On this Thanksgiving, I give you the Wild Turkey.
Wild Turkey – Meleagris gallopavo – also known as Dindon sauvage (French), Kalkoen (Dutch), Truthuhn (German), Tacchino (Italian), Guajolote Gallipavo (Spanish).
Wild Turkeys are absolutely everywhere in Iowa. They are especially easy to spot this time of year. If you drive on the Interstate for more than just a few minutes there is a good chance you’ll spot a group of them out in the fields foraging. You can also find them wandering around state parks. The two photos above were taken at Scott County Park.
Residents of Iowa year-round. Males and females look similarly, but the male has a completely bald head that often looks blue, while the female has some brown feathers on her head. The bottom photo is of two males.
Of course, a post about Turkeys on Thanksgiving would be incomplete without a brief discussion about their history in the US:
The Wild Turkey was a very important food animal to Native Americans, but it was eliminated from much of its range by the early 1900s. Introduction programs have successfully established it in most of its original range, and even into areas where it never occurred before.
Photos taken with the Canon Digital Rebel XT / 350D and a Sigma 70-300mm Lens at Scott County Park, Davenport, Iowa. Top photo taken March 4, 2007. Bottom photo taken September 29, 2007.