Turkey is a large bird native to North America, known for its distinctive appearance and significance in various cultural traditions. 

Physical Characteristics: Turkeys are large birds with round bodies, long necks, and relatively small heads. They have a bare, fleshy wattle (called a snood) that hangs from their beak, as well as a prominent flap of skin called a dewlap that hangs from their neck. Male turkeys, called toms or gobblers, are larger and more brightly coloured than females, known as hens. Toms have colourful plumage with iridescent feathers, while hens have more muted colours for camouflage.

Habitat: Wild turkeys are found throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico, and are adaptable to a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, swamps, and agricultural areas. They prefer areas with dense vegetation for cover and roosting, as well as open spaces for foraging.

Diet: Turkeys are omnivores, feeding on a wide variety of plant and animal materials. Their diet includes seeds, nuts, fruits, insects, small vertebrates, and even carrion. Turkeys use their sharp beaks to peck and scratch for food on the ground, as well as to probe for insects and other invertebrates.

Behaviour: Turkeys are social birds that often gather in flocks, particularly during the winter months and breeding season. They communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations, including gobbling, clucking, and purring, as well as through body language such as strutting and fluffing their feathers. Male turkeys perform elaborate courtship displays, including puffing out their feathers, spreading their tail feathers into a fan, and strutting in front of females to attract mates.

Reproduction: Breeding in turkeys typically occurs in the spring, with males engaging in competitive displays and vocalizations to attract females. After mating, females lay clutches of eggs in hidden nests on the ground, typically in dense vegetation. The incubation period lasts around 25 to 30 days, after which the hatchlings, known as poults, emerge and are cared for by their mother. Poults grow rapidly and can fly within a few weeks.

Conservation Status: Wild turkeys were once on the brink of extinction due to overhunting and habitat loss, but conservation efforts, including reintroduction programs and habitat restoration, have successfully restored their populations in many areas. However, habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting still pose threats to wild turkey populations in some regions.

Overall, turkeys are iconic birds with cultural significance and ecological importance in North America. Whether in the wild or on the farm, they are cherished for their beauty, intelligence, and the important role they play in ecosystems and human society.

Turkey Gallery


Location - Muddy Duck Farm, Zoo
Threat Status - Least Concerned


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