5 Things You Should Know About the Wild Turkey

True AmericansWild Turkey

The wild turkey is a true American species that is native only to the United States, Canada and Mexico. There are five subspecies found across North America. They were almost wiped out in the U.S. due to do over-hunting and habitat destruction by the early 1900s. After successful reintroduction programs, however, there are now an estimated 7 million wild turkeys today.

Wild Turkeys in Fall

Wild turkeys live in wooded areas throughout the eastern United States and in scattered pockets in the West. At this time of year they are gobbling up acorns, hickory and beech nuts, berries and seeds (as well as any small critters they can find) in an effort to pack on as much insulating fat as they can to get them through the cold months.

Gobble Gobble!

Wild turkeys do more than just gobble. In fact, they make a whole variety of sounds.

Eagle vs. Turkey

Benjamin Franklin argued unsuccessfully that the wild turkey should have been America’s symbol rather than the bald eagle. Franklin thought bald eagle was a poor symbol because of its habit of stealing meals from other predators such as osprey.

They Can Be Mean…

The wild turkey might have lost to the bald eagle in the debate over which should be our national symbol, but they are having no trouble bullying people in some cities and towns.

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      Published: November 26, 2008