Wild Turkey

Meleagris gallopavo

Chickenlike Birds

Wild Turkey

Meleagris gallopavo

Chickenlike Birds

Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

Daniel Fitzgerald

Found in deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests and open woodland habitats.

The Wild Turkey is the largest game bird in North America. Note the bare skin on the head and upper neck. Male has reddish wattles on the throat and foreneck. Body feathers are dark and iridescent. Male has a tuft of feathers on the breast, sometimes called a beard; this is occasionally also seen in females. Not native to California, turkeys were introduced to California by the California Department of Fish and Game. In recent years, it has quickly increased in numbers and its status in the Park has changed from quite rare to common.

Nest is placed on the ground and consists of a simple scrape or depression lined with leaves and grasses. Turkeys mostly eat vegetable matter such as acorns, nuts, smaller seeds, and fruits.

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