Wild Turkey

The Wild Turkey was once an important food source in America, and Benjamin Franklin wanted to make it our national bird. However, by the 1900's it had largely disappeared, thanks to hunting and to loss of their woodland habitat. This is the male during the spring mating season, when his forehead becomes white, his face is bright blue, and his neck is scarlet. He is displaying here for the female.

(According to National Geographic) "Only male turkeys display the ruffled feathers, fanlike tail, bare head, and bright beard commonly associated with these birds. They also gobble with a distinctive sound that can be heard a mile away!

"Females lay 4 to 17 eggs, and feed their chicks after they hatch—but only for a few days. Young turkeys quickly learn to fend for themselves as part of mother/child flocks that can include dozens of animals. Males take no role in the care of young turkeys."