Common Name: Wild Turkey, Common Turkey
Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo
Male turkeys, also called toms, are large, round birds with powerful muscles and colorful plumage. They are most easily recognizable by their tail fans, “beard” of thin feathers on the chest and bright facial wattles, but their plumage is equally attractive with its different shades of color and iridescence. These are polygamous birds, and a larger, more well-developed tom has a better chance of attracting females to join his harem. Courtship displays include strutting and showing off his tail while he droops his wings to appear larger and more intimidating. The familiar “gobble” call is also part of a tom’s courtship behavior.
Photo © Jerry Kirkhart