Wonderful Wild Turkey

Posted in Europe | April 26, 2010 | Comment Now

The turkey was pitted by Benjamin Franklin to be the national bird of the United States. This noble fowl is a favorite dish among Native Americans. With the arrival of the Europeans, the turkey was one of the two domestic birds that are native to America. The Muscovy duck is the other bird.

By the early 20th century, wild turkey ceased to roam over their normal range. Hunting wiped out a large population of turkeys. Their woodland habitat is also in danger of disappearing.

Wild turkeys primarily forage on forest floors. In addition, they can also be found in grasslands and swamps. They predominantly feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and salamanders.

The 1940s saw the reintroduction programs for wild turkey. The birds were relocated to regions where the population was low. The woodlands were still recovering. However, the conservation efforts have worked efficiently. Wild turkeys now reside in regions where they would not be earlier found when the Europeans first invaded America. Presently, flocks of turkeys are found in Hawaii, Europe, and New Zealand.

Male turkeys display characteristic ruffled feathers. They have a fan-like tail and a bare head. A bright beard is also associated with turkeys. Turkeys tend to gobble with a characteristic sound that can be heard a mile away.

Female turkeys on an average lay four to 17 eggs. After the chicks hatch, they feed them for a few days. Young turkeys learn to fend for themselves from a very early age. The mother-child flocks may include scores of animals. Male turkeys do not play any role in the care of young ones.

Domestic turkeys tend to have white-tipped tails. These turkeys are descendants of a Mexican subspecies. They were taken to Europe in the 16th century with domestication in mind. They appear different from wild turkey. There have been other physical discrepancies due to captive diet, breeding, and lifestyle changes.

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