The wild turkey

No, we're not talking about a type of liquor here.

Meleagris gallopavo is a streamlined version of the barnyard turkey.. The male's tail is erected like a fan during display, giving it an impressive and majestic look.  Females are smaller and less iridescent (that is, with more dull coloration); they have smaller  heads and are less likely to have a beard.

The specimen shown above must be a particularly well-fed zoo specimen, since wild turkeys are supposed to be more streamlined than their domestically bred counterparts.   

Wild turkeys gather in flocks of 50 or more.  They offer no territorial defense and will typically run to cover, only flying sporadically to reach communal roosts in trees.

They feed mainly by picking at ground.  They've been known to consume leaves, shoots, small seeds, buds, acorns and fruits. They are mildly predatory, consuming crabs(!), grasshoppers, and small vertebrates.


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