Thursday, April 3, 2014

Strutting their stuff

And here he is chasing one of his harem. I didn't know much about wild turkeys, so I looked it up. Here's some fun facts from:

Wild turkeys can be fun when you consider how unique they really are. They were nearly extinct in the 1930s. Today there are more than  million wild throughout North America. .There are approximately 5500 feathers on an adult wild turkey, including 18 tail feathers that make up the male's distinct fan.
Wild turkeys have powerful legs and can run at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. Their top speed is 55 miles per hour. Most of their diet is grass and grain, but they have a varied diet and will also eat insects, berries, and small reptiles.
The average lifespan of a wild turkey is 3-5 years. They range from 5-20 pounds unlike domestic turkeys which are bred to be much heavier.
Because it is a native bird with a proud demeanor and protective instincts, Benjamin Franklin wanted it for the national bird because of its proud demeanor and protective instinct. Whereas the bald eagle is a scavenger and will rob other birds and animals for prey.
A wild turkey's gobble can be heard up to a mile away and is the primary means for a tom to communicate
with his harem. The adult male is called a tom, females are called hens, and young birds are poults A group of turkeys is called a rafter or flock.
The wild turkey is only one of two birds native to North America that has been regularly domesticated and are raised all over the world.
The only two states without extensive wild turkey populations are Alaska and Hawaii. The turkey's bald head and fleshy wattles can change color in seconds with excitement or emotion. The bird's head can be red, pink, white, or blue.
Wild turkeys see in color and have excellent daytime vision that is three times better than a human's eyesight and covers 270 degrees, but they have poor night vision.
Newly hatched turkeys are born with feathers and fend for themselves quickly. They leave the nest within 24 hours to forage for food with their mothers. Males have little to do with raising chicks.
The first unofficial presidential pardons were granted to domestic turkeys in 1947. Since then every president has pardoned  two birds (a presidential and vice presidential turkey) before Thanksgiving.
June is National Turkey month to promote eating turkey at times other than holidays.

So now you know as much about the turkey as I do.

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