About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fun Facts about Turkeys

• The turkey was Benjamin Franklin's choice for the United State’s national bird.

• Today, wild turkeys are being reintroduced into many areas across the USA. Overhunting and the disappearance of their favored woodland habitat has resulted in the decline in turkey populations.
•Only Alaska and Hawaii don’t have native turkeys
•The turkey is covered by about 6,000 iridescence feathers of varying colors of red, green, copper, bronze and gold. The gobbler, or male turkey, is more colorful, while the hen is a duller color to camouflage her with her surroundings.
•The average life expectancy for wild turkeys is one and a half years in the wild and 13 years in captivity. Besides hunters, the birds are prey to a variety of animals like raccoons, bobcats, foxes, eagles, owls and much more.
• Wild turkeys have very powerful legs and can run faster than 20 miles per hour and fly up to 55 miles per hour.
• To attract mates, males display their fan-like tail, bare head, and bright snood and wattle. They also perform a little turkey trot and make a distinctive gobble that can be heard a mile away. After mating males have little to do with the females.
•The ballroom dance the "turkey trot" was named for the short, jerky steps that turkeys take.
• Females lay 4 to 17 eggs in a ground nest under a bush, incubate the eggs for up to 28 days and feed their chicks only for a few days after they hatch. Young turkeys quickly learn to fend for themselves as part of mother/child flocks that can include dozens of animals.
• The adult males, known as toms or gobblers, normally weigh between 16 and 24 pounds while the females, known as hens, usually weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. Very young birds are poults, while juvenile males are jakes and females are jennies. A group of turkeys has many collective nouns, including a "crop", "dole", "gang", "posse", and "raffle" of turkeys.
•A native of North America, the turkey is one of only two domesticated birds originating in the New World. The Muscovy Duck is the other.
•Turkeys originated in North and Central America, and evidence indicates that they have been around for over 10 million years.
•There are a few explanations on how Turkeys were named. One is that in the days when geography was a little sketchy, Europeans sometimes referred to any exotic import as Turkey (i.e. Turkey Bird, Turkey rug, Turkey bag).
•Turkeys don’t migrate. They can be seen grazing fields and woodlands during the day and roosting in trees at night. 

1 comment:

  1. This is very informational post. It has helped my find something that I was looking for a long time on internet. It is so unique and great work. I will follow your posts in future.

    ReplyDelete