Wild Turkey

Wild Turkeys are very large, plump birds with long legs, wide, rounded tails, and a small head on a long, slim neck. Turkeys are dark overall with a bronze-green iridescence to most of their plumage. Their wings are dark, boldly barred with white. Their rump and tail feathers are broadly tipped with rusty or white. The bare skin of the head and neck varies from red to blue to grey.

Turkeys travel in flocks and search on the ground for nuts, berries, insects, and snails. They use their strong feet to scratch leaf litter out of the way. In early spring, males gather in clearings to perform courtship displays. They puff up their body feathers, flare their tails into a vertical fan, and strut slowly while giving a characteristic gobbling call. At night, turkeys fly up into trees to roost in groups.

Wild Turkeys live in mature forests, particularly nut trees such as oak, hickory, or beech, interspersed with edges and fields. You may also see them along roads and in woodsy backyards.


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