppings. Male droppings develop a “J” form; female droppings are spiral.
  • Just males swallow.
  • Benjamin Franklin desired the wild turkey to be the USA‘ nationwide bird.

Turkey: Where to Locate These Birds

There are 2 key species. The one that the majority of people know with is the wild turkey, the exact same species as the turkeys that are elevated for the table, yet tamed turkeys have a tendency to be a much heavier bird considering that they are reproduced to be consumed. This species is belonging to The United States and Canada, and it can be located in virtually every component of the USA. Some are also located in the north areas of Mexico.

These birds aren’t specifically preferred amongst birdwatchers, yet they are searched for by seekers. Open season differ by state, yet many occur in late springtime.

The 2nd species is called the ocellated turkey, and it is belonging to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. At one factor, scientists identified these birds independently from the North American species, yet they are incredibly similar, so they have actually considering that been positioned right into the exact same genus.

Ocellated turkeys are much more endangered, so Mexican authorities are more stringent regarding searching. They normally use “searching tourist” journeys in the springtime in order to take care of the bird populace securely.

Turkey Bird Nests

These big birds develop their nests on the ground, normally at the base of a tree. The female will certainly scrape a superficial rut right into the dirt near the tree’s origins and make use of the dead fallen leaves and plant product that has actually gathered in the place as nesting product.

Turkey: The Bird’s Scientific Name

The wild turkey’s scientific name is Meleagris gallopavo The beginning of this name is a little bit uncommon. Words “Meleagris” originates from a Greek misconception in which Artemis, the siren of the search, transforms the sis of the slaughtered hero Meleager right into guinea fowl. Its 2nd name, “gallopavo,” is originated from 2 Latin words: “gallus,” which suggests rooster, and “pavo,” which suggests peacock.

The ocellated turkey’s scientific name is Meleagris ocellata Words “ocellata” is originated from the Latin “ocellatus,” or “little eye.” The name describes the eyelike places that show up on the tail plumes of these birds.

Turkey Bird Dimension, Appearance and Habits

Wild male turkeys, called “toms,” normally evaluate 11 to 23 extra pounds and determine regarding 45 inches in size. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, the biggest wild tom on document considered 37.1 extra pounds. On the other hand, tamed turkeys’ ordinary weight is 30 to 80 extra pounds, and the biggest bird on document considered 86 extra pounds. They likewise expand to be regarding 45 inches long.

Females are called “chickens,” and they are smaller sized and lighter than toms. Wild chickens are just around 11 extra pounds in weight, and they typically determine regarding 35 inches long. Tamed chickens might depend on 18 extra pounds in weight. Both males and females have a wingspan of regarding 48 to 57 inches.

Grownup wild males, or “toms,” have actually big bodies covered in grey- brownish plumes that sporting activity a coppery shine. Their heads are featherless and red with brilliant red throats and red wattles on the throat and neck also. They have long, shiny and vivid tail plumes that develop the unique follower form that turkeys are usually recognized for. Adolescent males are called “jakes,” and they can be determined by their brief beards and the existence of longer plumes in the center of their tails. Toms have tail plumes of a consistent dimension and size.

Grown-up females, or “chickens,” have plumes that are a boring grey or brownish, and they do not have vivid tail plumes like males. They have the ability to follower their tail plumes like males, yet they hardly ever do so. Adolescent females are called “jennies,” and they look almost the same to chickens in addition to their smaller sized dimension.

Both sexes have a fleshy protrusion called a snood that hangs over the beak, and both can likewise have a little tuft of plumes under the beak called a beard. Males will certainly likewise have brief, sharp stimulates sticking out from their legs near the feet.

For ocellated turkeys, both males and females sporting activity rainbowlike bronze and eco-friendly plumes. They both have much shorter follower tails that are blue- grey in shade with a little, eye- designed place at the suggestion. This is where the name “ocellated” originates from. Like North American turkeys, they likewise have black and white candy striped wing plumes.

Ocellated turkeys are also smaller sized birds than wild turkeys. Toms evaluate as much as 13 extra pounds at their heaviest, and chickens evaluate 6 to 8 extra pounds. Both sexes ordinary 24 to 36 inches in size and have a wingspan variety of 26 to 30 inches.

Both sexes likewise have brilliant blue heads with orange snoods and dark red legs. Males have sharp stimulates on their legs, yet they are much longer and thinner than their North American equivalents.

turkey on isolated background
veleknez/Shutterstock. com

The Turkey’s Diet: An Omnivorous Bird

These birds are omnivores, which suggests that they eat plants along with meat. They normally make it through on a diet of foraged fruit, veggies, yards, insects and acorns. Since they are so big, they call for a great deal of healthy protein in order to remain healthy and balanced. In the winter months, acorns are a staple of a healthy diet.

What do turkeys eat?

Both ocellated and North American turkeys have similar choices when it pertains to food. In the wild, they prey on insects, nuts, leaves, fruit and yard. Tamed turkeys are typically fed a wide range of yard scraps together with high- healthy protein turkey feed. For a full listing of foods turkeys eat, have a look at our “What Do Turkeys Eat?” web page.

Turkey: The Bird’s Predators, Threats & &Conservation Status

These birds have an instead lengthy listing of predators, which describes why they can be so hostile in the wild. The North American turkey is not endangered, and its key killer is human seekers. They are preferred video game birds throughout the USA.

Ocellated turkeys are noted as “near threatened” because of a mix of environment loss and searching. The populace has actually recoiled over the last few years, yet they are still meticulously checked.

What animals eat turkeys?

Lots of animals besides humans eat these birds. Various Other predators consist of residential dogs, coyotes, weasels, foxes, bobcats, skunks, opossums, raccoons, hawks and owls.

Turkey: The Bird’s Reproduction, Children & & Life Expectancy

Wild turkey breeding takes place in the springtime. Males will certainly carry out a “courtship dancing” that entails blowing out their plumes, fanning their remarkable tails and swallowing noisally while hemming and haw in the existence of females. These birds can mate with several companions and do not pair.

Once the female is inseminated, she will certainly discover a nesting place and lay one egg every day, as much as 17 eggs. A typical clutch is normally 7 to 10 eggs. Eggs take around 28 days to hatch out.

Children are called chicks or poults, and they remain in the nest with their mom for 2 weeks after hatching out. Hereafter time, they discover to roost in trees together with their mom. These birds are incredibly social, so they remain with each other in teams to play and discover survival abilities, and poults will certainly remain to stick with their moms up until the following reproduction period shows up.

In the wild, these animals typically live 3 to 5 years. Tamed turkeys might measure up to ten years. Nonetheless, turkeys elevated for massacre normally just live for around 18 weeks.

Turkey: A Respected Bird Populace

According to the National Wild Turkey Structure, there are about 6.2 million North American turkeys in the wild.

It’s hard to acquire dependable information on ocellated turkey populace numbers, yet scientists approximate that 20,000 to 50,000 birds presently stay in the wild.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_turkey
  2. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocellated_turkey
  3. National Wild Turkey Federation, Available here: https://www.nwtf.org/
  4. All About Birds, Available here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wild_Turkey/
  5. The Atlantic, Available here: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/why-americans-call-turkey-turkey/
  6. Merriam-Webster, Available here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ocellated
  7. Sciencing, Available here: https://sciencing.com/a-turkey-reproduce-4709177.html

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