Common Name: Wild Turkey, Common Turkey
Scientific Name: Meleagris gallopavo
Because wild turkeys are large, relatively heavy birds, it is often assumed that they either cannot fly or are not good fliers if they do take to the air. In fact, wild turkeys are very powerful fliers and can reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour in flight with their broad, rounded wings, and they will often take flight when startled or threatened. Domestic turkeys, on the other hand, are often bred specifically to reach heavier weights with higher proportions of breast muscles for meat, and they cannot easily fly at all.
Photo © Stephen Fischer