Common Wild Turkey

The Common Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a large bird in the Phasianidae family of pheasants, partridges, francolins, junglefowl, and grouse. It is a galliforme. 

The Common Wild Turkey has black feathers with brown-black and white tail feathers with a roundish body. Its feathers have a brown and green iridescent sheen. It has pale feet with spurs. It has brown eyes. It has wings and can fly for a short distance. 

It has fleshy red nodes or bumps on its head, which are called caruncles. The male turkey has fleshy red skin that hangs from it head, the top of its pale beak, and under its neck. The fleshy part on its forehead that hangs over its beak is called a snood. The fleshy part under its chin is called a wattle or dewlap. 

Wild Turkey

The male grows to about 130 centimetres (50 inches) tall. The male’s snood is about 2-3 centimetres (about one inch) long, but it becomes longer and redder in breeding season. The male is larger and more colourful than the female.

It is native to North America and South America. It prefers woodlands near water. 

It eats seeds, insects, frogs, and lizards.

The male Common Wild Turkey is called a gobbler or a tom. The female is called a hen, and its young are called chicks or poults. 

The female lays 8-15 eggs in a hollow on the ground. The eggs hatch after 28 days. 

Wild Turkey (female)
Wild Turkey (female)
Wild Turkey (female)
Wild Turkey (male)
Wild Turkey (male)

[Location of photographs: Dushanbe, Tajikistan]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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