Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wild Turkey Facts

What type of turkeys do we have around here? Well, the scientific name is "Meleagris gallopavo Silvestri" coined by the ornithologist who first documented the bird in 1817, Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot. Often referred to as Eastern Wild Turkey, as few as one out of a hundred are white in color. Thanks to Mr. J.R. Winkler for sharing the photos. 

Here are a few more interesting facts:

  • Male turkeys are called "toms" or “gobblers;” female turkeys are called "hens."
  • A turkey’s diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, and small lizards.
  • Turkeys have a wingspan of up to six feet, which makes them the largest bird in their natural habitat of the open forest by far.
  • Turkey calls can be quite loud. On a clear, quiet day, a gobble made by a male turkey can be heard from a mile away.
  • Turkeys have an extremely wide field of vision because their eyes are located on opposite sides of their head. The positioning of their eyes allows the turkey to see objects on both sides of itself, but limits its depth perception. Turkeys have excellent vision during the day, but limited vision at night.
  • Turkeys have no external ear structures, but they have small holes in their head located behind their eyes where sound can enter. Turkeys can pinpoint sounds up to a mile away.
  • Turkeys do not have a strong sense of smell, and the region of their brain that controls smell is very small compared to other animals.

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