* Threatened or Endangered
Wild Turkey *
: Meleagris gallipavo
: North America
: Acorns, nuts, seeds, berries, roots and insects
: Weight 8 - 18 lbs., wingspan up to 60” inches
: The range and numbers had decreased to about 30,000 birds in the early 1900’s due to over-hunting and loss of habitat. Thanks to wildlife personnel efforts to protect and encourage the breeding of the surviving wild population, current numbers are estimated at over 7 million birds.
Benjamin Franklin referred to a general preference of his preferring the wild turkey over the bald eagle as our country’s national symbol in a letter to his daughter in 1784. Not really advocating the turkey over the eagle, he did however speak more highly of this bird when he told of its bravery when threatened. Turkeys can fly at 50 mph but usually fly less than one quarter of a mile. Along with gobbles, they also make noises that include clucks, putts, purrs, yelps, cutts, cackles and kee-kees.