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Bird Details

Upland Ground Upland Ground

Wild Turkey

Meleagris gallopavo

Wild Turkey
copyright Oliver Niehuis
Length: 46 in. (117 cm)
Coming within one congressional vote of being our national bird, the Wild Turkey instead became our Thanksgiving meal, and the population was widely exterminated throughout North America. Recent reintroductions have restored it, however, to much of its former range, and now it is hunted as a sport animal in many parts of the United States. Usually seen in small family groups as they noisily scratch in the leaf litter for seeds, acorns, fruits and insects, at night they roost together in mid levels of trees. The nest is a shallow depression hidden on the ground among grasses and low shrubs.
wild_turkey_niehuis.jpg

Male
copyright Oliver Niehuis

wild_turkey_courting_niehuis.jpg

Male
copyright Oliver Niehuis

Fir forest
Fir forest

Oak-pine woodland
Oak-pine woodland

Riparian / River forest
Riparian / River forest

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Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.